Your Black Friday Survival Guide

It’s a special feeling watching a loved one’s face light up after opening a gift that you picked just for her. And got for 75 percent off. After bear-wrestling another shopper. At least, that’s how I used to imagine it.

As a child, it wasn’t a tradition for my family to go Black Friday shopping. I’d watch wide-eyed, with a little jealousy and wonder, as my neighbors bundled up and piled into their cars to go brave the sales, hunting for deals and treasures. So a few years ago, I spread all the Black Friday catalogs on my living room floor and started to plan. I shopped. I conquered. My friends and family gave me “how did you know” looks on Christmas morning. And I learned a couple tricks in the last few years. You too can maximize your treasure hunting with these easy Black Friday survival tips:

Green Water Bottle

1) Hydrate

If you’re like me, after Thanksgiving dinner you’ve just consumed your weight in sugar and there are A LOT of people out there during Black Friday shopping. It’s going to be warm and you’re going to be pressed together. Drink plenty of water to avoid getting dizzy or just not feeling your best. Also, speaking of those tightly packed aisles, hand sanitizer would have been nice to have. Woman on couch online shopping

2) Don’t forget about online deals

Ditch the crowds if planning like a military general isn’t your thing. Shopping in your PJs is faster, cozier and easier than ever. Many brands host online sales with some of the best prices of the year. Hint: will have one that means you’ll be able to score jeans for the whole family (and some for you too!).

Black Friday App

3)  Planning is key

There’s an app for that. Android and iPhone compatible apps such as TGI Black Friday allow you to view Black Friday ads, make your shopping list and price compare all from your phone. It will even send you notifications when a new ad is posted. This helps you know what you want before you even start shopping. It also saves you time to snag a couple items from the same store, and you’ll feel better about standing in line for half an hour if you’re scoring a couple gifts in one stop. Some stores even stagger their hours so that you can hit certain destinations first.

Three women shopping

4) Grab some friends

Surviving Black Friday is a lot like surviving the zombie apocalypse. The same tips apply — first you’re going to run out of water so you need to hydrate, you need a plan, oh, and a posse. Black Friday shopping can be such a fun bonding experience that creates lasting memories with friends. It’s also logistically helpful. Have a friend target one item on the list while you’re in the opposite side of the store hunting another. There’s power in numbers guys.

Woman Carrying Black Friday Packages

5) Be kind

Inspire others to put the gloves away. Hold the door for someone and smile at other shoppers.  Be polite. It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year when we’re all in the spirit of giving.

Not that saving a lot isn’t a blast too. Don’t forget to check out on Black Friday for some a-mazing deals.

Good luck out there friends.

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