It's that time of the year! Most stores are rallying for the big Thanksgiving weekend sales, better known as Black Friday, Midnight Madness and Cyber Monday. My friends often laugh at the many strategies I employ during the holiday weekend to make sure that all of my holiday shopping is completed by 7am on the day after Thanksgiving. This year will be no different. I have gotten some awesome deals and I want to share some of my strategies with you so that you too can be the fabulous gift giver that you ought to be.
- Midnight Madness Sales- Many stores open at midnight on the day after Thanksgiving for special sales. If you are interested in burning off those Thanksgiving calories by milling around the aisles in the outlet malls, check out this link to see where the local Midnight Madness sales are near you http://couponing.about.com/od/blackfridayshopping/a/blackfridayhrs.htm.
- Black Friday- The trick to emerging a winner at Black Friday sales is to have a plan. First, check out the Black Friday ads for deals that appeal to you. I tend to visit http://www.blackfriday.info/ because it permits me to log in (create an account first, of course) and create a shopping list. based on the sale ads. You can also check http://www.blackfriday2010.com/ for ads. These sites will show you the Black Friday sale ads for many stores. Browse them and identify those items that you want to purchase. The next step is to research the products online. Check reviews to see if it is worth dragging yourself out of bed to stand in the long lines for the deal. Then compare prices for the items that you want to purchase. You can check sites like http://www.pricegrabber.com/ and http://www.buy.com/ to see how much other merchants are charging for the merchandise you are looking to buy, After you decide on what you want to buy and where you want to buy it, plan your shopping strategy. I suggest you go to these sales early. If the store opens at 5am, get there at 3:30am. You'd be surprised how many people will already be there. Do not go to ANY store with an ambitious agenda. Go in and get one or two items and get out! Visit the stores a few days before and get a lay of the land. You will want to have a mental map of the store (Walmart passes out a map to shoppers while they wait in line; Target often passes out reusuable shopping bags with goodies in them) and figure out the fastest way to get to the department where you can find your merchandise. For example, if I am buying something in Walmart's electronics department, I have a tendency to walk through the clothing section (nobody is going to be over there) and then make a hard left towards electronics, passing the shoe section on the way. I usually go with more than one person so that we can split up and grab the merchandise. The first one who gets to a check out line will text us to tell us where they are. We meet them in line and they take all of the merchandise so we can check out together. We are usually done in 20-30 minutes. Totally worth the hassle. You want to apply that strategy at every store you visit. By employing this strategy, I am usually done with my shopping by 7am on the day after Thanksgiving. Remember, the early bird catches the worm. Most stores have early bird specials and limited quantities, so get there early and only go for those things that you really, really want. Keep in mind the stores' opening hours when you plan your strategy. I usually go to Walmart (5am), then Target (in line by 5:30am, opens at 6am), then Old Navy (in line by 6:30am, opens at 7am) and then to A.C. Moore (walk in at 8am after my stop at Starbucks for coffee). When all is said and done, I'm back home and in bed by 9am while the rest of the world is searching through the scraps.
- Cyber Monday - If you hate lines and don't get up early, check out the various online sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving, also known as Cyber Monday. To check out the sales going on at different stores, visit http://www.cybermondaycentral.com/ and http://www.cybermonday.net/ for the sales at your favorite stores.
- Last Word on Holiday Shopping- Sales can be tempting and overwhelming. If you want to continue to be a Discount Diva and avoid buyer's remorse (post-holiday credit card bill blues), write a list and a shopping budget and stick to it.
XOXO- Ms. Diva