Everyone knows that Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. However, it can be tricky to navigate your favorite stores and deal with crazed shoppers on this day known for its discounts. Today, I’m going to take some of the legwork out of Black Friday for you and share some of my best tips for taking advantage of these once-a-year sales.

I don’t always go shopping on Black Friday because I like spending the day after Thanksgiving with my family (and, let’s be honest, department stores are anything but relaxing on this day). I prefer to do most of my shopping wrapped in a blanket by the fireplace on Cyber Monday. However, when I have decided to do some Black Friday shopping, I like to spend it getting gifts for people on my list. In fact, once Thanksgiving comes and goes, I try to put a little hold on shopping for myself so I can focus on shopping for others until Christmas is over. So, if you do decide to take advantage of the sales this year, here are my best tips for navigating Black Friday…

Make a list ahead of time.
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or for your loved ones, you’ll get a lot more done by doing your research and knowing which items you want to purchase ahead of time. I know that depending on the time and how busy stores are the day of, you might not be able to find exactly what you’re looking for, but at least you’ll be able to check off some items on your list.

Map out the stores you’ll be visiting.
One of the best ways to plan ahead is by making a list of items you’re looking for, and figuring out where you can find them. I recommend making a list not only of items you want, but also of the stores you want to peruse. I love going to Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, J.Crew, Williams-Sonoma, and Anthropologie. By making a game plan, you’ll narrow down time spent at each place and you’ll be able to have a solid game plan in place for the day. Also, since Black Friday deals are advertised weeks in advance, you’ll be able to really plan out your day. And if you’re the type who collects coupons, don’t forget to pack them up before heading out the door.

Wants vs. Needs.
Just because I like to shop for others on big holiday sale days doesn’t mean you can’t do a little shopping for yourself! If there’s something you’ve been thinking about all year such as a new laptop or TV, consider holding off until Black Friday so that you can get the best deal possible.

Online vs. In-Store.
Going out and experiencing the craziness of Black Friday can be fun and exhilarating…but it’s definitely not for everyone. Luckily there’s a little something called Cyber Monday. There’s nothing better than shopping from the comfort of your own home without the hassle of standing in line and being subject to pushing and shoving. Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) has amazing steals as well, so keep your eye out for your favorite brands to see if they have any Cyber Monday deals. I know that’s what I’ll be doing!

Do you have any tips for braving the Black Friday sales?

I know everyone has their own methods for surviving this crazy day, so share yours in the comments below. I’d love to read them!

XO Lauren

P.S. Don’t forget to check out online sales from www.paper-crown.com (use discount code EXTRA25 for an extra 25% off all merchandise, including bridesmaids) and www.blueavocado.com (use discount code lcholidaylove50 for 50% off). Pretty great deals, if you ask me!

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