The Budget Fashionista’s Holiday Shopping Guide Series shares shopping tips and advice to help you save money this holiday season. For more posts in the series, visit our Holiday Shopping Guide

Heading out to the store on Black Friday? Then make sure you read my tips for shopping black friday.

Kathryn’s Black Friday Tips

1. Determine Your Budget BEFORE You Head Out. Develop a budget the night before and stick to it. If you’re apt to give in to temptation, and if you’re able to pay with cash instead of credit (ALWAYS a good idea), leave the credit cards at home and pay either with a set amount of cash or a prepaid Visa card.

2. Make A Shopping List. Write a detailed (and legible) shopping list, including all the people you need to shop for, their gift and the maximum you’re willing to pay for their gift. Keep the list out while you’re shopping, and have a pen handy to jot notes and check off items as you shop.

3. Do Your Research. Set aside an hour or two in advance (perhaps while you’re digesting Thanksgiving dinner and everyone else is in a turkey coma on the couch) to look through holiday circulars and online deal clearinghouses like Black Friday Ads for what each store is offering. Also make sure to see if the item is available online for the same price. You may be able to avoid the long lines.
4. Arm Yourself With Supplies. You’re sooo not going to want to fight the lines in the food court, so bring a bottle of water and protein bars or snack packs. To save your arms (and back) bring a foldable luggage cart if you plan on purchase a large amount of items. And rather than bundling in that bulky fall/winter coat, dress in layers so you can add and subtract clothing based on the store temperature.

5. Shop Solo. While some see Black Friday as a social event, we honestly find it easier to focus on true power shopping if we shop alone. The exception? Boyfriends/Husbands/Partners are great for carrying bags and watching purses … but at this point they’re pretty much on to us, and always seem to find something else to do (like sleep in).