As everyone knows, Black Friday is next week, better known as the most dangerous shopping day of the year.
In true fashion, I am choosing to not leave my house for ANYTHING that day. But that does not mean I have no intentions of participating; I just prefer to participate online and from the comfort of my house while decorating for Christmas and possibly ordering in for dinner (because so much cooking happens the day before no one really wants to do more).
Every year before the actual day of Black Friday, I usually take a little bit of time to make up a game plan for myself. It keeps me from overspending on a lot of stuff I don’t actually need (for myself or for gifting) and keeps me on track to get the things I do need to shop for.
Before I even think about shopping, I make a list of who I am shopping for, if there are any specific gifts I already know I need, and if there are any home things I need to replace. So many deals consist of linens, kitchen appliances, electronics, etc, so it’s a great time to either upgrade something you already own or replace something that isn’t working as well as it used to.
For instance this year, I’d love to get a new comforter set and a new toaster, as our current toaster is about five years old and one side isn’t toasting as well as it used to.
Since I am a pretty visual person, I like to write all of this down in a chart, so I know what I’m looking for quickly.
Once I have what I’m shopping for written down, then I go through Blackfriday.com to check out all of the ad scans that have been uploaded. Most of the big ones (like Target, Walmart, Kohls, Macy’s) that I shop with are usually uploaded pretty early, so I usually have a pretty good idea of what is around pretty early. Because I’m me and I like to browse everything, I go through the ads all myself to make sure I’m not missing anything that may be of interest to me. As I’m going through the ads, I make a list of things I may want to purchase from that store or to see if any stores are doing any better deals on the same item.
After I’ve gone through all of the ads, I go through my list and cross of things that I’ve duplicated or items that I’m not going to buy at one store because another store has a better deal, etc.
It sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. Since everything is online, it doesn’t take that long to go through the ads. Plus, sometimes going through them will give me ideas of things to get for people when I originally had no clue what to get them.
The only thing that kind of stinks, for me, is that you can’t really ever see advanced sales for Amazon. If you’re like me, you spend a good part of your Black Friday refreshing Amazon’s lightning deals page to see what is new as the deals are rolling out. I feel like at some point there has to be a way for that to happen. (nudge nudge to Amazon if they’re reading this….but I’m sure they aren’t.)
Doing a little bit of planning really helps me to keep me in control of my spending when it comes to Black Friday. I know of so many people that spend so much money on this day on all of the things that just seem like a great deal, when at the end of the day, they either don’t know why they bought half of what they did, or they wind up returning a lot of impulse purchases. I personally hate doing returns, so anything to save me an extra trip to a store or to UPS to drop off a package, the happier I am.
Because it is the holiday season, I have created a free printable version of my Black Friday Game Plan that I showed you above. If you are interested in doing this for yourself, go ahead and click the link below and you will see a blank version that you can edit for your needs.
Word Version:Black Friday Game Plan