How To Prepare For Black Friday

I never used to participate in Black Friday, and honestly had a bit of attitude about it.  I think my bad attitude came from extreme images that were shown in the media of pushing, greedy people.  I wanted nothing to do with it.

Then, my daughter became a teenager, and asked if we could participate in Black Friday shopping.  She is my saver girl, who is very thrifty with her money and loves a good deal.  She could not imagine passing up some of the deals she saw advertised, and I could not resist the question and excitement in her eyes. I said “yes.”

I braced myself for an absolute disaster, but instead, was pleasantly surprised by the fun of Black Friday Shopping!

We started out around one in the morning, which quite honestly made it fun.  Just my girl and I, sneaking around in the dark while the rest of the house slept.  We bundled up, as it was freezing outside and we knew we would be standing in lines that could run out the door.  That is exactly where we found ourselves 15 minutes later.  We were so bundled up that no one would recognize us, standing in a line that circled the huge building of one of out favorite stores.

The atmosphere surprised me.  There was a festive excitement in the air.  People had their lists, and were checking them twice.  They also had their ads, starred and circled with wishes.  I saw couples, mothers & daughters, groups of sisters and sister-in-laws.  I saw family.  I saw relationships.  I saw people working together to find deals for their loved ones, doing their best to stay under budget but still get gifts of great value for those they loved.

Even the workers had amazing attitudes.  A couple of them expressed that they were thankful for the overtime hours and paid time -and- a- half.  This, too, surprised me.

My girl and I had much fun, and thought it was hilarious to be inside of a shopping mall at 3:00 a.m.  It was an adventure, and boy- oh- boy did we get some fun deals.  My little ones’ stocking was filled with earrings that were only a buck, but should have been 10 times that price.  We still use the fire pit I grabbed at 1/4 of the normal price–a pit that I had been eyeing for over 2 years.  We stocked up on school supplies. I was ecstatic!

We did learn somethings being the rookies that we were..  We found ourselves at a grocery store looking for snack food, as we were famished halfway through the night.  We also showed up with a low phone battery, which was a bummer when looking up what stores were open at what time and taking fun pictures of our adventures.

I will prepare a bit better this year, but my style of Black Friday shopping will still be pretty laid back.

Here are a few of my own tips for those who also approach Black Friday shopping in a more relaxed way:

Laid Back Black Friday Shopping Tips:

1. Enjoy looking through the ads with family during after-turkey chill time.

My sister is known for getting out the ads and getting all her nieces and nephews excited to show her what they might like for Christmas.  It gives her some direction to what will delight them on Christmas morning.  Now we all get involved and it is a fun, great start to preparing for Black Friday shopping.

2. Bundle up.

There is nothing worse than standing in line in the freezing cold without the right winter gear.  If you live someplace chilly, bundle up!

3. Have a plan to fill your belly.

You WILL get hungry.  Yes, even after a big Turkey dinner you will get hungry.  Take some snacks in the car & even a thermos of coffee or hot chocolate!

4. Figure out a plan

Decided which stores are your priority and what deals you want the most.  Start at those stores.  List the times that each store opens & take it from there.

5. Know when to quit.

It is freeing to be more laid back about Black Friday shopping.  Really for me, it is about time with my sisters and daughters.  If we miss out on a deal, oh well.  If we get too tired, then we quit.  If it stops being fun, we quit.

6. Use an app.

I’ve never used an app specifically for Black Friday, but this one looks interesting!

7. Remember Black Friday is not an emergency.

Life is not an emergency, and neither is Black Friday shopping. Slow down. Don’t be frantic and join the frenzy.  Avoid being one of those grabby people. Be polite to the workers.Be present in the moments. Enjoy your shopping mates. Use team-work. Shrug it off if the shopping time does not go perfectly. Remember what truly matters, and it is NOT material things.

8. Know that there is always online Black Friday shopping.

I know I will take advantage of online shopping deals.  There are already a ton of deals happening right now!  Knowing you can get online when you get home and grab up some deals makes physically shopping much more enjoyable and relaxed.

9. Charge Your Phone Before You Go!

I learned the hard way.  You will want a charged phone, to do fun things like Elfing Yourself!?!

Hard Core Black Friday Shopping Tips:

Are you more hard-core about your Black Friday shopping?  Then the Office Depot/Office Max Infographic below is for you & has amazing tips to keep you on track and make the most of your shopping time.  I hear Office Depot/Office Max is having incredible deals this year, with their lowest prices ever. Looking for a great deal on a new computer?  How about just the keyboard?  A desk chair?  There are tons of good deals that you can preview  here at their deal center.


{My siblings & I a couple years ago}

Every time I think of Office Max/Office Depot, I can’t help but think of their fun Elf Yourself app. I have 4 siblings–3 sisters and one brother.  A couple of years ago my sister used the app and made all 5 of us into dancing Elfs, then sent the results to each of us.  I laughed so hard! My brother lives far away in Montana, so it was fun to see us all dancing as elfs together–it gave me a feeling of being close and together even though we were miles away! Who knew a silly little app could do that?

Elf Tod & Amy


ElfColsie  {This years ElfYourself app is awesome. For our family video, see my Instagram feed at Amy_NewNostalgia}

Have you used the app?  It is super easy to use and so funny to put your face and the face of your loved ones on dancing elfs!  This would be a great way to pass the time of standing in lines during Black Friday. Elf yourself, elf your dog, elf your boss, & elf your grumpy Uncle Fred.   Here is the link of the Elf Yourself App for your smart phone.

Happy Shopping!

Office Depot - Black Friday Preparation

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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