Above all things: Be reasonable!!!! If there are 500 people in line for 3 items, don’t have your heart set on those things!!! In seriousness, like all other things you just need as smart strategy.
1. Do your research! You can already start reviewing Black Friday ads online (I will have links to ads on my blog) and can pour over them on Thanksgiving! Also see what is available online. Some stores don’t do any of the big deals online (like Old Navy) but some (like Best Buy) have a lot online.
2. Make a list of everything you would want that is on sale. Organize it by store and make sure you write down the price.
3. Organize your list by priority and or time frames. A big Black Friday thing that Michaels does every year is a %off coupon for your whole purchase if you are in the store by a set time (this year it is 30%). So while I don’t have a high ticket item from Michaels, I do a a few things and need to be in the store before that time!!!
4. Order what you can online!!! Some things you can order on Thursday and somethings you can order before you go out on Friday.
5. Figure out a relatively reasonable time that you should get started. For example, I usually head out about 6am. It is early enough that I can hit all the deals that are bound by times but just late enough to miss the real die hards/crazies;).
6. Buy everything you might possibly want. The example I always use is jeans. Target and Walmart both usually do a kids’ jean under $10 every year. Walmart may be cheaper but I hit Target first. I will buy 2 sizes for each kid at both stores. I would love to think that the cheaper pairs would work but you never know about cut and each brand sizes different. You can always return the extras next week!!!
7. Have fun & plan breaks! After my first store I always hit Starbucks. Then I meet a friend for lunch every year. She and I don’t shop together but we set a time and meet up. You would be surprised just how empty restaurants are at lunch time.
7. Process everything next week! Get it done and get it out of the way. Wrap the presents, set out the decorations and wash the clothes!
Final note, think about a job your family can do while you are shopping! My husband sets up our fake tree and gets out the Christmas decor boxes. Then I decorate with everyone over the weekend;).