The first year we were married, I dragged my husband (against his better judgment) out to Black Friday craziness with me. I had seen a few door buster deals in the ads on Thanksgiving Day that I felt were worth the early morning. I was worried that the stress of trying to beat out other shoppers would be too much and the experience would not be fun…but I wanted to try it out and see.
So we got up super early. Like so early that it would have been better had we not gone to bed the night before. We threw on sweats, thick socks, scarves, gloves…whatever we thought would help us survive the line outside. Then we drove in the darkness of the early morning to the store…the first of many stores on our list.
Do you know what happened??
WE HAD A BLAST!!!
We were able to get everything we had planned to get PLUS we completely finished our Christmas shopping. And you know what? The other shoppers that were there were so friendly and polite. All the check out lanes were open and the lines went pretty fast.
We had so much fun that we decided to do it again the next year. And the year after that. And the year after that. Once kids came into the picture, we decided not to bring them along. Each year, we arrange for Grandparents to watch them so we can continue our tradition kid-free.
Sometimes when you find something that you both enjoy doing together it’s worth it to keep it going. Crazy as it is, it’s a tradition that we really look forward to every year. Even on the years when there’s nothing in particular we want to buy, we still go.
This year, we already have our list ready. We’ve started looking at the early Black Friday ads and we’re formulating our plan of attack which usually includes some kind of divide & conquer technique. After all the shopping is done and all the money is spent, we like to go out for a late dinner/early breakfast celebration before heading back home to sleep.
In our years of participating in Black Friday shopping, we have seen some crazy things. But we have never seen fights and violence like we hear happens at some stores. Plus, ALL THE CHECKOUT LANES ARE OPEN!! You guys, what other time have you ever gone to Wal-Mart or Target and seen a sufficient amount of checkout lanes open? I’m telling you that it happens on Black Friday and its amazing!!
I know Black Friday shopping isn’t for everyone. But if you are ready to join the rest of us crazy people out there, here are a few tips I’ve learned throughout the years…
- Make a list of what you’re looking for and at what stores.
- If you’re going to try for one of the door buster deals, look up the store layout online (or visit the store ahead of time) so you have a general idea of where you need to rush to once inside the doors.
- Review the stores hours for Black Friday. Some stores open early and some do not. Other stores may be open but only offer deals at specific times. Plan out your shopping agenda accordingly in order to maximize your time & efficiency.
- Get a shopping buddy. This is important! I don’t think I’d have fun if I didn’t have someone to go with that enjoyed participating.
- Have your phone handy to do some price checking. A lot of retailers offer Black Friday deals online too. For some things, you might be better off ordering online and having it delivered to your house.
- Be nice! It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of trying to get an awesome deal. Saving a lot of money on a big ticket item is a huge motivator! In the end, though, it’s just stuff that you can most likely live without. It’s not worth fighting like children and potentially getting hurt.
- Know that no matter what, you will have to stand in line a lot. There will be lines to get into the store, lines for specific items, lines to checkout, lines to get in & out of the parking lot. That’s what happens on Black Friday so be patient.
Are you a Black Friday fanatic like me? If not, do you have any special (or crazy) traditions with your spouse?
Have fun out there!!