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The List | Black Friday Recon

A NJ transplant living in SoCal, Nicole Standley, digs pop culture, fancy-dancy hotels, cool shindigs, live shows, highfalutin restaurants, and all-things: music, fashion and events. Twitter: @nicoledstandley

“Bah Humbug!” No, that’s too strong ’cause it is my favorite holiday  – The Waitresses

The day after Thanksgiving, a.k.a Black Friday, has always been MY holiday. The annual event where I shop until I drop, kick major butt, take names and leave no prisoners! I have been training for this shopping Olympics my whole life, and since it has always been a joint family effort, I learned the ins and outs early in my life from the pros.

Today I am spilling the goods and sharing my tips and tactics on how to prepare yourself for the most successful Black Friday ever!

  1. Collect the circulars and advertisements from the previous Sunday’s newspaper and armed with a Sharpie, start circling and jotting down the best deals before Thanksgiving. Google is our friend. Visit your favorite stores online to find out what types of specials and incentives they are hosting.
  2. Gather the Troops so you can divide and conquer! There is strength in numbers so get your posse involved. Each person can be at a different store to secure the best door busters!
  3. Strategize and give each person specific shopping assignments. Let mom hit Macy’s, dad head over to Best Buy, and watch hubby tackle Toys ‘R Us while you are making a beeline to Target.
  4. What’s on the agenda? Type it up and print it out and distribute to your team. Nothing fancy, just with enough information knows where everyone is, what they are purchasing and what time the team is regrouping.
  5. Communication. Before there were cell phones, the fam and I would rush the stores with Motorola Walkabouts. Yep, you heard right, we had walkie talkies and guess what…? THEY ROCKED!
  6. Set it and forget it. The night before make sure to get your clothes ready, double-check your handbag for snacks, wallet, keys, phone, lists, coupons and gift certificates. Then set the alarm for 4:00 (or earlier!)
  7. Where are you?! Once you’ve plotted your Black Friday coordinates, make sure to pre-program your car GPS with your shopping destinations. Even if you know where you are going, this is especially helpful because if there is an accident or traffic and you need an alternate route, you don’t have to stumble with driving and entering an address.
  8. Make a list and check it twice. Do not go in blindly. Start your list by jotting down the people you need to shop for. Also include the items you think they might like and your budget for each person including sizes!
  9. Before you leave the house make sure to grab some coffee, snacks and bottle water. Later, carve out sometime to sit midmorning and regroup, relax and enjoy a Starbucks so you can refuel and compare notes.
  10. Safety! Yes, this may very well be the shopping Super Bowl; however there is no reason to pummel, trample, pull hair, trip or ram others with a shopping cart to get your hands on that coveted door buster. If you carefully follow these directions, you should have no problem securing any of the gifts on your list.
Most importantly, know the restrictions. I can’t stress this enough. Make sure to find out prior to Black Friday if the stores you are frequenting are limiting the number of sales items each person can purchase or if you need to bring a coupon to receive the discount.

Pffffew! You can finally breathe a sigh of relief and say goodbye to all the shopping mall chaos as it  gets smaller and smaller in your rearview mirror. You’ve crossed everyone and everything off of your list and even managed to score something great for yourself, but your day is far from over. I mean c’mon…you’ve spent six hours speed shopping, and it’s only 10:30 a.m.! Next stop? Costco.

Now that you have a better idea of the amount of presents you have to wrap, swing by Costco for the very best wrapping paper selection and ribbons in surplus sizes. Everything is coordinating and they even have great gift tags and hanging ornaments for the packages. And that was super easy, but don’t forget the Booze Nog! Costco has the best egg nog and boy, it has a KICK!

Time check? Noon. Lunchtime! This is the perfect time to grab the team and laugh at how nuts the morning was and how great decorating the tree is going to be. That is right friends, I decorate AND wrap all of my presents that same day also. I purposely stuck with this tradition because it’s so nice to have everything done and for the rest of the time the only thing you need to do is crank the Christmas carols and stamp and mail the cards!

To my GeekyChic Tribe members, I haven’t forgotten you! I am a big fan of Cyber Monday, Green Tuesday and AMEX Daily Wish. I simply included them in my Black Friday grand plan. Especially Cyber Monday because it is the best day of the year to secure & book any of your travel needs. Hotels can be booked at a fraction of the cost while airlines host pop sales and hot deals.

How do you spend Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Green Tuesday?

– Nicole

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.

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Disclaimer: On occasion, contributors of The Trend Tribe receive products and services gratis or at discounted rates. This practice does not influence the contributor’s point of view or the outcome of the review. All descriptions are factual and accurately reflect the reviewers experience. The opinions are their own.
nicole (106 Posts)

Founder + Editor-In-Chief, Nicole is a NJ transplant living in SoCal, who digs pop culture, fancy-dancy hotels, cool shindigs, live shows, highfalutin restaurants, and all-things: music, fashion and events. Twitter: @nicoledstandley


  1. OK, that as AWESOME!! I’ve never done Black Friday and you totally inspired me to try! Especially the Costco thing…need to go get my shopping on!

    • No joke, I have it down to a science. Then again, practice makes perfect!

  2. Last year I did Cyber Monday and got books on Amazon for many family members. I’ve never gone out on Black Friday and don’t really have future plans- I’d rather eat turkey leftovers.

    • I don’t blame you. I personally think Turkey Day leftovers are the best leftovers ever!

  3. I’m more of a Cyber Monday gal as I can’t cope with all the craziness on Black Friday but this piece was very inspirational and made it sound like fun! I may have to reconsider. How good are you being so organized and getting so much done in advance?!

    • I’m telling you, if you do it properly then it is smooth sailing and you’ll have a very successful experience. If you go in without a plan…well, you’ll be dead man walking!

  4. This is the most super awesome Black Friday guide ever. Thank you. I’ve never ever done BF, but I was seriously thinking of going this year. NOW, I have no excuse.

  5. Thanks Deb! I appreciate it. I really love BF; however I think I might even be sitting this one out…but SHHHHH!!! Let’s keep that to ourselves!

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