It's my time of year. Fall. Pumpkin Spice lattes, changing leaves and the most important thing. BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING.
A few years ago my girlfriend convinced me that it was totally worth the lack of sleep to go shopping in the middle of the night after Thanksgiving. Something I vowed I wouldn't catch myself doing but I caved and decided to tag along with her. I couldn't believe the amount of stuff I ended up buying, but I was done with all of my shopping in that one day. Which was very nice.
Since that year a lot has changed with the way that I Black Friday Shop. Stores have made us as Black Friday Shoppers change the way we shop. The first thing they've done is change the store opening hours. When we used to shop at around 4am the times have now been moved to midnight and in some cases like Toys'r'Us and Walmart now open at 10pm on Thanksgiving. You now have to do twice as much research to make sure you are at the best store for what you need to get.
This also starts cutting into your family time because if your store is opening at 10pm that means you need to get into line at least 2 hours earlier. Making your evening start around 8pm. Good thing my family likes to have Thanksgiving dinner early. I see myself eating turkey and then taking a power nap while my husband drives home so I am not running for 24 hours while pregnant. I might fall asleep in the line and people just step over me…lol.
I've been tracking the ads as they are released to see what good deals are being offered this year. I've been disappointed so far with the toy selection this year. If it doesn't have a million pieces or there are no educational benefits to it I don't want to waste my money. I was thinking that the hot items out right now would be in the sales, so far they aren't showing. My thoughts were Tablet PCs and the K-Cup coffee brewers would be on the hot list. But it's the usual TVs, Laptops and Bath Towels that I've seen every year still dominating the market.
Regardless, you can't beat the sales on Black Friday even if it is just for a $1.98 bath towel and a $5 DVD. They make great easy gifts that won't break the bank.
I highly suggest checking out BFAds.net. You can register with the site and create lists from the sale ads that are categorized. You can print them out and have an easy way to keep track of what you are looking for. You'll also get email alerts of the Black Friday sales and they also post about Better Than Black Friday sales which more and more companies are doing as well.
Which brings me to my next point. Toy Coupons. You can save a ton of money if you shop smart but taking Ads from other stores with you everywhere. Walmart is holding the Christmas Guarantee claiming that if you find it cheaper somewhere else they will refund the difference on a gift card for you. If you also have a coupon for an item at Target I highly suggest keeping your sales ads and using their Price Matching. You can match the sales price and then use a coupon, then if you have a Target Red card you save the additional 5% off. I was able to get the best toys last year from Toy Coupons. Check your favorite Toy brands websites too. Leap Frog always has great coupons around this time.
Check out some of the great deals I got last year. Some call me the Black Friday Queen. Let's see if I can make this year work and then you can call me the queen.