Money Saving Monday: Black Friday Survival Guide 2013

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(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

Its seems that the buzz around Black Friday sales has eclipsed the Thanksgiving Holiday, as thousands of eager consumers get ready to play the waiting game outside of their favorite store.

Signifying the beginning of the holiday shopping season, Black Friday mayhem is in fact a varied experience from year to year. For instance, 2013 celebrates the arrival of what I like to call Super Shopper Weekend; the culmination of Gray Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.

Super Shopper Weekend is a bargain hunter’s dream and it pays to know what to expect during this shopper’s paradise. We’ll show you how to get the best deals while holding onto your sanity in our Black Friday Survival Guide.

Preparation is Key!
To be fully prepared to save big you must be informed. To get the information on special sales, coupons, or promotions, you have to do a little research. Check out your favorite retailers on-line, subscribe to their electronic newsletters, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget websites dedicated to Black Friday sale information like blackfriday.com, bfads.net, and theblackfriday.com.

Plan Your Moves In Advance.
Organize your shopping trip to alleviate any further stress. Black Friday shopping can cause you to break a sweat running from store to store. Map out your shopping based on the time of sale, the priority of the purchase, and the proximity of the location.

 (Photo by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s TV Time!
If you’re in the market for a new television, there is no better time to buy. From large HDTV’s to innovative 3D alternatives; you’ll be able to find what you need at a deep discount.

Beware of the Doorbusters!
Once upon a time doorbusters actually began when the doors of the store opened and lasted for an hour or so, nowadays you’ll find some stores claiming “doorbusters” at various hours of the day in an effort to keep shoppers hanging around for hours with hopes that they’ll buy more. The truth is, save yourself the trip and opt to head on-line. Many of the same early bird deals that you’ll find after standing around for hours in the cold are also available on the web!

Never Shop Without a List.
Now this piece of advice isn’t just good for Super Shopper Weekend. Shopping with a list is always a great way to make sure that you doing not overspend. On Black Friday a list is also a useful tool in keeping your would-be-purchases prioritized. That way you don’t find yourself spending hours looking for something you originally regarded as a tentative purchase.

(Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Price is Right!
Don’t just go with what you think is a good deal–use price matching to get what you know is an awesome deal. Price matching doesn’t stop with Walmart when it comes to Super Shopper Weekend, for instance you’ll find stores like Target, Best Buy, and Staples price matching with internet-based retail royalty, Amazon.

Shopping vs. Family Time?
This year you’ll have to make the choice between holiday tradition and consumerism as stores open earlier—on Thanksgiving Day to be exact. The holiday used to be a one where you could find only a few choice grocery stores open for about half a day; now retailers are snubbing tradition in hopes of enticing a few eager shoppers to take advantage of the newly crowned, “Gray Thursday.”

Let’s Boost Small Businesses.
The day following Black Friday is known as Small Business Saturday. Shoppers are encouraged to spend locally. By supporting small businesses you are also supporting your community. So think about this when you head out. The larger box stores are fine, but patronizing local small businesses is a great way to give back. After all, it is the “season of giving!”

-Jennifer Hall, CBS Radio Charlotte

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