Are you ready for Black Friday?

I used to go CRAZY on Black Friday, and then I a) started wanting less and needing less, b) became part of a 1.5 income family and c) became a mom and now value sleep over everything!

But, I’m still going out Friday morning with my mom and aunt because tradition!  We really don’t buy much on Black Friday anymore, but I love people watching and I love the craziness of the whole thing.

If you want to go and have fun, here are a few tips for you:

Go On Friday
So many stores open on Thursday evening.  That is so sad to me!  Not only does that mean that the consumerism that surrounds Black Friday worms it’s way into the most anti-consumerism day of the year, but it means people who work in those stores can’t be with their families on Thanksgiving.  Nothing they are selling is worth compromising your integrity.  If no one goes on Thursday nights, the stores will stop being open early.  Wait until midnight and then hit the road!

Go With Friends
Seriously, going by yourself really sucks.  There is a LOT of waiting around, a LOT of standing in line, and a LOT of crazy people that you’ll want to exchange *that look* with a friend over.  At the big stores like Target, Wal-Mart, Kohls, etc., the line will wind around the store and you’ll be standing in it for a very very very long time.  Take turns standing in line and the other one goes to shop!  You’ve now cut your time in half.

Remember Shipping Costs
If you’re shopping for gifts for friends and relatives far away, don’t buy anything in person.  You’ll pay an arm and a leg to ship it, and that’ll take away all your savings.  You’re way better off purchasing something online and having it shipped for free to the person.  (Tomorrow’s post is about Amazon Prime, but here’s a preview: you get one month for free when you sign up for Prime. If you sign up for Prime today, you’ll have it until the drop-dead shipping date for Christmas gifts.  Cancel before the month is up.  Free shipping all Christmas season.  Bingo.)

Don’t Buy In-Store What You Could Buy Online
This kind of goes with the last thing, but the last few years there have really been not many items for sale in stores that you can’t buy online for the same discount.  Can you just stay home in your pajamas and get that flat screen TV?

Don’t Settle
Grab the item, but then research it on your phone while you stand in line.  Is that Sonicare a great deal because it’s the worst model they sell?  Is that flat screen TV the best one out there?

Plan Ahead
What do you really need?  Are you buying things for yourself or as Christmas gifts?  I am very guilty of getting caught up in the moment, seeing an amazing deal, and getting it because I feel like I can’t afford not to.  Just because something is $100 off doesn’t mean you’re going to pocket $100…would you have bought that thing at full price?  If so, it’s a great deal.  If not, really think about it.  Tomorrow’s post (up now!) is my list of suggested items you can’t miss on Black Friday, and you can click here to download a printable Black Friday shopping list to make your plan of attack!

Keep Your Receipts
Don’t open the items until you use them, and at the very least, don’t open them until after Cyber Monday.  Wouldn’t you hate to buy that new gadget, use it, and then find out three days later it’s $10 cheaper?  Plus, you can always use the item you bought to swap out for a different color, size, etc. while keeping the same discount.  Target has a pair of shoes I want, but not in my size?  I’ll buy a different size and once they’re re-stocked in a few weeks, I’ll take them back for an even exchange!

Less is More
Remember that you’re not pocketing the savings, and more stuff does not equal a happier Christmas.  There are two ways to have all you want. One is to have all you want, and the other is to want all you have.

Want to see what I suggest you buy on Black Friday?  That post is here!
And click here to download a Printable Black Friday Shopping List!

Happy shopping!  Be safe, be responsible, and have fun!

Don’t forget you can enter the Gift Card Giveaway contest until 5:30am on Black Friday!  Click here for how to enter!