Any good deal seeking individual is revving up for the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday! Frankly, you don't want to be dealing with the crazy people and the crowds if you are not prepared. I will give you a few steps that will make your Black Friday Shopping the most efficient thing you've ever done... yes, shopping can be efficient.
First and foremost, make a list of everyone you want to get gifts for and try to categorize them by how much money you want to spend. While your mom, dad, brother, sister, boyfriend, etc. might be in the higher up area you definitely don't want to spend the same amount of money on Dad's GPS navi that you do on your Kris Kringle at work.
I pride myself on being able to do my Christmas shopping for friends and acquaintances for $10-$20 bucks. It takes some serious dedication and lots of creativity but it's totally worth it when your friend opens their gift, loves it, and while they think you spent mad money you spent practically nothing.
Second, you need to check out the Black Friday fliers. Most companies have posted or mailed them so that you have an idea of what their deals are going to be like and what the door buster items are going to be. For those of you who have never been Black Friday shopping understand that while the door-busters are amazingly cheap there are only 8-15 of them in each store. So while you think that you can show up at 5 in the morning and get the $398 laptop/printer combo at Best Buy, you are wrong because 5 is when the doors open not when they start handing out the tickets. I would recommend showing up at 2 and waiting outside because there are going to be lots of people who will be there at that time or perhaps even earlier. Wear lots of layers and bring a chair or a buddy so you can wait in shifts.
After cross referencing the fliers and your list you should have a good idea of where you need to go to get your gifts so you can plot the course that you will be taking when you wake up before the sun rises and know what stores to hit first. Obviously I would do door-buster stores first, then in order of what time they open. If you have specific items in mind it helps to go with a friend or two so you can send them off to help you. I bring my brother because he has no other loyalties or people to buy gifts for.
Now on to items that I think are worth heading out for, I'll try to group them by store.
- Old Navy: While I'm kind of over their clothes for the most part they are offering a really cool Black Friday deal, a Free Mp3 player with $20 purchase, while supplies last. I'd like to give it to my mom who would think it was cool but never want to spend the money on a Mp3 player. Maybe for you a little sister, brother, or cousin. And for my $20 purchase I would probably get pajamas for my aunt or someone, and maybe something for myself because I have a gift certificate.
- Best Buy: For the techy people in your life, there are tons of computers, computer accessories, camera, gps's and such on sale. But for me and my frugal gift giving I'm probably going to hit up the $4.99 DVD section, it's great if you have an inside joke with friend or whatever and you can find the DVD that exemplifies it, and you still have $15 to spend on other stuff. Of you can get some seasons for $14.99 which is awesome too and that's alot of hours of tv watching. See it can be done.
- Kmart, Target, and Kohl's are on my list also for all the filler bits. You kinds just have to walk around and think hard about who you might be able to give the things you see to but it can be worth it.
- Ann Taylor Loft: For me, They are having 25% off everything until noon, and there is this gorgeous dress that I want for fancy occasions so I might have to stop by and pick it up.
So overall: don't eat too much turkey (tryptophan bad), wake up early, make a list, make a travel plan, and stick with it! Shopping can be efficient and economical... and my boyfriend just had a heart attack somewhere I should call and make sure he's ok.