The mere term invokes both feelings of dread, as well as feelings of elation in moms everywhere. Everyone has an opinion on BF, but everyone has an opinion on everything these days! As for this mom, any opportunity to save $$ is a plus. And if you’re like me, you probably don’t sleep much, anyway, so what’s another evening without sleep? Whether this is your first Black Friday or your 15th, I am here to help. These are my time-tested, no-fail tips for shopping Thursday night and Friday morning. And be sure to follow along in real time with the hashtag #JMBBF18 on Twitter and Instagram.
DO download a Black Friday app. My favorite this year has been TGIBlackFriday for the iPhone and Android. It allows you to add an item from any ad on the app to your favorites and you can compare prices from different stores for the same item. I love the its simple-to-use search — it checks sale prices online as well as in stores.
DO review the ads in advance. I cannot stress this enough. Know what you are going to buy and where it is located in the store. Walmart has perfected this in years’ past with downloadable PDF maps of each individual store as well as store maps in the Walmart app, with deal locations clearly marked.
DON’T grab a shopping cart. Shopping carts slow you down. Bring the biggest reusable shopping bag(s) you own. I have a few IKEA bags that are perfect for this. If you are after a big item such as a TV, bring someone with you. That person’s one job is to obtain the TV.
DON’T shop in a group. There is no time for chitchat at Black Friday sales; this is serious business. It is okay (and probably safer) to shop with a buddy, though — especially if they are grabbing a shopping cart to buy the TV. If you are with a friend, both of you change your ringers to that very annoying Alarm sound (on iPhones). It is loud, obvious, and you are guaranteed to hear it over all the commotion.
DON’T bring your husband. He will just try and talk you out of buying things. (Hey, you can always return it or sell it on Facebook Marketplace!)
DON’T forget a blanket! Leave it in your car to hide your purchases. You can conceal them from your husband, your kids… even thieves!
DO be nice. I must say, in all my years of Black Friday shopping, I have never witnessed any rudeness, and I have been everywhere from Walmart on Normandy to Toys ‘R’ Us at the Town Center (RIP). I like to think our Southern manners have something to do with that. And while you’re shopping, go ahead and pick up items for our upcoming December Kindness Calendar such as canned goods to donate to local food bank, socks for the homeless shelter and toys to donate for Toys for Tots!
DO have fun! Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season, arguably every mom’s favorite time of year. And remember, there’s no rule saying you can’t just sit on your couch and do all of your holiday shopping online. If Black Friday isn’t your thing, that’s okay! There are plenty of ways to save money this time of year. First and foremost, be sure to enjoy the season and the people who make it special.
And here’s my craziest tip of all: DON’T leave your house. Shocked?! Well you should be! Retailers have heard the feedback from shoppers and have listened! They know that many, many shoppers do not want to brave the crowds on the busiest shopping day of the year. Many stores like Target are allowing you to shop the best deals from your phone! Target is taking it a step further by allowing their Red Card holders the ability to snag those Black Friday deals a day early on Wednesday. Check it out!
Are you a Black Friday shopper? What are some of your best tips to survive the biggest shopping day of the year?