Black Friday Thoughts & Shopping Tips

Well, just two days to what is reported to be the biggest shopping day of the year.  It certainly is the day where shopping gets more attention than any other day.  I don’t know if there are actually more purchases made on Black Friday than any other day – that would be interesting to know.

I have done the whole “get up ridiculously early” thing two or three times on Black Friday, and I find it very interesting.  It is kind of nice to get nearly all your shopping done in one marathon session, and there are many deals to be found.  However, I’ve never gone out looking for the super deal items that require standing in line in the cold.  That seems like a pretty high level of dedication to purchase some things, usually electronics, that I probably don’t need anyway.

I’m sure many of you will spending tomorrow poring over the newspaper advertisements and making detailed lists.  I’d love to hear what you are shopping for and then if you get any spectacular deals.

There are a few things to keep in mind when organizing your Black Friday shopping:

  • Make a detailed list of each store that you want to shop, their opening hours, the items that interest you, and their address and telephone number.  Bring the advertisements with you, as well.
  • Many stores post their store maps online.  Check their website so you don’t spend unnecessary time searching for the right area for the products you want.
  • Organize your trip to minimize driving back and forth.  It might be worth a slightly longer drive to a neighboring town if that town has all the stores you want in a smaller area.
  • Come prepared with food and drink if it is going to make you nuts to stop for food.  A full belly will help you maintain your patience and cheerfulness.  There isn’t going to be much open at 4 am!
  • Wear comfortable (and warm) clothing and carry just a wallet or a small purse that can be kept close to your body.
  • Leave the kids at home.  If you don’t have someone with whom to leave them, maybe this isn’t your year to go Black Friday shopping.
  • Bring a friend if you can.  You’ll enjoy yourself, and in some stores one of you can get into the check-out line while the other person finds the items.
  • Keep your receipts in an envelope, and carefully review your purchases when you get home.  Make sure you haven’t exceeded your budget and that you got the correct price for each item.
  • Please, keep your perspective.  It is just stuff and none of us need any of it.  If it isn’t fun, go home.  There will be many more deals in the days between now and Christmas, and probably even better deals after Christmas.

Now, plan, shop, and enjoy!

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.