First rule of Black Friday shopping: There are no rules

First rule of Black Friday shopping: There are no rules

After the last piece of pie has been devoured and there is simply no more room for another bite (or you might actually burst), many families will hang out and watch a movie or follow another post-Thanksgiving meal tradition. My family creates our plan of attack. Our plan of attack for Black Friday shopping, that is. Growing up, we would wake up in the early hours of Friday morning to begin our adventures, but as the years have gone by, the stores have opened earlier and earlier - this year as early as 6:00 P.M. on Thanksgiving!


More often than not, people will criticize those who are crazy enough to venture into the madness that is Black Friday. But for my mom and my sister and me, it's just what we do. For the past two years, I have been able to get all of my Christmas gift shopping done by Friday, for much less money than I would have spent any other day. It's also a time for family bonding, and a little bit of competitiveness when it comes to the "how much I saved" game.


This year, my mom, my sister, and their boyfriends came to visit me in D.C. I fifth-wheeled like a pro, no worries. During their time here, we managed to make it to 3 different malls in Virginia for Black Friday shopping. Our favorite had to have been Tyson's Corner.


To get the best out of Black Friday, there are a few tips my sister and I believe are imperative to a successful endeavor, if you're willing to be up for it next year:


1. Plan Your Attack: Know what you're looking for. Only rookies will go Black Friday shopping without having done their homework. Know who you're shopping for, and where you're going to need to go to get these items. This means studying the ads!


2. Stick To Your Budget: Transfer money into your checking account. Take out Cash. Do whatever you need to do to make sure you don't overspend. With all the deals, it's easy to get wrapped up in it all. But remember, you're still going to need groceries next week, no matter if you buy the cute shoes or not.

3. Don't Be Selfish: Like I said, it's easy to get consumed in all the sales, but remember, Black Friday shopping is meant to be for you to get all your gifts for other people. Yes, you're allowed to buy yourself a couple things (you did stay up all night for this, treat yo self), but the ultimate goal is to focus on getting your Christmas gifts for other people out of the way so you can enjoy the month of December!


Wear the right shoes. Pack a snack. All of these things and more are essential to a successful shopping trip on Black Friday. But the most important thing to do is to remember what Thanksgiving is supposed to be about. Be thankful for your family and your traditions, no matter what they are.

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