One of the best ways to stretch our Christmas Shopping budget is to take advantage of the sales on Black Friday. But don’t just get in the car and go! One thing you need to take with you is a Black Friday Tool Box. It will make your shopping organized, frugal and much more fun!
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What is a Black Friday Tool Box?
Several years ago, my friend Lorea and I took off in the wee hours of Black Friday morning. She had found a Big Ticket item she wanted to get for her husband, but without the deep discounts offered on Black Friday, she couldn’t have afforded it.
Once she made her purchase, we took advantage of being in town and all the savings. Throughout the day, I realized that we should have done things a little differently, to keep us on track and organized.
So I developed a Black Friday Tool Box. No – I don’t take a hammer, screwdriver and pliers with me. Instead, this ‘tool kit’ simply contains everything you will need to spend an entire day in town, shopping, saving, and enjoying the day.
What Goes in a Black Friday Tool Box?
Before you start assembling your tools, the first thing you want is a ‘tool box’. Years ago I made some tote bags, which is just a simple fabric bag with straps long enough to fit over my shoulder, but not so long it bounced against my hip.
Your tool box can be a bag like I made, a purchase tote bag (or one you already have), a small backpack, or anything that is large enough to keep your ‘tools’ handy.
Another item to take is an ice chest. It isn’t just the shops that have great deals. Grocery stores also have sales going on, and it is a great time to stock up on all the things you will need for holiday meals and snacks.
The Tools in the Bag
If you searched through my tool box, these are the things you would find:
- A manila envelope that contains my coupons, newspaper fliers, and lists (grocery, gift, supplies, etc.)
- A separate envelope to store receipts
- A hand drawn map or list with all of the places I want to go written down. This list also includes what I am searching for at each store, price, a check mark if there is a coupon, and any other notes I need to make. It is organized according to priority – the best deal, the store’s opening times, etc.
- A bag of snacks
- Pen & notebook
- Phone or iPad for online coupons
- If necessary, a map of the city in which you plan to stop
- An extra pair of shoes and/or socks. (You will appreciate this if it is raining!)
- Rain gear
- Hand wipes &/or Sanitizer
- Extra masks
- Any other needed supplies (lip balm, mints, hand lotion, etc.)
- Swatches (if you are working on a project, these come in handy to match colors, etc.)
- Emergency Contact & Medical Information Sheet (I hope you don’t need this one, but have it just in case!)
Here’s a note: Find all the lists (and so much more!) you will need in Have a Merry, Simple Christmas e-book!
Save your Money for Shopping
There are several ways to cut your spending, thereby saving your money to purchase gifts and needed supplies.
One way is to carry an ice chest in which you have stored water, juice, or other preferred drinks. If it is cold outside, consider bringing along a thermal mug and a thermos filled with a hot drink. Hot chocolate, coffee, or tea are perfect choices.
Consider packing a picnic basket. Instead of spending money at a restaurant, take a picnic and have a selection of sandwiches, chips, pickles, olives, or other simple foods. And don’t forget those homemade brownies or cookies!
Once you are ready for lunch, just have your picnic in the parking lot, or find a nearby park. Doing this will also give you an opportunity to rest and regroup for another round of shopping.
Black Friday is a great day to find bargains and stretch your holiday budget. It is also a great day to spend with a friend or two to help search for that one elusive gift.
Make it an even better experience by keeping your Black Friday Tool Box packed and close at hand. With it, you won’t miss a single bargain – you will know exactly where to go, what time to be there, and have the coupon handy without having to search the car and your purse trying to find it!
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