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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Holiday Shopping - Black Friday Planning

WOOO HOOO!   Countdown to my second favorite holiday, BLACK FRIDAY!  The chance to find the best deals on anything and everything for everyone on your holiday list (including yourself).  This year I am really excited to share two of my BIGGEST planning tips that help me, the self proclaimed Black Friday nut champ, Pull Together a successful and fun Black Friday. 

Tip 1:  Think of Black Friday as a challenge, a game, a scavenger hunt where you get more points for getting what you want at the lowest possible price as well as bonus points the faster you get it all finished. 

If you think of this Black Friday shopping experience as a game and set goals for yourself as well as give yourself points for a set of criteria (time, price, number of found items) then you won't think of the day as a chore and you will have more fun but you will also keep yourself on track.  Try discussing goals with a few friends or family and challenge yourself to beat them in total cost or time. 

Lets say you are really trying to keep on a tight budget this holiday season, giving yourself points for price as well as time helps you avoid the risk of browsing and buying extra items not on your list. You can't let Suzie the neighbor finish and beat you home to relax in her victorious shopping before you do, that's crazy!  You will find that you didn't spend the extra money on the unnecessary items because you didn't take the time to fall for the store's plan to get you in the door with a big deal and catch you off guard with all the impulse buys. This leads me to my next tip...

Tip 2: This is a three part tip; Plan Plan Plan.  The more you plan out exactly what you are looking to buy, the less stress you have and the better your chance at winning your BF Challenge. 

  1. Plan your budget!
  2. Plan your gift list!
  3. Plan your BF store hit list based on your gift list!

This year I found really helpful and printable.for both a gift budget list and gift idea list.  These free lists helped me match what I want to give to the BF ads allowing me to map out my winning strategy for my Black Friday challenge day.  Real Simple Magazine has fantastic lists for your home and family including these two gift planning lists, so you may want to check out what else they have.  Use these forms to help you Pull Together A Successful Black Friday too! Then,go check out the Black Friday Ad Planning link (bottom of post), and start matching your gift lists to ads for an extremely organized and successful Black Friday!  I wish you all the luck in Pulling Together a fun and victorious shopping experience this year!

Print or access the PDF version by clicking the form title.   

Black Friday Ad Planning
I found a lot of great advice and sources for finding early released or leaked Black Friday ads.  After many many years of personal testing and hands on research (including burying myself in piles of newspapers and cutting out individual ads as I find what I am looking for) I have found the best source this year! 
BFADS.NET not only allows you to get email updates as ads are leaked but it also allows you to search by product category or store.  Once you sign up you can even ad products from the ad to "your list" which you can print, email to yourself or have sent directly to your smart phone for easy access on the big day!  This is the most comprehensive list of companies that I have found and it includes product images as well as everything you could need to search for what you are looking for within the ads.  THIS IS A WINNER FOLKS!! 

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