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How to Shop: Black Friday

The day of pressing your nose against a store window chanting, “Open, open, open,” is almost here. Black Friday. It’s THE day to hit hot sales, shop ’til you drop, and save some cash.

For shopaholics like me, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. But for those who hate shopping, it’s a pain in the ass. It doesn’t have to be. If you’re armed with a list, a plan, and a whole lot of patience, Black Friday can be a fun day of bargains and accomplishments. Think about it. If you can can get most of your holiday shopping done in one day, that leaves the rest of the season for you to sit back, relax, and enjoy.

So whether you’re dreading Black Friday or not, follow these nifty tips on how to shop Black Friday, and you’re bound to have a great day of shopping.

  1. First thing first, make a detailed  shopping list. Write down the names of every single gift recipient. Then next to their names, write down your gift ideas per person. If possible, come up with multiple gift options for each individual. Also, write down everyone’s sizes, especially if your plan is to purchase apparel and/or shoes for these people. In the end, your list should look something like this:Gift-List-1a
  2. Now, set a budget. Go back to your shopping list and write down how much you’re willing to spend on each gift. Now, your shopping list looks like this:Gift-List-2a
  3. Go to BlackFriday.com and find your deals. This website is the BEST resource for finding all the Black Friday deals in one hot spot! Once you become dependent on BlackFriday.com, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it. As of the date this blog post was written, not all the Black Friday ads had been released and submitted to BlackFriday.com. So, we’ll just have to imagine what my new list could look like. I must reiterate, the sales below in the image are for example only.Gift-List-3a
  4. This is your plan. According my list, it looks like most of my Black Friday will be spent at Dillard’s. Other than that, I only need to make one additional stop at a toy store. And one of my shopping items can be purchased online.  Now that my Black Friday shopping is planned out, how could I not have a good day of shopping?
  5. Save some money for Small Business Saturday. Don’t do all of your holiday shopping on Black Friday, please. Save some of that cash to support your locally owned small businesses. They need your support, and our community overall is better for the existence of mom-and-pop shops.

Making a list, setting a budget, and allowing this to be your plan of attack is the most responsible way one can shop. And shopping responsibly is the only way to ensure that you have a good shopping experience on Black Friday.

But, what about all those deals on televisions, gaming consoles, and smartphones that drive people crazy? How do you get a piece of that action?

Again, depend on BlackFriday.com to keep you updated on those deals. Expect to shop on Thanksgiving Day, not Black Friday, in order to be able to partake in those sales. And expect chaos, disgruntled employees, and possibly violence. If you do nab an off brand tablet for a mere $30, good for you. I hope interrupting your Thanksgiving Day was worth it.

As for the rest of us, let’s opt to shop responsibly and with our dignity intact. We deserve an enjoyable shopping experience to kick off a festive, joyful holiday season. Shop with intention, and you are sure to have more fun.

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