If you're planning on shopping this Black Friday (or earlier, since Thanksgiving isn't even sacred anymore), you have to be prepared. And cunning. Incorporate these tips into your Black Friday game plan, and you'll score all the amazing deals you want without getting run over by a crowd of crazed shoppers.
1. Don't eat too much at Thanksgiving dinner
We can all agree that Thanksgiving dinner is the best, but don't gorge yourself if you're planning on joining the throngs of Black Friday shoppers; you don't need pounds of mashed potatoes and stuffing jostling around in your stomach as you race from aisle to aisle looking for deals. Make yourself a tiny plate of turkey so you're full of protein, and then laugh as you run past the people who had three pieces of pumpkin pie.
2. Wear the right clothes
Black Friday is not the day to impress everyone with your fancy new high heels. Wear something that you know is comfortable and you can move around in easily. Don't worry about whether or not it's in the best condition. In fact, dig around your laundry basket and find something that's been in there awhile. The worse you smell, the more likely people will stay out of your way and you can stroll around the stores in peace.
3. Be nice
You'd think this would go without saying, but basic civility goes out the window when people have been waiting in line for hours and there are only five $50 flatscreen TVs available. Keep your hands to yourself, and respect personal space. If you know you're going to be waiting in a long line, bring cookies to share with the people around you — you never know if you might need one to grab something off a high shelf. Also, the more they eat, the slower they'll be once it's time to run inside (see tip one).
4. If you're going to be rude, at least be polite about it
If you're not a morning person, being nice might not be an option after getting up at the crack of dawn to crowd into a mall with tons of other people. In that case, if you have to be rude, try to keep it in check. For instance, want to cut in line? Be honest about it by saying, "Excuse me! I just want to get out of this hellhole and go back to sleep!" Want to distract someone so you can steal the cheap iPad out of their basket? Drop a $5 bill on the ground and snag the goods while they pick up the money. That way, karma won't come back and get you all the way.
5. Get to the stores early
You better be reading this article on a mobile device outside of [insert big box store], or else you are out of luck. Do not expect to go into Macy's at 6 p.m. on Black Friday and walk out with any of the doorbusters that went on sale at midnight. Get your head in this 100 percent, or just wait until Cyber Monday with everyone else too scared to brave Black Friday.
6. Pay someone else to do your shopping
Let's say you are incredibly thrifty, which is why you love Black Friday deals, but also incredibly lazy, which makes the thought of getting up early to wait in a line terrible. Use some of the money you will save by shopping on Black Friday to pay someone else to do it for you. High fives for you, Mr. Cheapskate, because not only are you stimulating the economy, you're also a job creator!