By now you’ve see the ads, pamphlets, statuses and tweets. There is no doubt that this Black Friday has South Africans buzzing!

Black Friday originated in the United States of America and was held the day after their Thanks Giving holiday. Retail stores would through massive sales and offer deals in order to get rid of left over goods before the new Christmas stock comes in.

Other countries, ours included, has since jumped on the bandwagon and embraced all that Black Friday has to offer.

From half priced items to two for one deals, Black Friday definitely provides the perfect opportunity to get some holiday shopping done. After all, everyone loves a bargain.

However, with the excitement of cheap and reduced goods come long queues, packed malls and a lot of frustration.

But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

So whip out a notebook and pen as we give you 5 tips on how to survive Black Friday.

Gather your intelligence

Before braving the crowds and screaming children, you need to know exactly what you want and where you will get it. Unless you’ve got money (and time) to blow, don’t leave your house without a plan. This will lead to overspending on things you don’t need and wasting time.

Decide on what you and who you will be shopping for. If you’re going to buy holiday gifts, make a list of people and an idea of what to get them.

If you’re getting household items or clothing, make sure what you intend to buy is actually needed. Don’t buy new shoes if you already have two unused pairs in your closet.

Prepare yourself for a busy day. Shopping on Black Friday could be hectic and could take longer than your usual trips to the mall.

Plan your attack

So now that you’ve outlined your objectives for this Black Friday, it is time to plan your attack.

Stores and malls have been promoting their deals EVERYWHERE. Check out the newspapers, social media or websites of your favourite shops to see what specials they’re offering.

Decide beforehand where you will find the items that you need. Try and stick to only a few stores that will supply everything on your list.

Also familiarise yourself with the layout of the mall or make sure you know the location of the store. This way you can plan exactly which store you will go to first, to effectively use your time. You wouldn’t want to go back and fourth in the mall and end up three floors away from where you’ve parked.

Draw the battle lines

It is easy to get caught up in the hype of Black Friday. You can end up spending more than you hoped you would.

Setting a budget is very important, especially when buying gifts. It is also a good idea to set a budget for each item so that you have enough to buy everything you need.

By scanning the ads before hand, you’ll have a good idea of which shops are offering the items you need for the lowest price.

Armour up

Stores will be packed to the rafters with people squeezing, shoving and pushing to get in line. Make sure that you are equipped with enough defences to brace yourself.

Wear a bag that can be strapped over your shoulder across your chest and closes properly. The hustle and bustle is the perfect environment for pickpockets.

Ditch the dress shoes and high heals for flat, comfortable shoes. You’ll need them if you’ll be standing and walking a lot. Many malls have slippery floors so make sure your shoes provide a firm grip.

You will need your energy. Take water or snacks with you or eat a solid meal before going. Amidst the craziness, the last thing you want to do is stand in yet another line for a bottle of water.

Attack!

Go forth and join the madness that is Black Friday! Or stay at home and skip in entirely.

But whatever you decided, have fun, don’t overspend and be a good neighbour.

If you are planning on braving the stores this Black Friday, how about a shopping buddy? Join OurHood now and ask your neighbour to be your shopping buddy.

Your friendly neighbours at OurHood

Connecting Neighbours. Strengthening Communities