I have a confession--- I LOVE Christmas!!!! I love everything about it. I LOVE giving gifts and shopping, and Black Friday
has become known in our home as "mom's day." My sister and I wake up at the crack of dawn, bundle up in the car, and head out to the shops. This year, things will be quite different with the different store openings, but we think we have it handled! I have been Black Friday shopping for almost 2 decades and I have learned a LOT in those almost 20 years! These are my tips to make your shopping trip as fun as possible!
- Bring a friend. No---- really, you need a friend. If you cannot find a friend advance to #4.
- Decide amongst you who will have the following "jobs":
Find other "friends" who will be a part of your team.
- Cart protector (will stand by the cart and keep it safe, will follow the runner)
- Runner (will run through the store grabbing what is needed)
Go through all of the ads the evening before and mark "must have" items as well as "would like" items. This will help you make important decisions in the store. If you have a team split the lists accordingly.
- Your team is assigned a store. These will be based on the same opening times.
- Our teams are placed at Target, Walmart, and ToysRUs (no brave soul wants to go to Best Buy). Your team placement is based entirely on the stores that are most important to the team.
- If you only have 1 team, you are FINE!!! Ignore this step!
- Go through the ads and give each team a list of items they should try to find for you.
- Never get mad at a team member for not purchasing an item on your list.
- Estimate how much your items will cost at each store and give that amount plus $20 to the other team going to that store.
Load your car with: Water, snacks, caffeine.
BRING YOUR CELL PHONES. Be in constant contact with your "team" or partner. If you are alone, you will want it to keep you entertained while in line.
Arrive at the store 15-30 minutes before the official "open" time.
- PRICE CHECK the items to ensure that the item is NOT cheaper elsewhere on a non-Black Friday sale or deal.
- If you are at Walmart, arrive 45 minutes early and walk around the store getting a bearing of all essential items. If you are able, secure a map of the store and where all Black Friday items are. An associate should have one. Pick THE most important item on your list, find it in the store, and stand by that item.
- For other stores, you can choose to stand in line outside of the store or wait in the car. We live in a cold state, so I opt for sitting in my warm car.
Did you find everything? If not, ask an associate! They are there to help and should have a map of ALL Black Friday items!
- If you are alone, you should NOT grab a cart. It will only get in the way. Try to grab as many of the items that you need as possible. If you need a cart, leave it in an adjacent aisle as you grab items. DO NOT leave your purse or wallet in your car!
- If there are 2 of you, your cart protector's job is to follow close enough behind you to allow you to place items in the cart. The cart protector SHOULD not try to get into the main aisles. This will only get your stuck and move slower.
If you have a team, meet at a central location once the shopping is done. Everyone checks through their receipts and figures their totals WITH TAX, and all money is exchanged and balanced. We usually do this over a delicious breakfast.
WRAPPING PARTY!!!! My sister and I always follow up our shopping with a wrapping party of ALL holiday gifts!
The #1 thing is to HAVE FUN!!!!!!!
- Hopefully, you have made it through the store faster than other people. If you are close to the front of a line, stay put! Do not budge! We are adults, not in 1st grade!
- If you are price matching (at Walmart) BRING THE AD WITH YOU. I know Walmart's policy does not require an ad, but trust me-- you will want an ad! Grumbling behind you? That is ok-- you are SAVING MONEY!!!!!
- Line too long? Always know where your alternate check-outs are located. If you are at Walmart, the least populated register is often the Sporting Goods area.
- If you have a third person, have that person watch the line situation and report back about it.
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