HOUSTON Love it or hate it, Black Friday shopping has become a huge part of the Thanksgiving holiday for many folks. If you are one of them we have some tips to share from a team of shopping experts.

The team is led by super couponer Tiffany Ivanovsky, the author of the savings site Ivanovsky is Houston s extreme coupon queen.

She, along with her friends and family, hold a strategy meeting around the kitchen table days before Black Friday.

They write out their holiday gift lists and give each other copies of them.

Then on Black Friday it s off to the races.

First order of business once they arrive in a store is to appoint a place holder.

We ll send someone to go get in line if there s a huge line, Ivanovsky said. She said other shoppers don t mind because they do the same thing.

Then her team divides and conquers, spreading out across the store, or even going to separate stores to hunt for the best prices. If one person on the team gets an item on their own or someone else s list, they call each other and everybody scratches that item off the list.

They continue until every item on each person s gift list has been purchased.

Black Friday has stretched to a week in many cases. But if you want to simplify things and spend just one day going to just one store, our experts said that store should be Walmart.

Walmart tends to be crazy, Ivanovsky said. You know how the lines are. Where you see more of the arguments or shoving, do tend to be at a Walmart but it is because you absolutely will get the lowest price there.

Walmart will also match competitors prices. Just show them the ad.

Another tip from the team is to dress comfortably and leave the kids at home. And go to the drug store around midnight the night before Thanksgiving Day.


Free stuff, tons of free stuff, Ivanovsky said. When you purchase an item you get actually that money back after you purchase it, right then. In the form of a gift card (perhaps) so you just turn around and use it again.

Experts say don t overlook home improvement stores. They sell a lot more than hardware and offer incredible Black Friday prices.

The team did not give especially high marks to craft and hobby stores. Ivanovsky said often they will offer only one or two advertised items so you might be wasting your time if you hope to get one. She did, however, say craft stores may offer creative sales that kick in at certain times throughout the day.

One of the main things about Black Friday shopping is to, have a good time, Ivanovsky said.

You have to have fun, said her shopping teammate Patti Miller.

To find out more and learn about online deals, which abound, visit Ivanovsky s Website at: or visit her husband Paul s Website at:

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