It's become a family tradition that each and every year my sister and I travel all across town snatching up deals and raiding the aisles. So I figured that it's only fair that I share some Black Friday survival tips for you who are brave enough to shop in the wee hours of the morning. How is this Red Cross related you may wonder? Well, I personally feel that knowing what to expect on this glorious of days is also another form of...yes, PREPAREDNESS.
Disclaimer: For those of you who aren't fans of the Black Friday rush, have no fear, the Red Cross Holiday Giving Catalog is here. Shop online and give gifts that mean something this holiday season.
Okay, back to Alex's Black Friday Shopping Survival Guide...
Know what you want before heading out. If you don't have any idea of what you want, seriously question your purpose in heading out into the crowds. Without a plan, it will be tempting to spend money you don't necessarily have on items you don't necessarily need and the experience will be fraught with exhaustion, impulse buying, and possibly even guilt. It is a lot better to have a plan in mind, or else you could be using this day more constructively to take a rest or see a movie!
Plan your shopping attack with the precision of a general planning a battle. Not only is the budget and list important, but so are the methods you plan to adopt when going in for the bargain. Timing is everything with limited bargains, so the first thing to keep in mind is hour at which you intend to turn up. The earlier, the better, if you have your eye on items that you know will sell out fast. If you're super keen, you might like to camp out - read How to Camp Out for Black Friday for more details on how to do this.
Take along anything you need to help you. While it's important not to be carrying too much, things you will probably benefit from include: a watch so that you know the time, a cell phone to keep in touch with family members and friends also hitting the shops, and bags to carry your purchases in. Even if the stores provide bags, it is a good idea to bring along your own, stronger bags, especially if you plan on carrying the purchases around for a bit before putting them in the car or elsewhere.
Ensure that you have plenty of sustenance. Plan meals and snacks into your shopping expedition. It can be too easy to forget food amid the rush for bargains but not eating for energy will leave you feeling tired and irritable, and more liable to blowing up at your fellow customers as they snatch the last limited bargain from under your nose.
Plan breaks. Rushing around all the time will wear out even the most ardent shopper. As well as ensuring you're eating properly during the day out, be sure to factor in some breaks for a breather and to regain your sense of humor so that you avoid Black Friday turning into Black Mood Friday!
There you have it, my five tips for a successful shopping day. Now, should you have a rough encounter with a rowdy shopper, or worse, ME, be sure that somoeone in your family knows First Aid by signing up for a class today!