Shop like a pro on Black Friday this holiday season

By Alex Ogden, Contributing Writer

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      With the holiday season just around the corner, it is time to start thinking about the gifts that you’re purchasing for your loved ones. The task of figuring out what to buy for the important people in your life without completely emptying your bank account is extremely overwhelming. Luckily, there is a solution to your shopping frustrations, and that solution is utilizing Black Friday sales. Black Friday is a consumer-based shopping “holiday” that is held on the day after Thanksgiving. On Black Friday, various companies offer enticing deals on a majority of their merchandise. These sales lure thousands of shoppers out of their homes at the wee hours of the night in order to get the best deals. And in order to get your loved ones the gifts that they desire while maintaining a reasonable budget, I would recommend partaking in the glorious chaos that is Black Friday.

     Coming from a large family, my shopping list around the holiday season is usually quite extensive, so I have participated in Black Friday festivities for years now. Overtime, I have accumulated some helpful tips to make your Black Friday experience the most efficient and enjoyable!

     Prep work is crucial for a successful sale hunt on Black Friday. Due to the fact that stores operate on special hours during this day, do your research. I would suggest looking up each store that you would like to visit, and compiling a list of their business hours. By using this list, you can strategically plan what stores you’re going to stop by at specific times. Due to the overwhelming nature of the day, having a structured schedule will work to your benefit. Another aspect of prep work that is essential for success is knowing what you’re going to buy ahead of time. Though it is possible to find a spur of the moment gift while roaming the isles of the store, it is much less of a hassle when you have an idea of what you would like to buy. Resort back to making a list of items that you are searching for. This also gives you the opportunity to compare prices on specific items before purchasing them. Once you have completed the framework for a successful shopping trip, you are now ready to proceed with the holiday festivities.

     After gathering with your family and friends to carve a turkey, dwell in gratitude, and take a much needed nap, it is time to embark on your shopping journey. I would suggest wearing the most comfortable outfit in your closet, and after feasting on a delightful Thanksgiving meal, pants with an elastic waist band. Another suggestion would be to ensure that you are wide awake and well-caffeinated before leaving your house. A tryptophan-induced haze is guaranteed to ruin your shopping success. Now that you are prepped, comfortable and caffeinated, you are ready to endure the Black Friday experience. For optimal fun, I would suggest bringing along as many family members and friends as possible.

     After finishing a rigorous shopping trip full of savings and wild crowds, I would recommend making a pit-stop at a local diner on your way home. I have found that indulging in deliciously greasy breakfast food is the perfect end to a crazy-fun night.

      If all else fails, there are always Cyber-Monday deals online the Monday after Thanksgiving! I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and a successful shopping trip this Black Friday!