As we embark on the holiday season, its a new year to create memories and continue traditions. While many people look forward to Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends and continue traditions of football games, parades, and cooking.. our tradition has always been rather unconventional- BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING!
We enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with our family and conclude our meal with dessert… and then the blue prints come out. After dessert, we clear off the table and spread our Black Friday flyers across the 12 foot table. Next we work on separating our lists.
- List #1 contains the names of everyone needing gifts.
- List # 2 includes all of our MUST HAVE items
- List #3 is all of the stores with items we need/want AND the items including prices
- List #4 is our “plan of attack” marking the stores we will definitely visit.
The past few years stores have been opening Thanksgiving evening as early as 8 pm, which actually makes for less crowds Friday morning. There were years we were up and out at 2 am, and other years we’ve decided its effective to leave at 4 am to allows enough time to hit the sales that start Friday morning at 5 am. This year we went full force and embarked on our shopping adventure around 10 pm. We mapped out the stores that started sales Thanksgiving evening and ended our route in those stores that started sales at 5 am. Our goal was to be totally done with shopping by the wee hours of the morning!
I usually go with my mom and sister, but this year was extra special because we had two more recruits! Our first stop is, of course, coffee. Then we make contact with Eagle 1 (my aunt). She visits other stores that aren’t in our direct route (like WalMart) so we share our “must haves” from those stores for her to pick up. In return, we pick up items she may need for our route. We start at the first store (which has been Toys R Us since my son has been born). The next few stores vary by sales and items we need, but can include Target, Best Buy, or Home Depot. After round 1 we make a pit stop at home to do our first drop off. My husband and dad usually meet us in the garages to unload our booty.
Between round 1 and round 2 shopping we check in with Eagle 1 to see her progress and go out any outstanding items we still need. Round 2 kicks off with heading to the Outlets which can include stores like Coach, Gap, Pac Sun, Under Armor, Aeropostale, Nike, Saks, etc. Depending on timing, we’ll stop for a quick bite to eat, then drop off round 2 load at home.
Round 3 is at Kohls. They always have great sales and we have until 1 pm to get all the early bird specials. This is where we can get a bulk of those house hold items, some toys for the kids, and clothes. They always offer Kohls cash (to be used at a later time) and have coupons when using your Kohls charge. Our Kohls visit fills up the car and requires another drop off at home.
Round 4 is the mall (after coffee stop #3 at Starbucks) We do this last because a lot of the time we can get the same deals as Sears and Macys at Kohls or Home Depot. But of course there are always a few extra items (and stores) that we can hit up at the mall. Round 4 isn’t a very long trip, by this time we are pretty tired and ready to get home to go through our loot.
When we finally get home the guys are lounging and staring with a “you are crazy” glaze in their eyes. Our Black Friday deals take care of almost all of our Christmas shopping and we still save a significant amount of money.
Do you go out for Black Friday shopping? What stores are your must stop shops?