Thinking of hitting the mall for Black Friday while the rest of us lazy shoppers snooze the morning away? Don't forget your armor; it's a scary world out there. We've got tons of tricks and tips to help you get through the day -- unharmed and rich with savings. Ready?:
1. Dress appropriately.
Sure, you want to show off your new 3-inch heels, but unless you're going clubbing on Black Friday, leave the stilettos at home. Instead, opt for comfortable flats that will bring you through the long haul -- after all, this day is not for the faint at heel!
2. Preparation is key!
Your boy scout son is nodding his head right about now. Stash a few granola bars, antibacterial soap, baby wipes, Band Aids, and whatever else you might need for any miscellaneous mishaps that may occur along the way (Diet Coke? Flask? Taser?). The last thing you want to do on your way to scoring a $5 microwave is stop for a snack break.
3. Scout the scene.
Check out any unfamiliar stores a few days before Thanksgiving so you can make a beeline to the items you're coveting. Talk to sales associates to find out where special door busters will be placed. Strategy is everything.
4. Know your sales.
Bring sale ads with you for clarification and extra in-store coupons, or in case you hit an extra grouchy associate that you'll need to defend yourself against. Many stores will price-match, but you can't get the deal without the coupon!
5. Be fierce.
Black Friday is the Olympics of shopping. Leave uninterested spouses or slowpoke children at home and bring teenagers who can run fast and aren't afraid of a good bribe.
6. Park it.
Never waste time circling a parking lot four times to get a spot by the door; it only wastes time. Instead, park in the first spot you see and walk off all that turkey you ate the day before!
7. Calm down.
The term "door busters" isn't meant to be literal, so let's all band together to experience a stampede-free Black Friday. After all, a $10 DVD player isn't worth a $900 dollar ER visit.
8. Divide and Conquer.
Bring a few (fast!) friends and find out what their needs are. By shopping together, you can hit different areas of the store and meet back at the checkout faster than you can say "Black Friday."
Shop only your advertised necessities that you've prepared for. Each moment you spend picking out regular-priced underwear will lessen your chance of scoring that $50 computer.
Follow our handy Black Friday guide and breeze through this year's holiday shopping. And remember -- it's OK to pick out a gift for yourself. 'Tis the season!