Now would be a good time to start your battle plan for Black Friday. Believe me, you need a battle plan because there are shopping hardened mid-40's women out there who will take out your knees in a second to grab the last George Foreman cooker before you can say 50% off. If you don't know what Black Friday is you either have been living the cult life in Northern Texas for the last decade or are a single guy.  The day after Thanksgiving has been dubbed "Black Friday". It is supposedly the biggest shopping day of the year, with deals so crazy that people's heads explode at the mere site of a Black Friday ad. In reality it just marks the start of the holiday shopping season.  I don't know if you really care where the name comes from, but Wikipedia attributes the name to some article from 1966 saying that the Philadelphia Police dept. gave the day the name because of the traffic jams and pedestrians streaming in and out of shops.  Since most normal people have the friday off because of Thanksgiving, I'm sure there will be a lot of consumers buying stuff this year.

So let's start with the basics. This year Black Friday is on the 26th which gives you two weeks to research and prepare.  There are two schools of thought on when to go out to the stores and they are both valid depending on what you're buying. If you're looking to grab a brand new HDTV, computer system, or new gaming device  you may choose option 1.

 This option means that you will be camping out overnight. You'll need to be first in line and will only be able to grab one item, so plan accordingly.  What will you need:

  • Thermos - you'll need coffee to fight off the effects of the tryptophan
  • Lawn Chair - rest up cause when those doors open you'll need your running legs
  • Warm Clothes - It gets cold this time of year so bust out the skull cap and ski jacket.
  • Credit Card - I suggest against cash, it's bulky and you really don't want to see how much you're actually spending.
  •  Catheter     (optional) - After all the coffee you drank you don't want to miss your spot in line by having to go "wee-wee" all the time.

Okay so most places now give you a number so you don't have to actually wait in a line, but you still need to show up early and wait for the number. After the doors open all bets are off. Hopefully you can secure a shopping cart to put you items into.

Your second option is to find the store that has the most items you want to buy. Show up five minutes after the store opens (most open at 5 am) and casually walk in.  Oh yeah, the big rush will have already entered the store and while they are fighting for the 720p 60 hz 32" vizio you'll be able to slide right by them and grab all the items on your list. Heck, it doesn't hurt to grab the first target employee you see and ask them to show you around. They are more than willing to give you the tour so they don't have to work the cash register.

Either way keep your purchases to under ten and you can usually use the express lane (which is ten times faster than the regular line). If you have somebody who can go with you, make them wait in line while you find stuff.  If you have walkie- talkies bring them. Cell phones actually slow you down due to the heavy traffic on the lines. Citizen Band (CB) radio's are super effective!

For the most part you can find what you need and get out to another store within half an hour, but remember the later it gets in the morning the harder it will be to find what your looking for. Walmart is always crazy, I suggest Target or Best Buy first then Walmart second, and the mall third. All this will depend on what you're buying.

Good luck consumer!!! Now go spend the money you made working for giant corporations on crap made by giant corporations. YEY!