As soon as the Thanksgiving meal is woofed down, stores across the country will be opening at the crack of dawn, offering the big deals of the season. We keep hearing that the economy is in the toilet, so I wonder if Black Friday will be a big damn deal this year or not. How many of you are planning to brave the crowds to get some shopping done tomorrow? I've done it in the past, but I have no interest in losing a minute of my much needed beauty sleep to stand in line with thousands of people to buy stuff I probably don't need. Besides, I am about 75% done with my holiday shopping, and getting up early to buy half price socks doesn't excite me much.
Now, for all of you who are planning a Black Friday shopping extravaganza, here are some tips to make your shopping experience more successful:
- Get plenty of rest. All that tryptophan and alcohol you consume on Thanksgiving may make you sleepy. If you're planning on getting up super early to shop, adjust your bedtime so you get as many hours of good, solid rest as possible. You might also want to lighten up on how much you're eating today. No one wants to shop with a food hangover!
- Dress comfortably. I always find malls and shops a bit over heated, so I often leave my coat in my car and dress in layers. Comfortable shoes are a must! If you need to try anything on (not that you'd be buying a gift for yourself tomorrow!) try to limit the amount of makeup you have on--no one wants to buy clothes marked up with other people's lipstick or foundation!
- Leave your purse at home. Yikes! I know how hard this one is, but when you're buying tons of stuff and you have to carry a lot of bags, the last thing you need is to lug around a purse full of junk as well. Try to limit yourself to the essentials: your credit card(s), ID, cash, keys, and maybe a lip gloss. If you're smart, you can fit all this in your pockets, making the purse unnecessary. Remember: Black Friday is about deal hunting, not looking beautiful.
- Plan your attack. Make a list before you leave with all the gifts you need to buy, how much you want to spend, and what stores you want to go to. Doing so will keep you focused, keep you from overspending, and will make sure you don't forget someone. Plus, you can skip stores you don't need to go to to avoid mindless buying.
- Be careful. Make sure you know where all your stuff is and be sure to keep receipts. Also, stash your purchases in the trunk of your car so they are not visible to any annoying car prowlers. Don't leave stuff scattered all over your car--you'll just be inviting someone to rip you off, and there's nothing fun about that. One more thing: keep your receipts with you at all times. If someone breaks into your car and steals your stuff, you might need those receipts to deal with insurance, the police, and your creditors.
- Be nice and have a little patience. Before you start screaming about a line or start to vent on a salesperson, stop and breath. A little kindness goes a long way--think of it as good karma. Besides, Santa is watching after all and you don't want to be on the Naughty List.