Every Thanksgiving after finishing our traditional dinner, another tradition of Thanksgiving would come. All the girls would sit down and start looking at the mountain of ads. It is something I have been doing since I was 14 or so. At that time I never bought anything, I just helped my mom and sisters get their stuff. Then I grew up and began to really learn the meaning of Black Friday and deal hunting. Since I consider myself a little bit seasoned on the topic, I will list off some ground rules for the day. I know this is a little late, but there are still a few weeks of shopping left and some crazy deals still going on.
1) Make a list of everything you are going to try to get for each store along with the price it is being advertised at. We always have at least one ad with us just in case.
2) Decide the order you are going to shop in. When they open, door busters you are trying for, and popularity of the store are all a factor in making the list.
3) Have a plan for each store. Do not go wander aimlessly. Walmart actually listed maps on thier website this year. Things are in odd spots no matter what store you go to. Games in the kids clothes, TV's near the pet supplies, etc. You must have a plan. My mom, sisters, and I would split up each other's lists and take areas of the stores so we were not in the same area and we would be grabbing for everyone.
4) As mentioned above I used to go with my family till I moved away, so find someone to go with. Even if it is your husband.
5) Do Not, I mean DO NOT get a cart! If at all possible! They are traps. It will take you ages to get in and out of the store. Traffic jam! If you need to get one cart and find a central location for everyone to meet at. My mom would always get a cart if we needed one and sit in the underwear section or somewhere not very many people are and we would meet her there with the goods, or she would wait in line and we would bring stuff to her.
6) Laugh. There are too many grumpy people out for you to be a bum. This is supposed to be a fun and crazy day. How many times a year can you stand in line at Walmart at 3:30 in the morning in the cold with 500 other people? It is a once a year thing. It is no big deal if you miss a door buster. Some are pretty hard to get. And if you are going for a big ticket item make sure you are first in line if there are only 4 in the store and ask the employees while you are waiting in line where they are so there will be no confusion. Seriously don't be a grumpy grumpster. They can ruin the day for everyone.
I did this every year in Colorado till I got married and moved away. It was always freezing cold. Long johns, 3 pairs of socks, tights, pants, coats, jackets, gloves, hats, they were all necessary. I will always remember my sister stripping off her layers while driving from one store to the next. By the third or 4th store we were down to our normal clothes. It is one of those make sure you go to the bathroom before you get dressed days. It is so stinking fun though. Really you can make a killing on the sales that day. Just don't take it too seriously, and if you miss something move on. Especially this year. I don't see TVs going up in price anytime soon, as well as the bluerays. So take it from a vet. Be prepared, be calm, stay comfy, and laugh. It can be a blast!