Shopping strategies to save time and money on Black Friday

TAMPA, Fla. -- Black Friday can be stressful and overwhelming as you try to find good deals. A local super-mom, and writer for Tampa Bay Mom's Blog, Diana Anioce-Andre, says the worst thing you can do is get into the car on the big day without a plan.

"To get the deals that you’re looking for, you eat earlier," said Anioce-Andre.

She is so serious about Black Friday, her family eats Thanksgiving dinner twenty-four hours early on Wednesday.

"You’re not so tired from cooking all morning and then having to shop," said Anioce-Andre. "So we are rested and we are ready to conquer this race."

Diana encourages folks who still want to eat on Thursday to make dinner more like an early lunch. That way you can have Thursday to plan and execute your shopping frenzy.

First, make a list of the essential items you need and the stores that have them. This will keep you on a budget and help you avoid impulse buys.

Secondly, don't do Black Friday alone.

"We divide and conquer," said Anioce-Andre. "Depending on what we want, we designate that said person to go stay in this line, to go to this place, or into that place so that you can get the items that you actually want without trying to be everywhere at one time." 

She says buying some things online will help you prioritize the items you need now, keeping you focused. 

Don't forget to write down store hours and don't expect to get a doorbuster if you're not in line at least thirty minutes before they open. If you're running late, there is one last ditch effort to try.

"When you go to the checkout aisle you’ll see a shopping cart full of [return] items," said Anioce-Andre. "It’s not a problem to ask the cashier, hey does this belong to somebody, can I have it? I have found some deals that way."

Most importantly, to make it through the night and day, dress as if you are going to an amusement park. Be prepared for a lot of walking and standing in line for long periods of time. Sneakers are best.

Do not forget to bring a sweater because some stores get cold and also pack plenty of snacks and distractions for the little ones if you are bringing them.

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