The Countdown has begun....

November 11, 2013
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It is coming... No matter what you do, you cannot avoid the craziness of Black Friday.  We are now about 2 weeks away from one of the best or worst, (depending on your opinion!) shopping days of the year.  We know that you have all heard horror stories of "shoppers gone wild," but for those of you who are willing to brave the craziness, you can put a large dent in your shopping list with a smaller dent in your wallet.  Here are the do's and don'ts to have a stress-free (maybe), successful Black Friday.

  • DON'T buy something just because it is cheap
    • Stores hope that you will go crazy with their sales and purchase things because they are a great deal - but if you didn't need them, it is still money wasted.
  • DON'T go alone
    • Many stores are open in the middle of the night, so for safety reasons it is always good to go with someone else.  But having multiply people can also help you divide and conquer at stores. The more space you can cover, the more deals you can snag!
  • DO Price Match
    • This can be one of your greatest tools for Black Friday!  Many stores will price match Black Friday sales, so you can get more deals without going to so many stores.  You will need to have the ads with you and make sure you read ALL the fine print in a stores price matching policy.
  • DO look at all the ads
    • If you can get your hands on all the ads, you will be able to know where you need to go to bet the best deal.  There are many websites (including that publish Black Friday ads online.  Know what is on sale and where you want to go.
  • DON'T assume the Black Friday price is the best
    • Many prices look tempting in the ads, but with a little research you may discover it isn't really the bargain it seems to be.  There are also many things, including toys, Christmas decorations, Non-Bundled game systems, and winter clothes, that may actually go on a better sale closer to Christmas.
  • DO check times on sale items
    • Some items go on sale on different days of the Black Friday weekend, or even different times throughout the night.  You don't want to show up to a store and wait in line only to find out the item you want is not on sale for a few more hours, or that the sale has already ended.  This will most certainly cause your Black Friday to be stressFUL and not stressFREE.
  • DO shop online
    • Many in-store deals are also available online, sometimes at better prices!  If you are afraid of braving the elements in the middle of the night to get that must-have item, shopping online might be just for you!  Some of you may have heard of Cyber Monday - but the online Black Friday deals are still the best.  Many websites also have free shipping and additional coupons you can find with a quick online search.

And finally...

  • DO make a plan
    • This is the most important step of having a successful Black Friday.  Look through all the ads and figure out what is on your "must have" list.  Pay attention to sale times, coupon times, store opening times and location.  Then come up with a plan.  Remember that many items have limited stock available, so if there is an item that you have your heart set on, you might need to make that your first stop!

To help you with your planning, here are the times some of your favorite stores are opening...

  • JCPenney - 8:00 pm Thursday
  • Kohls - 8:00 pm Thursday
  • Target - 8:00 pm Thursday
  • Walmart - 8:00 pm Thursday
  • Toys R Us - 9:00 pm Thursday
  • Best Buy - 12:00 am Friday
  • Old Navy - 12:00 am Friday
  • Sears - 4:00 am Friday
  • K-Mart - 5:00 am Friday
  • Radio Shack - 5:30 am Friday
  • JoAnn Fabrics - 6:00 am Friday
  • Menards - 6:00 am Friday

Happy and Safe shopping!