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How to Make a "Surviving Black Friday Kit"

Updated on November 24, 2011

We've all seen the ads. Shoppers far and wide look forward to this day -- the day after Thanksgiving, and the biggest shopping day of the year. One friend of mine has a spreadsheet prepared weeks in advance, with a schedule of what she plans to buy at each store, and which time is best to shop there. I'm not quite that organized, but here are some tips I've found from past years of shopping that can help ensure a successful Black Friday. I call it my "Back Friday Survival Kit" and I never leave home without it.

  • EXTRA CAR KEY IN YOUR WALLET - One year I accidentally locked my keys in my car, and paid a locksmith $75 to retrieve them. Not only did I lose out valuable cash right at Christmastime, but I was also out 90 full minutes of shopping time that it took the guy to arrive! The second key in my wallet has saved me a couple of times, and not just on Black Friday.
  • PACK A SNACK - There isn't always time between stores to stop at overcrowded restaurants or sit in long drive-thru lines at fast food places for something to eat. I usually keep a couple of bottles of water, a single-serving package of peanuts or trail mix, and some crackers in my car. It gives me that little boost of energy without having to waste time on something I'd just have to stop and eat anyway.
  • CARRY A SMALLER PURSE - A big purse means that each time you try to fetch your wallet or keys, you spend several minutes searching for them. A smaller purse saves time and allows you to reach basic necessities without digging through old receipts, crayons, and whatever else finds its way to the bottom of your bag.
  • KEEP YOUR CELLPHONE IN YOUR POCKET - If something happens and a sticky-fingered shopper swipes your purse, you'll need a way to call and report it. You'll also need to have phone numbers of your bank and credit cards -- just in case! And finally, it gives you quicker access to those cool Black Friday apps! If you're afraid of pocket dialing, just lock the screen between uses.
  • EMERGENCY SUPPLIES - I keep a small lunch cooler in my car. It has a few spare feminine products, pain reliever for aches and pains associated with eight or more hours of power-shopping, band-aids for blistered heels, TUMS, and a written list of important phone numbers -- in case I lose my phone and need to contact someone.

Of course the specifics are easily tailored to suit your personal needs. What are your tips and tricks for a successful shopping day? I'd love to hear from you, and thanks for reading!

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