Although the Friday after Thanksgiving, known as "Black Friday" can score you some pretty awesome deals, the day can be rather stressful with the crowds. If you are planning on tackling the craziness, I have put together some tips that might help you get through the day.
Plan Ahead: My biggest advice is to make a list ahead of time. Knowing exactly what gifts you are looking for and for whom will save you a lot of grief. That way you are not aimlessly drifting from store to store without a plan.
Plot your Course: Plotting your course ahead of time is a great idea, especially if you are shopping at a big mall that has hundreds of stores. For example, if you are planning to hit the Nike store and it is at the North end of the mall, consider starting there and map out every other store after that in a strategic manner so that you are not zig zagging all over the mall. Same holds true to individual stores in smaller shopping complexes. Plan your trip so that you are not driving back and forth, in which case would be even more stressful with all the traffic.
Check the Sale Ads Beforehand: Many stores will have the biggest deals very early in the day. If your list calls for an item that is on sale only in the morning, hit that store first. Then, stop for coffee and plan your next move. Also, many stores will offer Black Friday deals before the big day.
Consider Shopping Online: Many stores will offer the same deals online as in the stores for Black Friday Deals. One year, I purchased some fleece jackets from Dicks Sporting Goods online and saved myself a crazy trip to the store.
Shop in Pairs and Split the time in half: If you have a big shopping plan, think about splitting up and half go one way and half the other. You can meet up at a specific time for lunch and talk about the great gifts each bought.
Go early when the Stores Open: I don't know about you, but I think half the battle of shopping on Black Friday is the inability to find a parking space. Hit the stores early before the big rush. You can always get a cup of coffee and plan your course once your all parked and ready to go.
I'm a big believer in deals, especially at Christmastime. Take advantage of the sales, but first and foremost educate yourself and the day will go smoother. Do you have any Black Friday shopping tips?