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12 Tips for Getting the Best Black Friday Deals

Julia Quinn-Szcesuil
July 10, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving, Care.com readers! Since many of you will be heading to the stores right after that last piece of pie is eaten, here are some tips from Julia, mom of two, and super savvy shopper.

I don’t know about you, but of all the things I love about Thanksgiving -- the family, friends, food and football -- I really love looking at those Black Friday ads. With a Sharpie in one hand and a notepad in the other, I plan out my Friday while the rest of the family naps off their turkey overload.

I map out an efficient route (backtracking wastes precious time!), stock a cooler with snacks and get my head in the game. Yes, at 3 am when the alarm rings, I think twice about leaving my cozy bed to brave those crazed, bargain-hunting crowds. But like apple pie, Black Friday is part of my holiday tradition. The bargains are great (last year, I scored eight super-cozy blankets for less than $50!), but it’s more about sharing the goofy fun with my daughters (at least the early-rising one). And I get a jump start on all my holiday shopping.

Here’s what I’ve learned from years of shopping on Black Friday.

  1. Don’t even think of going unprepared! Read the fliers -- five minutes can mean the difference between nabbing a door buster deal or paying full price.
  2. Plan your route and carry a small bag you can tuck under your coat if you’re going to be in a big crowd. Big ticket items go fast, so if you’re going for that dirt-cheap laptop, plan on getting to the store before it opens. If it’s a great deal with limited amounts, hours early is wise. Bring coffee, munchies and a great attitude. Waiting in line is a pretty fun atmosphere on Black Friday!
  3. One alarm clock is not enough. After all that turkey and all those dishes? Set three.
  4. A slice of pie isn’t a good breakfast for Black Friday. Two is better.
  5. Kids and the crazy, crowded, mob-inspiring sales are a recipe for disaster. If you’re going after that big TV for $100, leave the kids at home.
  6. Those sneakers you wouldn’t be caught dead in normally? Wear them, trust me.
  7.  You'll get over the embarrassment of buying 20 coffeecakes. Office gifts, anyone?
  8.  Food fights off crankiness. Eat lunch or you might be too tired to juggle five toasters, two blenders and those awesome boots you found.
  9.  More people will bump into you, step on your feet and press against you today than during a rush-hour subway. Same advice for both places: take a deep breath and use hand sanitizer. Lots of it. Up to the elbows isn’t going overboard.
  10.  Have sympathy for store employees. Say please and thank you.
  11.  If you oversleep, Cyber Monday is the ultimate in-your-jammies do-over.
  12.  Pace yourself for success on Black Friday. You’ll get tired, yes, and possibly dirty, too. Your eyes will feel like sandpaper by lunchtime, you’ll be ready for dinner at 1:30 and bed at 3. But didn’t you have fun?


Do you go out on Black Friday? What lessons have you learned?

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