Start planning now. Do not wait until you’re stuffed with turkey and bleary-eyed from family togetherness to think about all the after-Thanksgiving sales that start a few hours after you’ve had your second piece of pumpkin pie. (Remember, JC Penney opens at 4 a.m.)
Black Friday shopping isn’t for the meek, the weak or the unprepared. To earn your black belt, follow this seven-step plan. Make a list and check it twice. Write down everyone on your shopping list and include gift ideas and clothing sizes. It’s easy to load up on impulse buys, but that half-price Hannah Montana Malibu Beach House isn’t a good deal if everyone on your gift list is older than 9. Check the ads. Thursday’s newspaper will be a heavyweight. As you read the sale ads and circulars, make notes of what you’re interested in, prices, stores, opening hours and special discounts. Then, narrow it all down into a list of stores with the best savings for the items you want. Do your research. Before Friday, familiarize yourself with the layout of a few stores you think you’ll be shopping. If you’re hoping to score a new television and that department is in the northeast corner on the ground floor, don’t go in the store’s upstairs entrance.