How to get ready for Black and Friday and how to make the most of the shopping experience:
Before heading out
Make a list of all you are buying for and how much you plan to spend on each.
Buying something expensive? Go to the store now to eyeball it before you return to score the deal.
Visit Black Friday websites of stores. Check online for coupons and sign-up for e-newsletters.
If you can buy you item online with reasonable or free shipping, skip the Black Friday madness. Check for in-store pickups after the Black Friday mayhem. Some stores have already started Black Friday.
You're out the door
Wear comfortable shoes. Dress comfortably. Don't wear a heavy overcoat.
Create a strategy for texting, calls and email if several family members are at separate stores.
Only shop deals. Don't impulse purchase. Don't shop for other Christmas gifts.
Bring print ads with you, or printouts of online deals, especially if there is a guarantee of "lowest price."
Making the Black Friday purchase
Using store credit cards may lead to further discounts and warranties. Pay in full when the bill comes, or follow a disciplined payment system for those cards.
Make certain that you know a store's return and exchange polices. Don't forget to keep receipts in a safe place while shopping and at home. Ask for a gift receipt in addition to the sales receipt.