The lure of saving money that Black Friday holds is very appealing, but traipsing out to crowded stores and standing in long checkout lines with young children is not. Here are some tips from our Mom experience. Also check out our budget saving ideas for the holidays at gooseling.com/2013/11/07/money-saving-holidays.
Don’t feel pressured to do the Black Friday shopping thing if you don’t have the energy or where with all to deal with it. This is such a busy time of year yet we want special family time together. Being deluged with Black Friday ads everywhere we turn can be overwhelming if we’re not in the right mindset. Having said that, if you are shopping then:
Make a list of what you’d most like to get deals on including holiday gifts, decorations and clothing you need for your family. Note the things that aren’t best to buy this time of year, that typically are much better deals at other times, such as toys you don’t need for holiday gifts. Check out the tips in this article at http://247wallst.com/special-report/2013/11/18/nine-products-not-to-buy-on-black-friday.
Have a good sense of current prices for items so that you’ll know what the best deals are or if it’s better to wait for after Christmas or January sales. Use price comparison sites, apps and Dr. Google to do some quick research on bigger items. Also check out discount apps such as Target’s Cartwheel app which offers electronic coupons on a variety of products. Amazon’s app allows you to scan a barcode and compare prices. Some stores or site do price matching…some won’t won’t or will only price match from traditional retailers, but it never hurts to ask.
Check ahead which deals your favorite sites and stores are offering starting on Thursday if you have time before or after holiday festivities. Many stores will announce their sale items on Wed.
Buy online when possible to avoid store hassles altogether. Many sites will offer free shipping.
If you do need to go to stores, try to avoid the most popular times and see if someone else whether a friend or partner can watch the kids while you run out and shop. Many stores have extended hours this time of year.
If you do bring children with you shopping, bring healthy snacks and some small entertainment diversions for them. (Of course they could play Cavity Dragons to encourage them to brush their teeth while you are getting your shopping done!) Remind them about safety rules in the crowded stores such as keeping close to you or another family adult. Plan ahead where you will go and for about how long.
If someone is available to watch the children, Black Friday shopping can be a fun tradition with the right companion. My mother and I have gone for years while the kids hang out with my husband. But some years depending on the kids’ stage or what else was going on we skipped it and just did some online shopping.
Here are other helpful tips from a stylist at http://www.babble.com/style/black-friday-tips-dont-miss-out.