Friday, November 25, 2011

How to Have a Productive Black Friday

For someone who dislikes shopping, I sure do love Black Friday.  I wasn't 100% sure whether or not I would brave the crowds this year with Jackson.  Now that Jesse works retail, his shift was from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. so I knew I would be on my own with Jack.  All in all, we had another GREAT day full of productivity.  Here's how we are able to have a successful Black Friday year after year:

1. Have a list. 
With a big family you have to be organized.  My siblings pass around a spreadsheet where we write in three different gift ideas for each our our children.  I literally print the list and cross out names once I put items in the shopping cart.

2. Shop early, but not too early.
Unless you're buying a laptop or TV, I see no reason to shop at 5 a.m.  Most sales last until at least 11 a.m.  Jackson and I naturally awoke around 7 this morning, so we were at Toys-R-Us by 7:30.  There was plenty of merchandise without the huge crowds.  (Yes, I made a random woman take a picture of us.)

3. Take advantage of sales and additional discounts.
Jesse and I used to shop at Wal-Mart or Target so we could take advantage of employee discounts or gift cards.  This year I obviously chose to shop at Toys-R-Us.  Not only does Jesse get a discount at Toys-R-Us/Babies-R-Us, but I get my own Spouse Discount Card.  Score!

4. Have fun!
I put Jackson in the Ergo and made the most of my morning meticulously looking up and down each aisle before I even put anything in the cart.  I always like to check everything out before I decided what to get for each child.

5. Do a price check for each item to make sure you stay within your budget.
I scanned each item and had to exchange one item that wasn't the price I thought it was.  I am happy to report that I found a lot of good deals and were able to make ALL family purchases $2 under budget.

6. Make a gift tag for each gift as soon as you wrap it.
One year I wasn't even thinking and got a couple of gifts mixed up.  I had to unwrap two of them to figure out who they were for, then wrap it again!  Everything went smoothly tonight and I have wrapped every single gift (14 kids, 2 adults) and placed them in the attic.  Jesse put up the Christmas tree while I wrapped presents.  Jackson supervised from the bouncy seat.

Who's ready for Christmas???

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