Black Friday Pointers and Planning

Pete and I are “those” people. The ones who are waiting on Black Friday lines wrapped around the stores. Stalking online ads as soon as they appear. Developing a strategy and plan for the day. Yup, that’s us and we love it! Call us crazy but we save hundreds every year shopping this way.

Right after Thanksgiving our Black Friday extravaganza begins. A lot of prep goes into this and I thought why not share my pointers for effectively planning out your experience. Hope these guidelines help your shopping be as smooth and stress free as possible.

1. Once you wake up, drive to buy a newspaper

As soon as I wake up on Thanksgiving morning, I drive over to Wawa to pick up a newspaper for those Black Friday ads!  I’ve already started my Black Friday planning using this website, but I’m the type of person who likes to have the actual ad in hand to circle items, make lists, and be able to show the employees what I’m looking for.

2. Make an actual paper list

Once I find everything I’m looking for in the ads, I make a list on paper for what we needed in each store, the order we will be visiting the stores, and a general plan for the day. Be sure to build in time to eat and rest!

3. Bring comfort items for time spent waiting in line

Since we’re going to be on line outside for quite some time, I pack a few different items.

First, we pack fold up chairs, like the one shown below, to sit in while waiting in line outdoors. While you’re waiting for a store to actually open, the line is at a standstill. Thus, you can comfortably sit while waiting.


We also keep water bottles in the car to stay hydrated.

Also, for my amusement when waiting on lines, I pack magazines for both of us. Last year when I was waiting in long lines to check out, I brought a book and it was the best idea ever. Having some reading material keeps your mind off the fact that you’re going to be in line for hours.

4. If possible, bring a laptop

Last year I had an interesting realization- most of the same Black Friday deals that are in store are also online. When I got home last year, discouraged that I didn’t get everything I need, I jumped on the computer just out of curiosity. I was shocked to realize I could order the products still needed at the same wonderful Black Friday prices.

Many stores, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target, and Walmart, are available to shop online most of Thanksgiving Day. If I have my laptop, I can do some shopping right from the computer and hopefully eliminate some stores we have to go to.

5. Pack a change of clothes

If you’re like us and are starting your shopping directly from Thanksgiving dinner, it’s definitely a good idea to bring a change of clothes. I wouldn’t want to wear my cute Thanksgiving clothes and heels while scrambling around stores. Plus, with that much shopping and standing in line, I’m packing for comfort.


Jeans, Uggs, a sweatshirt, and a North Face coat will keep me warm outside as well as comfortable the entire time.

6. It is not a day for browsing

I remember last year I was waiting online to buy a camera. The line was CRAZY long so the woman in front of me and I got to talking. She was explaining that she wanted to buy a camera, not even an advertised one, just a camera in general. She had lots of cameras in mind and wanted to just play around with them and check out their features.

The whole time I’m thinking, “Are you kidding me? Are you seeing this line?” It’s not a day for that. It’s a day to get to the front of the line, say “I want this,” pay and get out!

7. Expect madness

Last but not least, be prepared for absolute chaos. If you’re prepared for this, the less chances are that it will be stressful for you.

*I know many people are opposed to Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping. Please remember to give thanks for all you are grateful for. Enjoy your holiday, and your Black Friday!*

How are you spending your Thanksgiving?

Going out for Black Friday? Add in your own pointers in the comment section!


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