Black Friday has become the official start day for the holiday shopping season. Yes, there are some folks who finish all their Christmas shopping in August but they would be missing out. Black Friday is when the deals happen. Retailers understand this and have pushed out the boundaries of Black Friday to start having those sales start on Thanksgiving. There are also some folks who like to pack up their Thanksgiving leftovers and camp out on the sidewalk so they can be first in line when the store opens on Friday. You don’t have to put yourself out like that. Instead, with a little planning you could get the most out of Black Friday and take care of a lot of your holiday shopping.

Here are the Black Friday shopping tips that you want to put into action:

Sign Up for Email Alerts

Every store that you’ll be shopping on for Black Friday have already locked down their promotions and prices. They are also happy to “leak” that information to pull in the crowds. That is why you want to sign up for email alerts from the stores you plan to target. This will help you pull your shopping list together.

Prioritize Your Shopping List

Speaking of that shopping list, you need to prioritize your potential purchases. That list should be divided by the store and the item. Within each store, you might have items that would be “must have.” Those should be your big focus. Once they are in your cart, then you can move onto the other items. It will also help to have a backup plan. If you can’t score that deal on the item or they run out, what can you get instead?

Have a Shopping Buddy

It helps to bring a shopping buddy for a Black Friday sale. That is especially true if the store that you’re going to will have a lot of items on your list. Your shopping buddy might be going for the same things. That way you can split the list and cover more of the store.

Don’t Bring the Kids

Black Friday is all about navigating through the crowds. That will already be a challenge with your own cart. If you add you kids into that scenario, then you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. It is much better to get a sitter for the kids so you can focus on the task at hand without worrying where the kids have wandered off to.

Price Check in the Store

Most of the big stores will suspend their price matching policies on Black Friday. You can call in advance to confirm that. However, just because they aren’t going to match prices doesn’t mean you can’t get a better deal. Everything that you’re buying in a store should be checked for online. There are a lot of apps you can download that allows you to scan a barcode and then tell you instantly if that item is being sold for a better price. It might be that you can find the same item online. Just don’t wait until cyber Monday. If you see a deal online and the item is in stock, then snag it.

Shop on Wednesday

Armed with your email alerts and Black Friday flyers, you could head out to the stores on Wednesday for some pre-shopping. You could find that some of the things you want are already out and on sale. Shopping on Wednesday can also help you locate the areas where the Black Friday items will be stocked so you can go right to those “zones.”

Forget the Doorbuster Deals

A lot of retailer will offer so-called doorbuster deals. These are the really big specials on anything from coffee makers to laptops. These deals are also what cause the most scuffles in the store. You don’t need to put yourself into that scrum. Again, compare the price online. You’re sure to find what you’re looking for at the same price.

Go Early and Stay Late

Even if you avoid the rush at the store opening, you should still plan to get there early. You should also consider shopping later. That might mean making two trips but many stores will put out late shopper deals. Just ask!
Finally, if you’re going to shop at Target on Black Friday, then be sure to avoid wearing a red shirt. You will be mistaken for an employee for sure!