by Sarah G. Mason
Black Friday is undoubtedly one of the biggest shopping days of the year, and for good reason. Stores will discount thousands of items for the Christmas season kickoff, sometimes up to 80 or 90 percent. Whether you’re a novice or have been Black Friday shopping for years, here are the six items you shouldn’t be caught without:
1) Cash, credit or debit cards. It might seem a bit redundant to mention, but at three-o’clock in the morning, when you’re bleary-eyed and scrambling for a cup of coffee, many people often forget this vital item. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, set your purse in a place it’ll get noticed before you leave, such as on top of your shoes.
2) Snacks. Bring a few healthy snacks to nosh on while you shop so you don’t have to stop and disrupt your shopping “groove.” A few good ideas are fruits like apples, oranges or bananas; granola or protein bars; trail mix; fresh veggies. Also, bring along plenty of bottled water to stay hydrated while you shop.
3) Store ads. Most of the big stores like Target, Wal-Mart and K-Mart will send out special circulars, usually the day before Black Friday in most large newspapers. After your Thanksgiving meal is done, sit down with a glass of wine or warm apple cider and go through the ads, circling what you want so you’ll know what to get and where.
4) A calculator. If you have a set budget, bring along a calculator (if you don’t have one on your cell phone, that is) so you can keep track of how much money you’re spending.
5) A shopping buddy. Shopping is always fun, but it’s even better when you have a friend to go along with you. Ask your best friend or sibling to come along and make a big day of it. It always helps to have someone act as a sounding board when you’re torn between gift items, or to reel you in if you start to go overboard.
6) Your list. Make a list to go along with your store ads and stick it all in your purse the night before. Sticking with a list will keep your organized and on budget.