With Thanksgiving around the corner, I can just picture my family sitting around the table with full stomachs as we’re laughing and visiting. Then, one of our family traditions would begin with Grammie saying something she’s grateful for, and my dad instantly teasing his mother-in-law about how sappy she was. After all the dishes are clean, we’d sit on the couch to talk and turn on a Christmas Hallmark movie.

But —

Once evening hits, my mom and I would begin drafting our game plan. The day of deals also known as Black Friday would soon begin.

My mom and I have been braving the crowds for a few years, and I’ve learned many things in the process. Without further adieu, here are some of my tips to survive the Black Friday shopping madness.

First, caffeine.

Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who have loads of energy, but I usually need at least a little caffeine if I’m going to be out all night. Chances are that there will be a Starbucks near your shopping location, so just grab something to avoid actually “shopping till’ you drop.”

Second, master the power nap.

My shopping experience begins Thursday night around midnight at a local outlet mall. At around 3 a.m., it becomes time to return home and nap before returning to the chaos. Taking a nap before going out again is crucial. Otherwise, you’ll be miserable the entire day, and no one likes to be around grumpy people.

Third, have a budget.

The key to not over-spending on Black Friday is knowing how much money you’re willing to spend. Once you decide on your budget, it will be easier to plan out your shopping trip.

Fourth, plan out your shopping day.

In order to have a successful shopping trip, you must plan ahead of time what stores you want to hit. This means looking up sales, cutting out coupons, etc. If you know where you’re shopping, your trip will go much smoother.

Fifth, wear comfy clothes and shoes.

This tip is crucial especially if you’re planning to try clothes on, because who wants to spend 10 minutes trying to get boots off? Let’s not forget that you will probably be doing a lot of walking throughout the day, so you’ll want to avoid aching feet.

Sixth and last, take someone with you.

Let’s face it — shopping alone isn’t fun at all. Plus, with how crazy it is, you’ll want someone with you for safety purposes.

Photo Credit: Michaela Schirra