Planning for a Stress-Free Black Friday
So I am not a big shopper. At least not in the way my teenage self was… man, could I work a mall. I mean, I was happy dragging my friends (or my mom) around the whole thing and then going out to dinner at Olive Garden. Oh times have changed! First, it takes a heck of a deal to get me to a mall these days, and I usually end up muttering choice words about 5 minutes after entry. And Olive Garden just isn’t my jam anymore. (I don’t really eat bread. Or pasta. Or much cheese. So the menu is challenging.) No disrespect to the OG… I still dream about your alfredo sauce.
Anywho… Back to my shopping metamorphosis. I may not do the mall anymore, but I LOVE a good bargain. I discovered couponing back in our pre-kid days and would spend hours getting my grocery list just right, so my savings equalled or exceeded what I spent. Trust me, I was good. It was not your mom’s sitting-at-the-kitchen-table-cutting-out-coupons type of couponing. I had a file box and a system and a spreadsheet. Well, once our son came along, I found that I had a lot less time to peruse couponing websites in search of a good deal, so I gradually slowed down. And once we did our first Whole30 (and cut out most processed foods), there was little for me to coupon for!
However, I still have Black Friday! Every year, I work with a local Rotary Club to buy presents for a group of children, and I get to do almost ALL of the shopping. So I don’t just get to buy for my son, but for 10-15 MORE kids as well. It is super fun. So I thought I would share how I prepare for that fateful day (which is more like a week now, and I’m ok with it!).
5 Tips for Planning a Stress-Free Black Friday
- Make a list. I’m fortunate that I have a wish list for all of the kids I’m buying for. As for what I need for my friends & family, I also make a list and try my best to stick to it. If I didn’t, I’d end up with six $4 crock-pots and more socks than my son will ever wear. All good deals, but not necessary. Hence, the list.
- Pick your favorite money-saving sites to monitor. There are many of them out there, but I prefer Hip2Save, All Things Target, Thrifty & Thriving and Krazy Coupon Lady. Follow them on Facebook to get notified quickly when really good deals pop up. The best deals on what you need may occur before Black Friday!
- Peruse the Black Friday Ads! They all come out early now, and the above sites will post the ads and highlight the best deals, too. But I’m old school and will get a paper on the Sunday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving so I can look at the paper ads, too. 🙂
- Only leave the house if you HAVE to. I do the vast majority of my Black Friday shopping online (most well before Friday). If I do need to go to a store, I usually wait until after the morning rush, unless it is a doorbuster. I have done Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving evening, and it was really just a crowded scavenger hunt with really long lines. Not too bad, but if I can avoid it by shopping on my laptop in my PJs sipping hot cocoa, I absolutely will.
- If you are going to do the whole multiple-stores-in-person thing, go with a partner! One of you can wait in line while the other gathers the items you’ve come for. Or hold your spot so you can run to the little girl’s (or boy’s) room. Oh, and choose someone who makes you laugh, too. It’ll make the whole event more fun!
What are your tips for making the most of Black Friday?
Are you part of the Forts & Spoons crew on FB? Click here to and “like” to join us! When I find really good deals, I tend to share them there, too.