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How to Find the Best Black Friday Deals

Black Friday Shopping Tips

By Melissa Summers

I love finding a good deal — I’ve been known to keep a clearance tag inside my shoe just so I can remind myself how I got that particular pair for 50 percent off. So I can relate to the thrill of Black Friday shopping and can imagine how someone might drag themselves to the mall at 6:00 am (or earlier) on the day after Thanksgiving, but that cheap part of me will forever be trumped by the part of me who likes to sleep as long as humanly possible. There’s also the part of me that starts mumbling mean things under my breath when shoved into large crowds of people. (My recent visit to New York City was great for that particular part of me.) The parts that like to sleep and hate crowds will always overrule the part that might want to get my holiday shopping done on the cheap. Every time.

I will not be shopping on Black Friday but maybe you’re nicer than me or maybe you enjoy the hustle of the first official day of the holiday shopping season or maybe you like to suffer in the name of a bargain. I am not here to judge, I am here to help you.

How to Find the Best Black Friday Deals

To get the most out of your Black Friday shopping, you’ll need to know what stores are offering what deals. Black Friday circulars are usually sent out in newspapers  on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but there are inevitable leaks of information. Sites like the aptly-named Black Friday Ads find and publish relevant circulars well before the big day. I particularly enjoy the Lowe’s, Target and Best Buy circulars.

Some stores are (not surprisingly) sending cease and desist letters to sites publishing these ads early. You’ve got two choices, read the site obsessively or look for word of mouth conversation once the ads are pulled.

There’s a push from a whole other group of people asking people to opt out of the hype of holiday shopping, at least for one day, and buy nothing this year on Black Friday, or as they are calling it, Buy Nothing Day. The movement is aimed at helping our consumer culture remember that the biggest reason for our current environmental crisis is the simple fact that we consume too much.

“Buy Nothing Day isn’t just about changing your routine for one day,” says Kalle Lasn of the AdBusters foundation. “It’s about starting a lasting lifestyle commitment. With over six billion people on the planet, it is the responsibility of the most affluent – the upper 20 percent that consumes 80 percent of the world’s resources – to set out on a new path.”

Okay but Mr. Lasn, how can I say no to just one $55 camcorder?

More From AlphaMom

5 Ways to Keep Online Holiday Shopping Fraud Free
‘Tis the Season to Panic About Shopping for Teens
How to Reduce Holiday Gift-Giving Stress
This Year, Give Your Teens the Gift of a Fun Experience

Photo source: Depositphotos/urban_light








Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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  • Meghan

    November 13, 2007 at 10:53 am

    You’re not alone Melissa. I paid $4.95 for a $70 dress from the Gap that I wore for my High School graduation. The tag has a permanent place of honor in my jewelery box.
    Last year was my first Black Friday experience, waking up at 5am to pay $99 for a quality pre-lit tree seemed like a reasonable sacrifice at the time. The tree is very nice and it was *kind* of fun to do something so ridiculous while we were sleep deprived and suffering from Turkey hangover. I’ll have to check out the Black Friday circulars, but it will take something really awesome to pull me out of bed this year.

  • kate

    November 13, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    My Black Friday ritual started when I was but a child – I was the only one who would get up early to go out with my dad. He would reward me with breakfast (always a treat!) and his love of The Deal. Now I’m on my own, I still go out early (mostly just for the sales at JoAnn and Michaels since I’m a craft nut and that crap is expensive) and my dad still treats me to breakfast.

  • virginia

    November 14, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    I almost died on Black Friday in 1999. Ok – not really but it was a close thing. My youngest sister had convinced all of the “girls” to go out shopping – we left at the god-forsaken hour of 4:30 am! My only goal was to get a Pokemon Yellow game for my son. I was successful thanks to my sister but hours of tussles with other shoppers and listening to my sister threaten to open a can of whoopass if a woman didn’t “backup off us and stop trying to cut line” scarred me for life. I haven’t been shopping on the day after Thanksgiving since then.

  • Nancy R

    November 17, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    I’ve gotten some of those Black Friday Ad deals at the online stores as well.