After all the turkey and pumpkin pie has been eaten, naps have been taken and all the leftovers are properly stored in the fridge, it’s time to switch your frame of mind from food to shopping. We go right from being thankful for what we have to wanting oh so much more. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving (although it begins at midnight), and during this time, you have the opportunity to get amazing deals on everything from TVs and clothes to iPhones and tablets (if you don’t want to battle the crowds, wait until Cyber Monday). Simply hopping in the car unprepared, however, won’t help your chances for taking advantage of as many sales as possible. Here’s how to prepare for Black Friday and navigate the stores like a true champ:
Come up with a list
First things first, you need to know exactly what you’re going to buy once Black Friday rolls around. Despite the amount of ridiculous sales offered on this day, it’s very easy to overspend simply by purchasing things you don’t actually need. Many people have the mindset that because something’s on sale, they should buy it. If you don’t need a TV, why spend the money on one?
Sign up for loyalty programs
Signing yourself up for loyalty programs and email alerts can really end up benefiting you, especially during the holiday season. Many retailers will email members before anyone else, letting you get the first peek at their sales and promotions, and even offering you rewards on the things you buy.
Instead of running from store to store to compare prices, do all of that hard work beforehand. Visit the online sites of retailers to find who has the better deal for what you want to buy. Black Friday deals are typically released early in the week, so you won’t have to wait until the last minute to compare costs.
Take advantage of social media
Next time you’re scrolling through Facebook or Twitter, take a moment to search for your favorite retailers. Oftentimes, they’ll post special holiday deals or coupons on this page. Plus, if you “like” their page, you may receive discounts.
Have a strategy
When sending out your holiday cards, you probably have a certain method that you stand by. Maybe you get all of your family members involved, and someone writes the note inside the card, while another person seals the envelope. It’s important to have a strategy for your Black Friday shopping extravaganza as well. If there’s ever a day where you should be aimlessly wandering around stores, it’s definitely not this one. After you’ve figured out what items you need, create a game plan of exactly which stores to go to and in what order. For instance, if you know the tablets at Best Buy are going to sell out quickly, you should probably head there first.
Your strategy should also be time-sensitive. If the doors to the store open at midnight, you’ll want to get there in advance to beat the long lines and huge crowds.