Black Friday is easily the best shopping day of the year but it can easily become the most overwhelming…that’s why you need to read this Black Friday Shopping Guide!

Almost every retail store participates in some kind of sale to try and win your purchase.

That’s why you need to get prepared with these Black Friday shopping planner guide!

Even though the stores are packed, many people save lots of money on their holiday shopping by shopping the holiday sales.

But it’s these Black Friday shopping ideas that will get you prepared to save you time and money!

After years of participating in this crazy fun holiday, I’ve put together some of my best strategies to help you have a successful Black Friday shopping trip with this Black Friday Shopping Guide.

Now let’s get down to the business of saving you money!

Shopping Guide

1. Success Starts With A List

A monthly planner keeps you sane during the other 10 months of the year so why not use the same technique during the holidays?!

When you head out to the store on Black Friday, it will be chaos. There will be so many people trying to get in and out of the store, and checkout will be a nightmare (trust me, I’ve waited over an hour just to check out before!).

Even before you pick up a single ad, think about for whom and what you need to buy for Christmas.

You have to shop with purpose on Black Friday, Friends! And that purposeful shopping starts with your Black Friday shopping planner or simply called a LIST! Shocking concept, I know!

Write out all the names of your family and friends whom you normally buy for and then add an amount to each name. You can use just a simple piece of notebook paper to get this done (or get The Ultimate Holiday Planner to calculate it for you digitally)

If you learn anything in this Black Friday shopping guide, it’s that you can overspend really quickly if you don’t have a list and a plan.

This will help make sure you come out of the store successfully with the most essential things on your list. Instead of a bunch of items, you don’t love and feel guilty about purchasing.


Planning Is Key During The Holidays


Download these FREE Christmas Prep Cheat Sheets so you get ahead (of the spending) this year.

Shopping Guide

2. Do Your Research Before The Big Day

Just like any grocery shopping trip, you will get the biggest bang for your buck by researching and getting your Black Friday shopping ideas before you ever leave home.

When you have a list of what to buy for and for whom, it makes researching to find the best deals for those items a lot faster.

You can quickly scour the ads for an item, write it down on your sheet and then move on to the next item or person on your list.

Want to make life suuuuuuper easy for Black Friday? Check out this Black Friday Ultimate Shopping Guide complete with tips and tricks to help you save even more money (and keep your thoughts (and deals) organized!). 

Shopping Guide

3. Avoid Trying To Get ALL The Deals

Now it’s time to check your list (and check it twice!).

What I want you to learn from this Black Friday shopping guide is really to be realistic.

There are lots of stores offering great sales on Black Friday, making it impossible for you to get every deal you are after.

Once you have a list of the deals you really want, you need to prioritize them in order or value, desire, or ease of obtaining.

If you had to choose only 2 things to buy, what would they be?

Mark them on your list to clearly identify them when you get in the store and the chaos starts. That will ensure you get the items you really have your heart set on.

One year I had a list of 20 items at each store. As I got to the section to find my item they were ALL GONE. I didn’t even find ONE item. And that’s because I had never identified my top two items to look for first and then find the next one in a successive order.

Shopping Guide

4. Plan Your Shopping Trip

Now that you’ve thought about who you’re shopping for, and you know which store has the best deal on the items you want to buy, it’s time to plan out your Black Friday shopping trip for success.

Make sure to think about these things:

  • Will you begin Thursday night?
  • How many stores will you plan to shop that day?

Consider store opening times to possibly stagger which store you go to. That way, you can be sure to stop at each store and get the items you really want before heading home.

Remember, stores typically carry less than 100 of the “Doorbuster” crazy deal items. So if you are not there within 30 mins of that particular store’s opening, do not plan on scoring that deal.

Here are some other things to do and plan:

  • Gas up the car
  • Pack up a small cooler to leave in your car with drinks and snacks and pack a lunch. The stores won’t be the only thing packed during the Black Friday shopping weekend.
  • Are you meeting up with a shopping buddy? Where/When will you meet?
  • If you are having a friend purchase something for you, get out some extra cash for them to use.
Shopping Guide

4a. Divide And Conquer Shopping Strategy

I always join forces with my friends and ask what would be their top two items they would like from the store I’m going to, and then I give them my top two items for the store where they are going. You have to be a maximum Black Friday shopping guru to keep it all straight.

Having this plan of attack means we both get the deals we want with half the effort of going to a second store.

You could say… it pays to have a Black Friday shopping buddy!

Shopping Guide

5. Arrive At Stores Early

There will be lots of lines on Black Friday.

Make sure you are at the top stores on your list at least an hour early.

You should dress warmly in layers and wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

I also suggest bringing these 5 items in your purse.

It will be worth it if you land the best deals you hoped for!

Shopping Guide

5a. In Case You Are Late To The Store

If you are late to the store and miss out on waiting in line to get your items and you can’t find them, go immediately to the return bins at the front of the store.

So many times I have found the items I wanted because someone decided not to buy it when they got into the checkout lane and store employees haven’t had a chance to put it back out on the shelf again.

6. Have Sale Ads With You For Price Matching

Even during Black Friday, many retailers will price match a better deal found at other stores, but only if you have a physical copy of the ad for them to see (you cannot guarantee that showing the item on your phone will work).

Make sure you pack these ads in your bag on Black Friday, so you don’t miss out on the lowest price.

Another Black Friday Black Friday shopping guide tip is that you want to make sure you are getting what the ad says is on sale. Is it the same style, # of items, brand, etc.

Having the ad in hand also makes it so much easier to show the cashier if the item is not ringing up correctly too.

Shopping Guide

7. No Purchasing “Because It’s Cute” Items

When you’re out and about in the stores on Black Friday, remember to stick with your list and try to avoid temptations as much as possible.

When the stores get a little hectic, it can be easy to get caught up in everything and throw in extra items you don’t need.

This will clearly destroy your budget.

If you are tempted to get an item that isn’t on your list, ask yourself if this…

  • Is it something you would buy tomorrow?
  • Are you buying this for you or someone else?
  • Are you buying it because you weren’t able to get something else on your list?
  • Can come up with one way you will use it?

If you are buying it because you think it’s cute, that’s not a good enough reason.

While you are shopping and you see something that you overlooked in the ads, and you think it’s a tremendous deal, or it will replace an item you weren’t able to find and it fits for a replacement gift, then, by all means, you should get it.

On the other hand, if it’s more of an impulse buy, give yourself time to think about it before you check out. (Sometimes a friend can help to keep you accountable for this too!)


Planning Is Key During The Holidays


Download these FREE Christmas Prep Cheat Sheets so you get ahead (of the spending) this year.

Shopping Guide

8. Don’t Forget To Shop Online Beforehand

Sometimes, you can snag a better Black Friday deal on the internet than you can in the store without even leaving home!

Did you realize that many stores start the same Black Friday Sales on their websites online on Thanksgiving morning? (Yes, even before Black Friday has even begun!)

Before you head to the store, check out the store’s website to see if you can score the same great deal from home.

If you head out to the store super early, while you are waiting in line, see if the same item can be purchased online right from your phone.

The best strategy to save time and make sure this is a successful shopping trip is to go to the store’s website beforehand and create an online account with your name and shipping information.

Then text your debit/credit card information to yourself so you will have it quick and easy to simply cut & paste when you get to the online checkout page.

Black Friday may be a day of shopping chaos, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be prepared for a successful day of shopping and saving money by just following these Black Friday Shopping Guide Tips!

If you want tips for shopping Cyber Monday, don’t miss this post.


Your Turn: What Black Friday Shopping Guide strategies have helped you in the past? Share with me below!

Shopping Guide
How To Plan The Most Successful Black Friday Shopping Trip