If you’re torn between staying home and joining the crowd this Thanksgiving, we’ve got some practical ways that you can actually incorporate servings of stuffing and shopping bags full of sales into your Turkey Day.
Eat First, Shop Later
Who said you can’t have your turkey with a side of savings? The first way to combine Thanksgiving dinner and Thanksgiving deals is to set aside time in your Thursday to do both. This strategy works especially well for casual (rather than die-hard) shoppers.
Most major retailers will be beginning their sales around 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. on the holiday this year. This includes Best Buy, which is opening at 5 p.m., and Walmart, which is opening at 6 p.m. (Remember, though, that some local laws and other factors can affect store opening days and times, even at major stores.)
If you’re not one of the dedicated shoppers who have already been in line for days (or weeks), you can wait to arrive at the store of your choice until the doors actually open in the evening. This will leave you plenty of time earlier in the day to savor your Thanksgiving feast, and with good food and great deals, you’ll have a lot to be thankful for.
Make It a Family Affair
If you’re not the one in charge of organizing or hosting your family’s Thanksgiving gathering, you can’t exactly determine when the food will be served, and it might be difficult to plan your schedule of when to eat and when to head to the mall. You probably won’t want to skip the pumpkin pie, and you definitely don’t want to miss out on family time, but those huge price cuts will be calling your name, too.
Avoid having to sacrifice your traditional holiday for a bargain-hunting trip by turning Thanksgiving Day shopping into a family affair. Invite your cousins, uncles and aunts to join the deal-shopping blitz with you, so you won’t have to miss quality time or sale opportunities.
Shopping with your relatives can be helpful, especially if you need assistance with selecting Christmas gifts. For instance, you could verify which toy your nephew wants or double-check what size clothing your brother-in-law wears.
Furthermore, while it’s obvious that shopping in pairs or groups can be more fun than going it alone, it can also be safer. Traveling in groups when you head back to your car with arms full of gift bags will likely make you less of a target to would-be thieves than if you were walking by yourself. If your family doesn’t want to brave the crowds with you, you can always try recruiting some friends.
You never know. … If all goes well, shopping on the day before Black Friday could become a family tradition.
Turn It Into a Challenge
Finally, if you do decide to shop in a group instead of going solo, try making your shopping day a fun challenge rather than a stressful chore. Compete with your family or friends to see who can get the better deals. Assign groups of people to tackle different stores to see who has the best experience.
Splitting up and remaining in communication can be beneficial to your shopping strategy, too, since your fellow group members can fill you in on the size of the crowds and the amount of inventory available at different retailers.
And once the night is through, if you’re not exhausted after an afternoon full of eating and an evening full of grabbing deals, you can do everything all over again, as Black Friday sales will take place the very next day.
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Cranberries and leaves sale image via Shutterstock