9 Black Friday Shopping Tips

By Lauren Scott, Arizona Farm Bureau Intern

When you’re out to get a good deal there should be no stopping you! Black Friday is the one day a year where people can get out and shop unapologetically. Most of the time, people shopping on Black Friday have one thing in mind: Christmas. But don’t be afraid to use the big savings to buy yourself something nice, too!

Whatever you’re shopping for, make sure you have a game plan in place before you head out into the crowds on Friday. Below, I’ve compiled a list of the best tips for surviving the Black Friday crowds, and getting the best deals. Good luck out there, and happy shopping!


  1. Research, research, research! Before you dive into the shopping, research the stores you plan to visit, the deals they are offering, and the products you are looking to buy. First, compare the prices of items offered at different stores. A certain store might have a better deal on that must-have thing on your list. Today’s instant access to information and comparison shopping is only a click away. Second, check the ads! Many stores put out their Black Friday ads at least a week before the sale, so take the time to look through and see what the biggest specials will be.
  2. The kids need to stay home. Unless you are shopping with your adult children, leave the kids at home. Black Friday shopping might sound fun to your little ones at first, but after a few hours of walking, standing in line, and hopping from store to store, the complaints will begin. Unfortunately, Black Friday has become known for too much pushing and shoving.
  3. Make a list. Before Black Friday, make a list of the things you’re looking to purchase. First write down all the stores you plan on visiting, and then list the items you want to purchase at each store under the store name. List the items in order of importance so you have a higher chance of getting them first.
  4. Start early. Tons of stores offer discounts and deals a few days before Black Friday. When you do your research, find out which stores are offering these deals, and visit them on Wednesday or Thanksgiving night.
  5. Find the best payment method for you. Instead of using a credit card for your Black Friday purchases, use cash if possible. Set a budget before you head out, and withdraw that exact amount in cash. It will save you from spending more than you have or maxing out your credit card. Just make sure you keep the cash secured in your wallet or purse, and if you are shopping with a purse keep it tightly closed. If you will be able to pay your card off and in full at the time payment is due, then feel free to use your credit card.
  6. Shop with friends. Shopping with friends can be a blast, and in the end, it can help you score the items you wanted. When shopping with a friend, split the store up by departments, and designate departments between yourselves. Share your lists with each other so you can grab the stuff they need while getting what you’re looking for, too. Don’t forget to text your friend to let them know what items you’ve grabbed.
  7. Shop online. If you’re not one for crowds, shopping online might be a better option. Stores sometimes give their best deals online. Lots of brands also start their sales up to a week early on their websites. Plus, don’t forget Cyber Monday that’s designed to lure all of the online shoppers a few days later.
  8. Learn the return policies. If you can’t memorize them all, ask about the store’s return policies at checkout. Some stores change up their policy for Black Friday.
  9. Bring snacks. I am constantly snacking, so this tip is very important to me. You might be waiting in long lines, camping out the night before, or searching each aisle meticulously. This can not only tire you out but make you hungry! Keep a bag of nuts or healthy granola bars on you at all times, and don’t forget a bottle of water.

If you shop right, Black Friday can be a day filled with discounts and deals. Hopefully, these tips make shopping that much easier. If you’ve got any other tips that you use to survive Black Friday, leave them in the comments.

Want to purchase directly from a farmer or rancher instead of the mall, remember Fill Your Plate. We’re your online directory of direct market (retail) farmers and ranchers.

Have fun out there, and good luck!

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