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Six Tips for Surviving Black Friday

Amaris Silvera, Staff Writer

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 Are you stressing about your Black Friday game plan? Read these six steps to a successful shopping day!

1.  Know what you want before heading out and make a shopping list that plans your shopping schedule.

 If you don’t have any idea what you want, seriously question your purpose in heading out amongst the crowds. Without a plan, it will be tempting to spend money that you don’t necessarily have on items you don’t really need and the experience will be fraught with exhaustion, impulse buying and possibly even guilt. It is a lot better to have a plan in mind, or else you could be using this day more constructively to take a rest or see a movie!

  • If you’re shopping for gifts, write a list of all the people you’re planning on buying gifts for. This way, you can keep track of who receives what.
  • Create an organized method for your shopping to help you to avoid duplicating gifts or missing out on anyone. Decide which person is the recipient of which item.
  • Develop a plan of attack by drawing up a map of places to visit in a particular order. It is good to know what stores you need to hit first, preferably the one with the most important items or gifts on your list. Be sure to clearly mark those stores having sales on only at certain times, along with the time marked clearly.
  • Organize your transportation. Remember that the parking lots will often be congested and parking rage can start early on. Perhaps you can be dropped off and picked up later or you take public transportation.

2 . Bring a shopping buddy!

Having a buddy makes the whole process much easier: one person can stand in line while the other person grabs whatever is on the list. Even better, a buddy can help you stick to your list and your budget, avoiding unnecessary spending. Find someone who can match your shopping pace. Bring a shopping buddy in case of crowds with high numbers to ensure safety.

3.  Avoid parking wars (conflicts over parking spaces).

There is no need to start an argument or a fight with another person because you both want to park right in front of the store. Keep things simple and be prepared to walk some to get to the store. Drive safely in crowded parking lots you might be subject to a liability suit if you hit someone’s car. See the positive side of parking far away––you’re closer to a quick exit.

  • If you do buy something large, ask the store if it has a loading dock you can drive to or if someone from the store can help you. You might even ask them to store the item until the next day, so that you can return and collect it when less people are around.

4.  Find bargains (check online deals and bring your coupons)!

Not only is the budget and list important, but so are the methods you plan to adopt when going in for the bargain. Timing is everything with limited bargains. The earlier, the better, if you have your eye on items that you know will sell out fast.

  • Find your bargains. Collect all newspaper ads, circulars, and coupon packets mentioning Black Friday discounts. Know what is on sale, who is selling it, and during what period those items are on sale – some stores have Black Friday sales going on all day, but others keep them going for only a few hours.
  • Many retailers offer online deals for Black Friday. When you add in gas money and the time you might spend standing in line on Friday morning, online sales are even better. Before you brave the crowds, take a look at your favorite websites — and the stores you’re planning to visit. Many sales will kick in at midnight, so you’ll be able to check no matter how early you’re planning on getting in line at the local big box retailer. For some stores, you can order items online and pay the Black Friday price, then pick them up at your local store.
  • There’s a chance that your discounted item may not ring up as on sale when you actually get up to the cash register. Instead of trying to recall exactly what the sale paper said, pull that ad out and ask the clerk to double check it. You can avoid confusion by carrying your ads with you — and, if you go to a store with a price-matching policy, you may be able to get the same prices that another store is offering. If you’re relying on ads you found online, you might have a harder time getting a deal, though. Some stores won’t even honor the prices listed on their own websites. Printing off the ad can help you convince a clerk, but it’s not guaranteed.

5.  Make sure to stay hydrated and maintain sustenance.

Rushing around all the time will wear out even the most persistent shopper. As well as ensuring you’re eating properly during the day out, be sure to factor in some breaks for a breather and to regain strength. Plan meals and snacks into your shopping expedition. It can be too easy to forget food amid the rush for bargains but not eating for energy will leave you feeling tired and irritable, and more liable to blowing up at your fellow customers as they snatch the last limited bargain from under your nose.

  • Visit your favorite food spots to fill up on water, juices, and healthy snacks such as sandwiches and rolls, steamed vegetables and roasted meats. Given that this is the day after Thanksgiving, go easy on the fast foods and try to avoid them if you can.
  • Fatty and sugary foods will cause you to feel a temporary high and then a big crash, which will spoil your shopping experience.

6. Eat a healthy hearty breakfast.

  • Take along energy bars.
  • Stop for lunch if you’re still around at lunch. Do not deprive yourself of nutritious foods; you need them to keep you calm, centered and thoughtful.
  • Breakfast contains both carbohydrates and protein to give you longer lasting energy.
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Six Tips for Surviving Black Friday