Beating Holiday Stress: Black Friday
The holidays can be a stressful time of the year for so many people! I get it, the non-stop plans, gift buying, scheduling, time with extended family and everything else that comes with the holiday season... It's a lot.
In an effort to make this year a little less stressful, I'm doing a series dedicated to "Beating Holiday Stress". Because we're now just a couple of days away, let's talk about Black Friday.
Black Friday has the potential to be one of the best things or worst things for your Holiday season, it all depends on how well you plan it. I've been participating in the insanity that is Black Friday shopping for well over 15 years and I LOVE IT. I've found some great deals and saved on my Holiday Gift Shopping. How do I do it? Let's get into it...
What's my Planning Process?
Make a Brainstorm List. I take my gift list and break it out into Black Friday vs. non-Black Friday shopping. From there, I make sure I have a corresponding list of all of the stores I need to hit.
Create a Black Friday Store List. Using my gift list, I create two lists: Black Friday in-store shopping and Black Friday online shopping.
Pre-Shopping. Once I have my list of targeted stores, I peruse the ads and online promotional listings that I can find. This usually gives me additional inspiration and allows me to come up with a more finalized shopping list.
Gather Open Times and Promotional Windows. Once I have my shop list dialed in, I gather the times when stores and promotions will be open and live. This allows me to make sure I'm maximizing the time at each store. For example, if Target opens at 5am and Best Buy at 7am, I hit Target first.
Put the plan into action! Once Black Friday sales start, I make sure I'm ready to go. If I'm going to physical store locations, I like to have a printed and digital copy of my list and any coupons to make sure nothing gets lost.
My Tips + Tricks
Check out last year's sales. Can't find this year's Black Friday promotions? Take a look at what was advertised last year, chances are there will be similar promotions.
Schedule in Buffer. If you think something is going to take an hour, schedule in an extra 15-20 minutes.
Make time to Eat. Make sure you're scheduling in time to grab a snack or take a break. Black Friday can be exhausting. Chances are, restaurants and food places out will be packed, so plan for off-times or bring your own snacks.
Make Copies of your Lists. I like to bring 1-2 printed copies and keep a digital copy on my phone Google Drive and in my photos (in case I lose reception). Make sure it's quick and easy to access.
Buy Online. If it's available online for the same promotion, buy online. Planning ahead will allow you to buy those things quickly when Black Friday comes, so that you can save the bulk of your time for the things you need to buy in-store.
Have fun! Make it a fun shopping trip and enjoy the process.