After MANY years working in retail and having to get my butt up at the crack of 'OH MY GOD ARE YOU SERIOUS?!' the morning after Thanksgiving, you will NOT find the KCM at any type of retail establishment on Black Friday! EVER! lol No, I plan to do all of my holiday shopping (well, what's left of it anyway!) online! But for those of you die-hard deal-seekers, I have put together a little survival guide to get you through the night! Don't worry, you can sleep on Saturday! =)
- Check out ALL of the Black Friday Retail Ads this week and start to make your game plan!
- Set a REALISTIC budget and stick to it. Talk with spouses and/or other family members and determine budget limits. Remember the reasons why you started couponing and saving! DON'T blow all that hard work in one day! Try to pay cash as much as possible and don't stress out the credit cards. You will only regret it in January when you have charged yourself into a mound of new debt for the year for items that you or the recipients probably don't even really need! Use this time to evaluate your gift-giving/spending habits and see where you can trim the fat! Maybe limit the number of items per person, cross some folks off the spending list, or start a new tradition of homemade gift-giving!
- Compare prices then make a list and stick to it. Don't get caught up in the mob mentality of folks boxing each other out over Cabbage Patch Dolls! Stay focused on the list and get you and your $$ out of the store ASAP!
- Review Return Policies and KEEP receipts in a safe place.
- Consider shopping On-Line! MANY of the same deals can be found on-line! In your jammies! With a warm fire going! And a turkey and stuffing sandwich next to ya!
- Shop only a few stores. It is not possible to hit up every single store and make every single sale! You will go nuts with traffic, parking, and crowds! Try to group your deals at one or maybe two stores to maximize deal grabbing. Or bring a friend and divvy up the list of deals and stores to hit!
- Don't add to the jerk count! There'll be a TON of folks out and a large part of them will not think twice about being a buzz killer on your deal day! TRY to be kind and patient with folks. And be wary of the crazies on the roads, in the parking lots, and rushing the doors!
- Practice caution with valuables and personal safety! LOCK your cars up, hide packages in the trunk of the car, carry your wallet/cash/cards in a front pocket not in a shoulder bag, look around dark parking lots for creeps and weirdos hiding between cars, make several trips to put packages away as you shop, ask security to escort you to your car, use common sense and the buddy system! BE SAFE!
- Be ready for a long wait in the cold and dark. At the butt crack o'dawn a.m. it’s COLD outside!! Dress accordingly: mittens, hats, scarves, coat, hand warmers, extra socks, and comfortable shoes! And bring a friend along to cover potty breaks and coffee runs! Make sure the cell phones are charged too!
- Don't forget to eat and stay hydrated! It may be a long day of stresses and low blood sugar will lead to super crankiness and becoming overtired quickly!
- Bring shopping bags. All the carts and baskets may already be gone!
- It's all good. Remember that it’s all just stuff and you don’t really need it. And the holidays are not about who gives the most "stuff"! You will be very surprised (and maybe a little sad!) at how quickly some of the "stuff" is tossed aside after opening. Anybody see Toy Story? Just set out for a fun day, whether or not you even spend money at all. Should make for GREAT people watching!
Got any survival strategies for shopping Black Friday?