7 Tips For Shopping Black Friday Sales So You Can Come Out Triumphant — PHOTOS

Black Friday is not for the weak. You can't just wake up naturally the day after Thanksgiving and decide, "Hmm, maybe I'll go Black Friday shopping today." No. You need a plan if you're going to survive, and more importantly, thrive. I have several tips for shopping Black Friday to make your experience as pleasant and efficient as possible.

If you're not willing to commit to the crowds on Black Friday, you might want to consider staying home and giving online shopping a try. A lot of stores have great deals online on Black Friday, just like they do on Cyber Monday, so it's definitely worth checking out if you have no interest in changing out of your sweatpants.

If online shopping just doesn't give you the same thrill as grabbing that last pair of size eight booties off the shelf, I totally get that. There's something less gratifying about having to wait a few days before your Black Friday haul arrives on your doorstep, when you can fight off hundreds of other shoppers for that last super discounted coat or beauty product you'd normally have to spend double to buy. Luckily, I have created this no-fail guide that will help you shop Black Friday sales like a boss.

1. Plan Ahead

Figure out what you're looking to buy and then do your research, so you know what stores have your desired items at the best price. Once you know where you need to go for each item, plan it out, so you can hit all of the stops in order of importance.

2. Bring A Friend

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If most of the items on your list are hot commodities, it might make sense to bring a friend with you, so the two of you can split up for a better chance of scoring all of the discounted items on your list.

3. Prioritize

Yes, you may want that super cheap flat screen TV, but you also may really need to buy gifts for your family and friends. Decide which items are the most important and go to those stores first.

4. Create A Budget

Repeat after me: Just because something is on sale, does not mean you need to buy it. Make a budget, figure out what you can buy with that budget, and don't waver.

5. Make A List

And organize this list by store and department. No reason to run across the store when you can have your list super organized, wasting no time when the competition is fierce.

6. Think Outside The Box

Some of the best deals are at stores you might not typically think of, like CVS and Walgreens, who often have awesome deals on gift cards and other miscellaneous items. Be sure to expand your plan to include places other than popular big box stores.

7. Have A Back-Up Plan

Didn't get that coat you wanted? Know where you can buy it online for a similar price. That way, your hopes won't be crushed if you don't get it in the store.