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I like to get my Christmas shopping done EARLY, which is why this post is coming at you the day after Halloween. Now that spooky time is over, I’m ready to really buckle down and get the holiday shopping out of the way so I can enjoy the rest of the season.
Because this girl is a baller on a budget and Black Friday is the holy grail.
I still stand by everything I said last year. Black Friday shopping is not mandatory, but it is helpful if you have a lot of people to shop for and a small budget to work with.
So without further adieu, lets get into my tips to survive this Black Friday.
Discounted Gift Cards
My husband goes crazy over discounted gift cards.
Come to think of it, most of our family goes crazy over discounted gift cards. And why not? Its literally free money.
If you don’t know what I mean by “discounted gift cards,” I’m talking about when stores offer a bonus gift card usually because you purchased the minimum required amount of cards.
Its a pretty simple concept. For example, Sam’s Club offers discounted gift cards all year long. You can purchase a $200 gift card for $150, leaving you $50 off basically free money.
There are two ways you can work this to your advantage. Buy the discounted gift cards for your family as gifts and keep the bonus card. For example, Outback Steakhouse usually offers discounted gift cards around the holidays. You purchase $50 worth of gift cards and get a $10 bonus card. Keep the bonus card for yourself or give the bonus with the gift. Either way, its free money.
The second way you can use this to your advantage, is to purchase the discounted gift cards and keep them for yourself! I love this idea, especially since there are so many idfferent types of gift cards out there now.
Think about it: If you can get a discounted Hulu giftcard and apply it toward your streaming bill, you’re getting a discount on a service you’re already using and paying for!
Have a Game Plan
Grab the weekly ads from your favorite stores, search the sales online, and do your damn research. Know what items you want and where you’ll get them. Not only does this save you time, but it’ll save you money too!
If you have a lot of stores you want to hit, plan out where you’re going first, second, third, and so on. It sounds tedious and annoying, but if you’re going to brave the Black Friday crowds it better be worth it!
The reason I stopped going Black Friday shopping is this right here. Previously, I never planned out where to go and when. I never thought about what I wanted to buy and where I could get the best deal. I never paid attention to sales and the times that certain items would be discounted the most. I would go out into the wild that is the mall on Black Friday and just aimlessly shop like I would any other weekend.
And, guess what? I wouldn’t come back with anything substantial.
The truth is, Black Friday shopping is not the same as your casual weekend shopping. You can’t just mosey from store to store browsing the sales rack while you sip on your Pumpkin Spiced Latte.
You literally have to have a plan of action to make the most out of this experience. Consider store times, sales times, and crowds when planning out your excursion.
Shop With a Friend
Consider what you want to achieve when deciding who to shop with. If you’re out to just mosey around and people watch on Black Friday (been there, done that) then don’t go out with someone who really wants to check some boxes on their holiday shopping list.
And vice versa. If you’ve got an elaborate game plan mapped out and a very specific list of items you want to purchase, don’t chose to shop with the person who thinks Black Friday is pointless. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but now is not the time to try and change someones mind.
You need to shop with someone who has the same goals as you for Black Friday. This is why having and agreeing on a game plan is so important. Grab a few, like-minded people (not too many. You don’t need to try to keep up with the entire PTA while Black Friday shopping) and get to business.
And leave your kids at home. Ain’t nobody got time for that on Black Friday.
Don’t Wear Red to Target
This is a funny tip, but when I was researching for this topic it surprisingly came up time and time again! Apparently, if you wear red to Target on Black Friday people will stop you and ask you for help. Which nobody has time for, especially on Black Friday.
Also, if you decide to shop at Target on Black Friday and are a RedCard member be sure to take advantage of all the extra benefits! You can access Black Friday deals a few days early, which could potentially check Target off the list of stores you need to shop at! I shopped at Target a few years ago on Black Friday and they had a entire register set aside just for RedCard members. I basically skipped like 30 people ahead of me in line!
Wait Until Cyber Monday
This is another point I brought up in last year’s post.
Sometimes, Black Friday shopping just isn’t practical. Maybe you’re out of town in an unfamiliar or remote area and there are no options. Maybe you have a house full of guests you can’t justify leaving for half priced Apple products. Or maybe, you just don’t have the energy to combat all the crazies after your third helping of pumpkin pie.
Whatever your reason is, Cyber Monday shopping is always a good idea.
All the big named stores you’re burning a trail to on Black Friday are going to have some of the same deals all week long and leading up to Cyber Monday. Sometimes, they even have different and better deals online.
The best part? You can shop in your pajamas. Or underwear. Or nothing at all. Whatever floats your goat.
For God Sake, Be Patient
This is a good tip for holiday shopping in general.
Just be patient, y’all.
Be patient with the employees. Chances are, they’ve missed out on some part of their Thanksgiving holiday to be at the store for you. Just be nice to them. Yes, they took the job there and knew what they were getting into, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to be a jerk.
Be patient with other shoppers. Everyone’s anxiety spikes around the holidays. I constantly say this, but you don’t know what someone else is going through. What you might see is someone losing their mind over not getting the last set of discount sheets, but they could be dealing with something much deeper than that.
Live and let live. And if you can’t, just remove yourself from the situation.
And most importantly, be patient with yourself. At the end of the day, its material items that you don’t technically need so why get your feathers ruffled over it? Remember, the holidays aren’t about fancy, expensive presents.
Take these tips with you out there into battle and score the best deals! Or sit at home and watch Christmas movies, because at the end of the day you should enjoy your holidays, not stress over them.