Black Friday is coming, plan your shopping strategy now

When the turkey is eaten, the dishes are put away, and guests have gone home, how will you wind down?

Gleeful bargain hunters know the answer. They will be scanning the thick stack of advertisements for the best of the day-after-Thanksgiving sales, and popping online to get in on the “Pre-Black Friday” Sale action.

According to the National Retail Association, more than 130 million shoppers will be out for the bargains. They will spend about 10 percent of their allotted Christmas money. Here are some tips on how to get the most.

* Look for local deals first. Black Friday deals are everywhere.

* Get up early, as in very early. If you want the best deals, you have to be there before the store opens. Many retailers are opening their doors on Thanksgiving Eve, some as early as 5pm! Waiting in line for hours is the norm for the biggest deal scores of the season.

* Have plenty of gas in the car so you won’t have to spend time filling up.

* Have your significant other help you. If you get the things you want, you’ll need help carrying them and pushing an additional cart.

* Dress in layers. Be ready for the cold outdoors and the warm stores.

* Don’t stop to chat. If you see someone you know, just say “Hi” and move on.

* Keep your energy high with snacks from your purse or your car. If you’re thirsty, buy a bottle of water.

* Be flexible. If the item you want is sold out, see if another brand will be sold for the same price.

* When you have filled your list and your helper has taken the stuff to the car, look around a little more. You never can tell what treasure awaits you.

Some big retailers are even offering free shipping this year, so you may not even have to move off that comfortable couch…

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