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The Broke Socialite’s Black Friday Survival Kit

Barely past Halloween this year, most major department stores (Macy’s, Dillards, et al) and Big Box retailers (Wal-Mart, Target) have wasted no time with holiday sales commercials. You didn’t notice? You must live under a rock. Some stores have even “leaked” their Black Friday sale items. Remember how you used to wait until Thanksgiving Day? Unprecedented!

The business of Black Friday shopping is serious. Consider these tips if you’ll be heading out:

  • Coffee. Stat. Believe me … if you want the best deals, you’ll need to get up early. You might even need to camp out in a line or two at twilight. Coffee is coffee. Plus … it’ll be a few hours before Starbucks opens.
  • Your budget. Let your bank account be your guide. Spend within your means. There will still be sales after Black Friday; so take this into consideration. Do think about any online or post-holiday sales that you might want to take advantage of. Remember that Cyber Monday are a mere three days away.
  • Sales circulars in a folder. Organization is key. Take a little bit of time on Thanksgiving night mapping out your route and what you’ll purchase at each store.
  • Navigation system. TomTom, OnStar and MapQuest are a few solutions that are helpful when hopping from store to store.
  • An alarm. The name of the game is grabbing what you’ve isolated and moving along to the next spot. Either set your watch or a cell phone.
  • Cell phone charger for your car ... especially if you don’t have a smart phone. You’ll want the flexibility to call back to your command center (read: home) to check on the natives or to ask someone to check a store’s website for you.
  • Shopping bags. It’s best to bring your own sturdy, re-useable bags. Make it Green Friday in this regard.
  • Comfortable shoes. Trust me. This is no time to test your 5-inch heels. You won’t be a happy camper.
  • Dress in layers. If you’ll be standing outside before entering a store and it’s a little chilly, no need to turn into a Popsicle. Also, as the day goes on, you might grow warm and prefer the luxury of removing a coat or blazer.
  • Water. Hydration is key.
  • Snacks. Trail mix, fruit or veggies to nosh before or after lunch. Yes, it will be tempting to wolf down a Cinnabon but is it right? Especially the day after Thanksgiving.
  • A Partner in Crime. Being solo takes the fun out of Black Friday, no? You’ll need someone to increase your odds for those hard-to-snag items!
  • Patience. Enough said.

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