Bargain hunters, get ready

By Linda Miller Modified: November 24, 2008 at 5:34 am •  Published: November 24, 2008
Advertisement
;

photo - Cynthia (Sindi) Card, who considers herself to be a frugal shopper, checks her list while purchasing a bunch of cards  at a local shop in S. Portland, Maine, on Tuesday, November 18, 2008. Card says she tries to get her entire selection of cards, which includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, siblings and cousin's birthdays, get well, and an assortment of others, during one shopping spree. Card carries the list with her so as not to forget anyone or any occasion.(AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach) ORG XMIT: MEPW205
Cynthia (Sindi) Card, who considers herself to be a frugal shopper, checks her list while purchasing a bunch of cards at a local shop in S. Portland, Maine, on Tuesday, November 18, 2008. Card says she tries to get her entire selection of cards, which includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, siblings and cousin's birthdays, get well, and an assortment of others, during one shopping spree. Card carries the list with her so as not to forget anyone or any occasion.(AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach) ORG XMIT: MEPW205
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.