How To Score Big On Black Friday, According To An Expert

Sure, sure — the whole family/football/food parts of Thanksgiving are great, but we all know that the real fun comes the day after the holiday: with Black Friday shopping. As exciting as all of the deals can be, the whole process can be really overwhelming. Every year it seems like there are horrible stories of poorly behaved shoppers I for one am definitely not about that life.

According to a recent holiday 2016 survey from fashion website RetailMeNot, the Thanksgiving/Black Friday holiday weekend is the most popular holiday weekend for shopping out of the whole year, with half of consumers planning to spend at least part of their celebration weekend shopping — no wonder the checkout lines are so insanely long. Many stores have tried to combat this by opening their doors a day early (on actual Thanksgiving) and continuing the sale throughout the weekend, which means more time to score some of the best deals and fewer people in the crowd to fight with while you're doing it.

Here are five tips for how to survive Black Friday, care of Sara Skirboll, RetailMeNot Shopping & Trends Expert. Just remember to wear comfortable shoes and pee before you leave the house. Trust me.

1. Make A Plan

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"In order to score the best deals of the season, be sure to put a holiday shopping plan in place before the madness begins," says Skirboll. Decide what time you're going to start shopping, how long you're going to spend in each store and what you want to buy at each location. Black Friday is many things, but it is not a time for casual browsing.

2. Take Advantage Of The Whole Weekend

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"Whether shopping in-store or online this holiday season, consumers should take advantage of the, ‘5 Days of Savings,’ beginning on Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday," says Skirboll. If getting to the store isn't happening, save your energy for a marathon Monday instead.

3. Sign Up For Alerts

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"To help avoid bottlenecks on busy shopping days, retailers have begun staggering deals and offering guaranteed product availability during specific time frames throughout the Thanksgiving-Cyber Monday5-day stretch," says Skirboll. Sign-up for deal alerts from RetailMeNot to stay in the know about what sales are happening when, and put together a game plan to avoid missing out!

4. Apply The "Two Step" Approach

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To score an even better deal than what the store is offering, Skirboll suggests a two step approach: Purchase a discounted gift card for the retailer you plan to shop with to score an instant average savings of 10 percent or more, then combine the gift card with a promo code or digital rebate at checkout.

5. Know The Best Deals

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Still feeling overwhelmed? Check out this list of the Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals of 2016 to help you get on the right track.

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