Black Friday  (the day after Thanksgiving) is advertised as the biggest shopping day of the year. For some people this conjures up images of hundreds of people in line waiting to get a big screen television. While this does happen there are many other ways to shop Black Friday. Instead of concentrating on the “door busters” you can shop for smaller items. Last week we looked at Shopping for Big Ticket Items on Black Friday ; today we’ll look at shopping for the smaller items. The combined savings of many smaller items can equal or surpass the big savings of one of those front page deals.
Photo source: SanFranAnnie 
Make sure you don’t wait until Thanksgiving to look at the sales flyers. Many of the flyers are “leaked” prior to Thanksgiving. The big savings can be had on the front page items but buying several lower priced items can save you just as much (without having to wait in line for hours). There are many websites out there that show all the flyers  for you. I like BFAds.net because they give you the scans, item listings and comparison write ups of many categories. If you’re shopping for smaller items you don’t have to limit yourself to one store. You can decide on how many stores you want to hit based on the number of items you’d like to buy from each.
Review Your Gift List from Prior Years
You have a list of all the items you bought last year, right? Ok, so I might be alone in this but I keep a spreadsheet of what I buy each year for Christmas. This helps me not only plan for the current year but keeps me from forgetting things until the last minute or accidentally overbuying . This way you won’t forget to buy an item for the office raffle or a gift for a coworker  until the night before…
Make a List and Route
People going after 1 item don’t need to make a list. If you have a bunch of different items from several different stores you do. Making a list will also help you prioritize which stores to hit first. It will also help you plan your navigation around a store. Getting through a store on Black Friday can be tricky (stuff is set-up in the aisles and it feels like the entire town is in aisle 3…). If you can plan your shopping according to the store layout it will help with navigation (no one wants to double back against the flow of traffic).
Have a Back-up Plan
When you’re shopping for lower priced items there is a much better chance of getting those items but things do still sell out. It’s helpful if you also have back-up plans. Say you were going for the $1 dvd in store number 1. It’s helpful to know that if they’re sold out they have the same item for $2 in store number 2.
Do you shop for small items on Black Friday? What was your favorite deal?