As much as we love Thanksgiving and all of the deliciousness that accompanies it, the day after the holiday is just (it not more!) as thrilling to millions of us across the map. Why? Because as we wake up stuffed and happy the morning after the Thursday Feast, we know there are gazillions of Black Friday deals waiting for us to scoop them up. A new HDTV for 40% off? That Keurig Coffee Maker marked down to $99? That FitBit Wristband for just $69?  Oh consumerism is alive and well and pushing us to set our Friday morning alarm clocks for 2 a.m.—and we can’t wait!

In between all of our excitement and enthusiasm though, it’s important to prepare. Because storming into a Black Friday sale without preparation is like driving through a Tahoe winter without chains—you just don’t do it. How do you plan for the biggest shopping day of the year, you ask? Follow our guidelines below and you’ll definitely be on your way to bargain success.

1. Narrow Down Exactly What You Want.

Black Friday sales are definitely not the setting for a browsing excursion. Check the stores’ websites and advertisements to see exactly what they’re offering—then choose a few options (in case one is sold out).

2. Get Acquainted with the Store.

Go to your Black Friday store before the big day so you can see the lay of the land. It may sound silly to scope out the store early, but when you see the enormous crowds, you’ll be happy you did. Make sure to find out exactly where your most-wanted products are and then map out the quickest route to the checkout aisle. In and out—that’s what you’re going for.

3. Have Supplies Secure and Ready

First off, a cross-body bag is your best friend in a crowded shopping scenario. You won’t have to worry about putting your purse down and having a theft situation to deal with (physically or by digital pickpocketing apps). Aside from that precaution, you’ll also want to make sure you have your wallet, cell phone, water and even a snack (those lines can be long, my friends).

4. Leave the Kids at Home

Black Friday sales can be downright treacherous with the crowds, the short tempers (from those who are unprepared, that is!) and the long lines—so do yourself a favor and let your children stay home while you buy out the sale.

5. Make a Transportation Plan

Parking very well may be one of the most horrendous aspects of Black Friday, so make a plan to either get to the store extremely early or have a partner drop you off and pick you up after the sale.

6. Keep Your Eye on Your Basket or Cart

When you’re in the heat of bargain shopping, it’s easy to get distracted and leave your basket for a moment or two. But in that short time, some unscrupulous character could raid your shopping cart and leave you bargain-less. Yes, Black Friday doesn’t always bring out the best in people—so hold on to your basket and keep your eye on the prize (aka: the checkout line).

7. Remember Manners, Even If No One Else Does

People tend to bump, argue and forget their “pleases and thank yous” when in the midst of a holiday sale. But you can be different. A smile, a thank you to the harried workers and an “excuse me” if you happen to bump carts can remind people that the Thanksgiving spirit hasn’t dimmed yet.

 

Are you feeling 100% ready to make this your best Black Friday yet? Let us know if you’ll be taking part in this grand American tradition!