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You’ve stored the leftover turkey, enjoyed the parade, and watched a couple football games. If you plan on relaxing in your pajamas the day after Thanksgiving, you’re missing out on the official start of the holiday shopping season. That’s right, it’s time to get serious and come up with a plan to get ready for Black Friday. What is Black Friday, you ask? Only the most popular shopping day of the year! While it’s known for its major sales and late hours, Black Friday is also one of the most hectic days of the year, as shoppers across the nation literally trample each other to get their hands on the most popular items of the year.

If you’re planning on saving big bucks but aren’t ready for the crowds and commotion, here are some tips to get you through this marathon day of shopping.

Make A List – If you write down exactly what you plan on getting for friends and family, you’ll save a ton of time and money by not buying things you’ll end up returning later.

Get A Good Night’s Rest – Most retailers open their doors as early as 5 a.m., so you’ll need the right amount of sleep just to survive the first two hours of shopping.

Wear Comfortable Clothing and Shoes – This translates into sweatpants or jeans and sneakers. This is not the day to be cute! You’ll be grateful after the third or fourth hour of shopping.

Shop Early -You will get the best deals during the first 4 hours of the store’s opening, and get all of your holiday shopping out of the way so you can enjoy the rest of your day.

Shop at Malls -Think one-stop shopping! Make a list of your most important purchases beforehand, then hit each store in order of priority. It also helps to make a mental map of each store location if you’re unfamiliar with the mall; you’ll save time not having to wander around looking for stores.

Travel Light -Ladies, I know we love our big bags, but this day requires all hands on deck! Leave the big bags at home.

Leave the kids at home – Leave the kids at home with Grandma! You’ll have a much more efficient trip, and you can get the little ones their Christmas gifts early.

Use Coupons – Clip those coupons, ladies. You’ll be able to add between 30 and 50% in savings if you do. You can typically find coupons the week before or week of Black Friday, so check your local papers or the Internet.

Compare Prices – Just because it’s Black Friday doesn’t mean everyone will have additional savings, so please comparison shop via the internet, sales circulars or by way of the Sunday newspaper. Do your homework, ladies and gentlemen; you’ll be glad you did once you calculate the savings.

Here are some links to make your shopping easier:

http://www.malletin.com/malldirectory

http://www.ajc.com/services/content/atlanta-holiday-guide/shopping/stories/2008/11/17/atlanta_black_friday_tips.html

http://www.clevermoms.com/

http://www.instyle.com/instyle/trends/hotfinds/0,,20159707_6,00.html

http://www.blackfriday.info/sales/wal-mart-black-friday-ad.html

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