I have a confession to make: I never went black Friday shopping until I was 20. In fact, I didn’t even know what Black Friday was until my boyfriend explained it to me hours before going. I’m not sure how I managed to not know what Black Friday is for my entire young adult life (I’m sure my mom had something to do with this), but it’s possible I’m just that oblivious. Since that time, I’ve gone out on many a Black Friday, usually as an afterthought, but sometimes for a giveaway or for a few gifts and I’ve learned a bit about what I like to call Black Friday strategy which brings me to today’s post topic. If you plan on venturing out on Black Friday (the day or the weekend – both are insane), then you’ll want to read on for my tried and true tips for how to survive the craziness!
Black Friday Survival Guide
Outline A Game Plan.
When it comes to any kind of crazy shopping events, you’ll want to have a plan if you hope to get anything done. Make a budget, make a list of all the items (or kinds of items) you are looking to pick up. Write down exact prices (or price range). Then, categorize all the items by whichever stores you plan to go to. For instance, if you want to purchase a coffee maker at Target, give Target it’s own column and put the items you’re looking to buy under that with their prices. Add the prices of all the items up to make sure you stay within budget. I recommend you take cash only and leave your cards at home to avoid over-spending, but that’s your call to make. I also recommend that you number the stores you want to visit from 1 to whatever, 1 being the first place you go and so on. For instance, I know that Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart are, by far, the most insane places to go on Black Friday so if you want to go those places first (or last), make a note of that on your paper. Or, you know, don’t go to those places until next week. Whatever.
Do NOT Go Alone.
Seriously, take at least one other person with you. This person is your life line, your wing man, if you will. This person will help you avoid danger, keep you sane and hold you back from punching that obnoxious old lady in the face, and hopefully help you laugh off all the craziness that happens. They’ll hold your coffee while you pay for your goods. On the same note, avoid taking your children as it’s so crowded it’s bound to be too stressful for them and people don’t care if they knock your kid over which, yes, is horrible so I advise you leave them at home with a sitter if you want to go out.
Caffeine Is A Must.
I swear, Black Friday has a way of making me feel instantly exhausted. I’m sure it has something to do with the thousand-mile long lines that accumulate so if you plan on standing in them, make sure you have caffeine on hand! You can go through a Starbucks drive-thru, if you like, but I recommend making your own almond milk latté and then just bringing your own thermos of it with you. It’s easier, the coffee will stay hot in your bag or car and you’ll save on spending to much while you’re out.
Realize that It’s Just Stuff.
Don’t be that guy (or girl) that loses their mind over not getting what they want. You have to realize that, at the end of the day, it’s all just stuff you don’t really need. Sure, you could get some good deals on gifts or a TV, but really, there will be other deals. It’s not the end of the world and certainly not worth stabbing someone (or getting stabbed) over. If you happen to live in another country and you’re reading this, yes that sometimes happens, but it’s pretty rare (unless you live in the hood). If, like me, you live / lived in the ghetto, avoid Wal-Mart at all costs. You don’t need a toaster that badly.
Laugh About It.
Take a moment to observe how insane it all is. Check out the crazies running for something as ridiculous as a printer and enjoy the moment. Laugh with your friends about the stupid crowds or the insane moms who showed up to brawl over the latest LE barbie. I promise this event is not worth being stressed out, strung out, or pissed off over.
Quick Black Friday Shopping Tips
- Establish A Budget.
- Make A List of Items You Want, complete with prices and where to find them.
- Plan Ahead.
- Stick to Your Budget!
- Go with Friends.
- Enjoy Warm Beverages.
- Stay Warm.
- If All Else Fails, Avoid the Lines by Shopping Online!