Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How to Survive Black Friday

It's finally that time of year again; grocery stores are filled with patrons rushing to buy turkeys, Christmas decorations are being installed too early, and it's finally starting to feel like winter here in the northeast. Before you know it, Thanksgiving has arrived and the next celebration has yet to begin:

Most known for some of the biggest sales of the year and attracting large aggressive crowds, this can be both an exciting and somewhat intimating holiday.

As a 20-something female who goes almost every year, there are some things you can only learn from experience. As of now, I go for purely for the fun of it (and sometimes a few deals), but if you consider this a serious holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, there are some survival tips that can really make or break your experience:

1.  Get Dropped Off

Okay, so maybe not actually from a plane...but it makes your experience MUCH easier if you have a friend/family member nice enough to drop you off at your shopping mecca. You may not be able to store your shopping bags in the car, but it saves you the time and trouble of finding a parking spot (and the ugly/scary competition that comes with it).

2. Drive Safe and Be Patient!

If you can't get dropped off, exert your full patience while trying to find a parking spot. Though it might seem like a good idea to fight someone for that good spot, park someones car in, or teach someone a lesson in parking-lot etiquette, it's not. This is not only a bad idea, but can result in car accidents, traffic violations, assault, or in extreme cases, jail time. Chances are, there will be people standing in open spots to save it for family/friends, the car behind will probably tailgate, and you WILL get cut off for that coveted parking spot. This is just a reality of Black Friday.

3. Shop with Friends

Advantages: strength in numbers (it's safer this way), diverse fashion advice, good memories, and most of all, it just more fun.
Disadvantages: there really are none; though Black Friday is a fun holiday, it's important to be safe.

4. Bring Water

It will get you through that proverbial wall halfway through the shopping trip. Water not enough? If there's a massive line at Starbucks, this will tide you over until you can order your coffee.

5. Wear Comfortable Shoes

Ladies: you don't need to wear your "Sundays Best" to this event. In fact, stilettos, heeled boots, and tight flats are not recommended. You want something that will not only support your foot, but also won't cause blisters. Believe me, after five hours of shopping, your feet will thank you.

6. Create a Shopping List

If you know what you're looking for, how much it is, and what stores carry the product, you're off to a pretty good start! Be proactive, and you shall receive :)

*To print the planner above, simply click the picture and it will take you to a .pdf document*

7. Don't Forget Snacks! 

It's easier on the wallet, and if you bring the right type of snacks, you'll be ready to shop for hours! Pack foods with a combination of protein and carbohydrates to keep you going. Protein provides long lasting energy to help you get through the trip, while carbohydrates provide you with shorter bursts of energy or a "pick me up". If you can't find or don't have anything with this combination, improvise! Bring both carbohydrates and protein filled foods and use them as separates. 

  • "On the go" carbohydrates: fruits, vegetables, and crackers.
  • "On the go" proteins: cheese, almonds, greek yogurt, beef jerky, and protein bars.

And last but not least, the most important thing to remember about Black Friday is...

So please everyone, have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! And just keep in mind, if Black Friday seems too intense, that's okay! Shopping online can be just as fun, more convenient, and overall a lot safer. In fact, I heard there's this great e-commerce company called that's having unbelievable Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale this week! ;)

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