Friday Five – Black Friday Shopping Tips


Ok people….we are one week out from my favorite shopping day of the year!!!! As a seasoned Black Friday shopper, I thought I would share some tips to make your day a success. That is if you think you can hang with the best of the best shoppers, and the crazy lunatics that aren’t fit to be called humans. Hey, everything worth while has a challenge, am I right? I have been Black Friday shopping with my mom every year for the last 20 years. I started as just a young whipper snapper and have learned a few things on the way.

What Best Buy looks like two days before Black Friday. Ha!

1. Have a plan. Plan plan plan people. I can NOT stress this enough. Look through the ads in advance. Figure out what deal is most important to you, and what else that you want from that store. Circle in the ads or fold down pages, make a list…do what you need to do to keep yourself organized. My mom and I carry the ads with us in the car and take each ad into the store so we stay focused. I am a bit ADD in stores and so is my mom. Pretty shiny sparkly things will distract you from your mission.

I want to remind you that we haven’t not yet figured out super powers of how to be at more than once place at a time, so that is why I say pick the one item that will save you serious money, or the store where you can get the most that you need and go there first. Don’t let it be Best Buy. You will never get that 80 inch TV for $100. I promise you. Not unless you plan to camp out 4 days in advance. It just isn’t worth it. Chances are that was a shitty 80 inch anyways with poor quality. I have NEVER stood in line at Target before they opened. We have always gone to Walmart first, got there right before opening, walked in the door and scored every last thing that was on our list, then went to Target afterwards and every year gotten about 70-100% of what we wanted from there.

Also, if you are at Kohl’s, take someone with you. When the line starts to build, one of  you get in line with what you have so far while the other person is the runner and completes the list, bringing things to the person in line as they cant hold anymore. I stack boxed and scoot them with my feet as the moves. You get out a LOT faster. EVERY year the line at Kohl’s wraps the entire way around the store. And every year people are always shocked. Umm….it happens every year people!

2. Think like the retailer. Like I said, I have been doing this for awhile now. Box stores like Target and Walmart map out their “door buster” deals and they are NEVER in the department that they should be in. They usually have the middle aisles cleared out all over the store the day before, and that is where the door busters get dumped. It is not uncommon to find the $2 DVD’s back in front of the baby clothes, the $4 crock pots over near the gardening stuff. Get my point? Never just head to the department where that shit should be. It wont be there. Target is REALLY good at hiding their DVD’s and Blue Rays in where the clothes are in the red cardboard shelve units. So just don’t go in expecting to know where you are going. Be on our toes and keep your eyes peeled! A secret, some of the Walmart employees walk around with maps. Cozy up to one, bat our eye lashes….or if they are female…compliment how amazing they look for it being midnight. They will spill all the secrets.

3. Wear comfy clothes. I am not encouraging you to go out in your pajamas. Lord knows I see enough of that when I am out and about. I am just saying, don’t go all beauty queen. Dress in layers because as cold as it is outside is as HOT as it is in some of these stores. There are thousands  of bodies running around and it gets a little toasty inside. I usually wear a short sleeve shirt and my Northface fleece. And COMFY shoes. You are going to be walking, running, dodging other people. Don’t leave your little piggies exposed in flip flops even if you think the weather is seasonably warm. You might loose your shoe, or a toe in the whole ordeal.

4. Have a sense of humor. You damn well know that these people are going to be crazy. There are going to be angry, ugly people out there acting a fool. There are going to be rude, disgruntled employees pretty quickly when they see heathens tearing the stores apart and bitching because they ran out of the “it” toy or complaining about how long the lines are. It is the busiest shopping day of the year. You are going to have to wait in line. You probably wont get everything you need. If you keep a sense of humor, smile and be friendly with the employees and make friendly chit chat in line, your day will be super fun and much less stressful. My mom and I always make friends every year in line. We are always laughing and cracking jokes, and just having a good old time like we always do. No need to get pissy.

5. Fuel yourself. Starbucks is a must. Several times if you are going to be shopping through the night with no sleep and well into the next afternoon. The mall food courts are always opened, so don’t stick up your nose at having sautéed chicken from the Farmer’s Basket at 4:00 am for your “4th meal.” Ain’t nobody got time for not being properly fueled and energized to keep shopping. My mom and I always have a cooler in the car with water bottles, and some form of snack in there for when we are driving between sites.

Also, as a former retail employee of yesteryear, please please please for the love of God be kind to the people that have to work. They have to put up with a lot of crap and they don’t need your attitude, ok? Also, remember that a lot of stores use this time to take advantage of the shopper. They feed of the fact that other stores are practically giving things away and they know people will be out and about shopping in their store. Not everything is going to be the best deal on Black Friday. Both the retail stores I have worked at when I was younger never really had any deals that were better than what we had any other day. We didn’t need to. People bought that crap up because we had orange stickers on it. Just use your brain when you are purchasing and know your prices.

Remember you are on a shopping mission people!  This is the day to finish your Christmas shopping (or at least start!) Now you go out and conquer and make Nadine proud! Don’t forget to buy something pretty for yourself! You deserve it!

And remember….

the Sowell life

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  • Reply Lauren November 22, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I love this! You and your mom sound like you make Black Friday shopping so much fun! I have done it a few times and had some luck – my local Home Depot provided coffee and donuts in line at 5 a.m. – but I could never do all night and all day. I hope you get some things for yourself or non-blog readers in your life that you can show us after it’s done!

  • Reply Joy November 22, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Okay. seeing as how I am NOT a Black Friday shopper… I have a question. So all these people who camp out for two days at Best Buy and other places… what happens when they have to potty? I mean, if you get out of line, don’t you lose your spot? And if you don’t move how do you hold it for that long? Curious minds want to know. And good luck next Friday. I’ll be sleeping and watching Christmas movies all day long. Ha! Happy Friday and thanks for linking up! Hope y’all have a great weekend, and a blessed Thanksgiving!

  • Reply SMD @ Life According to Steph November 22, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Good advice from a seasoned vet!

  • Reply Helene November 22, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    ahhh this is cray! haha fuel is a must at all times!

  • Reply Rachelle November 22, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Wow, that is the most comprehensive and best-written plan to survive black friday! As a person who has never been shopping on black friday, I am now fully terrified about what goes on! haha I really like that you include “be nice to the employees” at the end – because seriously, I really feel bad for them working!

  • Reply Amanda November 23, 2013 at 12:54 am

    I used to LOVE Black Friday shopping. I did it for years. Then I got older and wiser and decided I’d rather pay regular price than get a TV for free and deal with crazies. 🙂

  • Reply Laurl November 23, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I have been know to cut out the pictures of what I want and clip the to a master list. Then I can work through them lick playing cards and sort by department.

  • Reply Friday Favorites - Life By Nadine Lynn November 27, 2015 at 12:03 am

    […] time out shopping for Black Friday? Check out the tips I shared last […]

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