Every year my mom, our friend Betsy and I venture out to take on the madness that is Black Friday. We always get a little crazy but have a great time. Here are my tips for survival as a seasoned vet when it comes to Black Friday shopping:
1. Don't take it too seriously. We don't go out with the hopes of getting every great deal advertised. Let's get real, we're not into trampling others for a TV. Some people get pretty intense over saving a couple hundred on some electronics and while we love a good deal as much as the next person- it doesn't get us down it if doesn't work out. Be able to laugh at the people who view Black Friday like it's life or death. I can guarantee we are having more fun laughing at the crazies foaming at the mouth ready to pounce on an Xbox and snapping secret pics of the Walmart shoppers' white leggings or the bunny pajama pants as they dig through a bin of $2 towels. Oh, and the video we got of a mom with stroller full of kids punching another woman for a Kindle....priceless.
2. Have a mimosa first! We start our shopping at midnight but first we strategize, map out our route and scope the ads over a mimosa. This makes the whole trip a little more fun but be careful not to take it too far. Last year we had a casualty, iPhone in a cup of Yuengling as the doors of Macy's opened. Oops. We are going to have to find a new drink to fuel the madness since FourLoko just isn't what it used to be. Even though it may sound like it, my Black Friday isn't a booze driven free for all but as my mom always said, life is better buzzed.
3. Make a list. This might seem obvious but when you can't remember if that mixer was cheaper at Target or Macy's, you'll thank me. I have a very short list. Store name: 3 best deals I am interested in. It gives you a clear plan of action and keeps you from wandering the store and wasting valuable money saving time.
4. Designate a line- waiter. If there is someone in the group that doesn't need anything specific at a certain store, they get right in line to hold your spot. Once you have what you need you can trade spots with who ever was in line. The people behind you might not be so happy but sorry ladies, rules are there are no rules.
5. Set a budget or a cut off time. It's easy to get delirious on this day. After 8 hours of non-stop shopping, you start looking at things you never even wanted. That Shop Vac at Lowe's....do you really need it? Wait- is $200 for an espresso machine even a good deal? Do you even like espresso? Then you remember as you are in line you already have an espresso machine! Exactly. At this moment in time your judgment is clearly compromised. Stick to your list or budget and GO HOME. When it gets to be 1 in the afternoon and you are stock piling socks and candles in your cart to save a buck, it's time to hit the road you crazy, bargain hunting, sleep deprived woman (or man).
Chances are you will spend way more money than you would if you spaced out your holiday shopping over the months of November and December like a normal person, but hey you got a great deal. Just remember- be able to laugh at this all at the end of the day, your sanity is worth more than the $20 you just saved on a Keurig.
Do you guys have any tips for surviving Black Friday? Oh, and what do you think of stores like Wal-Mart opening at 8pm on Thanksgiving day? I think it's a load of bullshit and I'm not giving into that. I still want to enjoy my Thanksgiving day. Plus I need that time from 8-11pm- I'm usually napping to prep for the night's coming activities. We don't go out until midnight and I will NEVER go a minute before. It's Black FRIDAY, peeps. Not Black Thursday. Have fun!
illustration by Fatim Hana