Black Friday Shopping: The How Tos

2007 – 7 months pregnant and in line by 5am!

In America I have 3 favourite days. 3 holidays that I love celebrating and get giddy about:

Christmas, Thanksgiving and Black Friday! Even before they asked me the citizenship questions last year, I felt like telling them how American I was to say that Black Friday has become one of my fave things! I mean what could be better for a confessed frugal shopaholic than getting up at 4am and driving to the stores to stand in line with a bunch of other crazies hunting down bargains??!! In 2007 I had the privilege of showing a couple of Thai friends what all the fuss was about and they were addicted too!! Guess it’s contagious! In 2008 I woke up at 2am REALLY sick and couldn’t go so for the next week I’ll be staying inside the house to avoid the sickies! LOL!

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving so named for the stores that were in the red, going into the black with so many people starting their Christmas shopping. It’s also the time of year that frugal shoppers can score some great deals. Here’s how to get the most out of it:

1) Check the online ads before the newspapers even publish them. You can see most of them here. Then on Thursday grab a paper and while you’re waiting for the bird to cook, scour over them and see what you’re going after. Some of the stores give GREAT coupons on the papers so if you want some goodies, grab a few papers. it may be worth it.

2) Don’t buy unnecessary things! A dear friend of mine always said, “If you wouldn’t purchase it if it wasn’t on sale, it’s not a bargain!” Now I don’t quite agree as sometimes I can make deals work for me, but I’ve learnt that just because it’s cheaper doesn’t mean I should buy 10!

3) Check the coupons you have as some can be used on Black Friday. Sometimes you can get retail store coupons by signing up to their online newsletters or rewards programs. Stocking up on coupons in advance for Black Friday can add to significant savings.

4) Some stores use confusing terms

AR = After Rebate
MIR = Mail In Rebate
For more frugalite terms check this out.

The Game Plan on the day

1)Scour the ads and know what you’re going for. Circle it in the paper and keep that with you.

2) Take a shopping bag with you. There are never enough carts for everyone and you can’t carry it all on your head!!

3) Keep track of the timing. I usually work out where I want to go and then start off at the store that opens first and work my way to others. Special sale promotions like “Doorbusters” & “Early Bird Specials” start as early as 4am & last only a few hours. Get to your desired stores early in the morning or they will run out.

4) Know store policies on returns & gift cards before you buy.

5) Get in and get out of the stores as quick as possible if you’ve got other places to go.

6) Safety first ~ Don’t shop alone if at all possible. Park in well lit areas & be sure to lock your vehicle. Avoid carrying large sums of cash or wearing expensive jewelry. If possible women should leave their purses at home. Be sure to hide anything you may buy when placed in your vehicle so not to be visible.

7) Be sure to wear comfortable clothing & shoes.

Don’t fancy dealing with the hustle bustle? Many stores who participate in Black Friday sales offer the same or similar sales / promotions on their online websites.

So, are you going out shopping this year? Do you have a tradition or hate Black Friday? Drop us a comment and let us know what you’re leaving the house at 3.30am for!


  1. Sam and His Parents (Angie and Brian) says:

    Unfortunately, I will be unable to participate in person for Black Friday this year. I have an 8 month old and don't want to have any crazies around him in his stroller. I want to be safe.

    Have fun everyone. I'll be shopping online in my slippers.

  2. Jamie and Katie says:

    I think I may be crazier than you! My sister-in-law and I meet back at my house after Thanksgiving dinner (around 10:00 p.m.) and head to our area's outlet stores to stand in line for Midnight Madness! The first 500 in line get goody bags w/ coupons and pj's, and one lucky person wins a $500 gift card! But you have to be in your pj's in order to qualify. Then we head to the mall, which opens at 1 a.m. – just to get warm. And we usually end up in the Best Buy line by 2 a.m. with our chairs, hot chocolate, ads, and DVD player! We get a lot of laughs, but we are just having fun!!!

  3. I love shopping on Black Friday. In 2007 I was 8 months pregnant. My best year was 2004, when I was pregnant and due in 2 days! Everyone gave me lots of room that year. It did not help that my friends kept telling everyone that I could go into labor at any moment!

  4. Some stores like Target and Walmart have price matched competitor ads in the past. I try to get everything at one store!

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