Five Ways to Survive Black Friday

As much as we love pigging out and receiving gifts, a no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners, survival-of-the-fittest, all-you-can-grab shopping marathon is truly our favorite time of the holidays.

And it's not because we haven't experienced our very own Black Friday trauma. We've been pushed. We've been shoved. Hey, we've even gotten in "I was here first" screaming matches to nab that last big screen or $5 toaster. Black Friday is kind of like the evil twin to the mania at Oprah's favorite things show -- rabid materialism run amok. If you're worried you're just too tame and timid to survive a middle-of-the-night shopping binge, have no fear. As Black Friday veterans, we'll make sure you get out alive. Just follow these five tips.

1. Wear layers and clothes you can move around in.
Yes, that may sound weird. But if you're waiting in line outside after midnight on November 26, it gets a bit chilly outside even though we live in the tropics. Instead of donning your favorite winter coat -- you know us Miami people will grab any excuse to don the winterwear -- wear breathable layers. Trust us, you'll be way grateful when everyone else is sweating, trying to lug around a hefty coat with all of their loot.

In fact, sweats, yoga gear, and sneakers are definitely good options. Why? Because when employees open stores, sheer chaos breaks out. People make a run across the store for one of only five laptops, and you don't want to get left behind (or trampled) because you decided to look good instead of dressing to win.

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2. Stop eating by 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
No, we're not crazy. Yes, turkey smothered in gravy is delicious. But you don't have to eat enough to last you through the winter. Plus, staying up late pigging out does one thing: It makes you move slower and feel sleepier. You can't possibly find any good deals if you're moving at a snail's pace. We didn't make this up. Look up the calming powers of tryptophan and get back to us. Also a good idea: Bring a water bottle or some Four Loko (kidding!) on Friday morning. You'll need it. 

3. Have a game plan.
This may sound like common sense, right? But shopping for steals isn't as easy as just looking through the circulars. You need to do your research. Consider yourself lucky, as we've already done some of it for you. Sites like black-friday.net, fatwallet.com, and blackfriday2010.com offer amazing deal leaks (that aren't announced until Friday), and even coupons to print out for additional discounts.   

4. Shop online on Monday.
Are you worried you'll come home on Friday afternoon feeling defeated, with a bruised ego and possibly a bruised hip? If you'd like to still get in on all the Black Friday sales, you can shop online on Monday. It's known as "Cyber Monday," and sites like CyberMondayCentral.com have all of the sales already listed. No driving or running around necessary. 

5. Avoid chaos and opt for the less frenzied sales.
Yes, we all know that Black Friday is the shopping day for electronics. People go insane tracking down computers, flat screens, DVD players, and everything in between. But if you'd like to experience the discounts in person while avoiding the chaos and still get some deals, then go to sales people don't know about. Forgo the mall (which will turn into a microcosm of the Gaza Strip) and seek out freestanding or mom-and-pop shops instead. Right off the tops of our heads, we can tell you that Urban Outfitters will have all sale merchandise tagged at an additional 50% off until 10 a.m., and Sweat Records is hosting a Black Friday Garage Sale. The perk of both? They start way after 8 a.m. Sleep in, and still shop. That sounds like a plan to us. 


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