Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Black Friday Shopping Starts Early

Do you get up before the crack of dawn and brave the mayhem with a list in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other? Do you peruse the web in search of rock-bottom prices and send out family members accordingly, or do you simply say 'no' to post-Turkey activities and get some much needed zzzzz's? Yes, we're talking about black friday.

My hubby and I have participated every year in what I refer to as freaky friday. Since I've only lived in the U.S. now for 3 years it was something new to me. In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated in October (on Columbus day), so this crazy post-Thanksgiving event doesn't even exist. However, here's a bit of trivia-Boxing Day (Dec.26th) is the biggest shopping day in Canada. For all of those people whose gift was money in a card-that is the day they wait for!

I do like the idea of getting great deals before Christmas day, but to date the only real deal I got was 2 years ago, it was a Cricut machine and I was the first person in line at Michael's which my hubby thought was nuts. He came along and waited with me in the car for safety reasons since it was dark and the parking lot was empty. It was actually a present from him to me as it was on the top of my list.

One year we headed to BestBuy for a digital camera that had been gone long before we even made it inside the building. Another year we bought a bike from Walmart and as soon as I tested it in their parking lot, squeeky brakes and all, I realized it wasn't the right bike for me. So- nothing overly fruitful.

This year will be a little different and a first for me, I will be working amidst the craziness at Target. (I picked up some seasonal hours for fun and of course a little cash that I can put into my savings account.)Thank God I'm not starting at 4:30am like many of my fellow colleagues! With the state of the economy, I believe this year will have a lot of doorbusters as companies try to capitalize on the day. Ads are also circulating earlier this year.

For all of you who DO have shopping on the horizon click HERE and HERE for 2 great websites dedicated specfically to this event. They have alphabetized lists which provide the black friday ad for each store (once it's available)-many are up already! 

Here are a few basic tips if you are new to this shopping extravaganza:

1. Start very early
2. Wear very comfortable clothes and shoes
3. Bring a friend for safety reasons and so you can help each other with your lists, besides it's no fun to shop alone.
4. Leave your Kids at Home. They may get trampled, you may be shopping for them and besides they'll be exhausted after about an hour.
5. Stay within your Budget. No matter how good a deal is, it's not worth getting in to debt over. What starts as $100 could turn into thousands after months of accumulated interest.

For those of you that didn't know, many stores allow you to shop online the day of, so no need to get dressed and head into the crowds, you can buy what you like from the comfort of your own home.

What is the best deal you've scored on Black Friday? I love to hear about deals and money savings, so leave us a comment!

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