What are you more excited about this week - the turkey and cranberry sauce or the Black Friday sales (which, it seems, now start on Thursday, or even Wednesday)?
Each Thanksgiving, for years now, as I spoon through another slice of sweet potato pie or red velvet cake or banana pudding and a cup of coffee, I watch a master get-the-best-deal, Black Friday expert at work. To prepare you for your holiday shopping, I'm going to share some of her tactics (I hope these aren't proprietary and I get kicked off the Christmas list).
- A week before Thanksgiving, call/text/email everyone on your Christmas list and ask them for their wish list, current sizes, favorite color, and mailing address. Act surprised when they (again) are not ready and don't know their children's shoe sizes.
- Collect all the sales papers for every store in a 50-mile radius that might have anything on your shopping list. Add to your pile - coupons, special codes, random gift cards, and spare change.
- Map out the locations of the stores, especially plan for the ones that are in the same shopping center or the mall. Refer to floor plan of the stores to map out shopping strategy.
- Based on hourly sale specials, figure out how many assistants you will need to efficiently and economically navigate the stores.
- Arrange childcare for any children who are too young to push a cart and stand in cashier check-out line alone, they will slow you down and take up cart space.
- Remind hubby, while he is distracted watching the football game and eating banana pudding, that he is on shift as driver and package carrier.
- Remind everyone who is not going with you how sorry they will be when they: have to pay higher prices later, are still shopping the week before Christmas, can't find the stuff on their gift list.
- Debate whether you can stay up for midnight madness shopping and continue through to Black Friday 4 a.m. openings.
- Go to sleep, power shopping requires you to be at peak performance.
If all that is more than you are ready for this year, let me share with you my Black Friday shopping plans.
- While eating another slice of cake and cup of coffee, watch expert-shopper (also known as "sister-in-law") plan shopping.
- Note some sales items in store ads.
- Realize that people are planning on getting in line at 4 a.m. to get sales prices.
- Beg expert-shopper to take your money and do your shopping. Note - she may refuse, be prepared to have to do fill your gift list yourself.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!