How to Be Prepared for Black Friday 2013

iStock_000021550386XSmallShopping for the best 2013 Black Friday Deals? This year, things may be a little different. Be prepared with the following tips, and you’ll get the best prices without being overwhelmed. It is solid advice to get you through the most important shopping day of the year.

By making the following preparations now, you’ll be sure not to lose out on those bargains and at the same time, have everything be a positive and fun experience.

Prepare for the Changes

Swallow that turkey and be out the door by early evening if you want to start your Black Friday shopping. This is it, 2013, the year when Black Friday officially invades Thanksgiving. For the first time in the entire history of the store, and before the parade balloons are even deflated, Macy’s will be open on Thanksgiving day for shoppers, and many malls and major retail stores are following along. The official opening time is 8pm in most cases, but if you want the best deals, you’ll need to line up hours earlier. Turkey and stuffing for breakfast, anyone?

Prepare a Budget

Knowing how much you have to spend will keep you on track and make sure that you don’t get caught up in the bargain frenzy and overspend. Have you heard of the envelope system? Take out the same number of envelopes as you have people to buy gifts for. Place the amount of money you want to spend on each person, in cash, in each envelope. This will serve as a visual reminder to keep on track with your budget.

If you are worried about carrying around cash in the hustle of Black Friday shopping, you can keep track of your budget on your smartphone as your shop. Some of the best budgeting apps include iReconcile, Expenditure, MoneyBook and Mint. It is 2013 after all!

Prepare Some Snacks

You could be waiting online for a long time, several lines, actually. To avoid getting hungry and cranky, make sure that you take plenty of easy to eat snacks, such as granola bars and fruit to get you through. Don’t forget to bring along some water as well. When you are hungry and low in energy, you may not make the best buying choices. Take care of yourself, and you will accomplish more on Black Friday.

Prepare Your Clothing

Choose warm, lightweight layers of clothing that you can wear comfortably. You may have to go from a cold outside to a over-warm store in minutes during Black Friday, so it helps to be prepared for any situation. You want to make sure that the clothes are lightweight, so they won’t weight you down and are easy to stash in a cart, bag or tie around your waist. If possible, select items with zippered pockets, so wallet, keys and phone don’t get lost or stolen!

Prepare Your List

Make sure that you know exactly what you want to get and at which stores. This will help you to get in and to get out quickly. Go online to take a look at the Black Friday Deals in advance. Then you can plan out your route by store and the items for each store. Prioritize not by opening times, but by the most essential items on your list. You’ll be glad you did.

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com

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