Preparation is the key to getting your hot little hands on the best Black Friday deals.
Here's our Top 10 Tips on how to score:
1. Make your list: Make a list of all the items you know you need to purchase. Know what you want to buy and then seek out the best deals. Rank them in order of importance -- and savings.
2. Be prepared: Check all the circulars in the Thanksgiving edition of the Sun Sentinel. This is the biggest newspaper of the year and it's also the most convenient way to see what's being offered where and at what price. Compile the ads with the items you want to buy and take the ads with you to the stores. Walmart is price matching right at the register. No proof, no price reductions.
3. Go online: Next, check retailers websites for items on your list for pricing, quantity and special offers and to get other information about hours, shipping and more. We have a handy list of South Florida mall hours.
4. Decide where you're going: Based on your research, plan which malls and/or stores you're going to hit first and then check hours. Tip: South Florida malls and retailers' Macy's and Kohl's are offering savings passes with additional money off. If you're shopping at one of those stores, print out the passes and add them to your circulars.
6. Cook & shop: Many retailers are holding online Thanksgiving days sales. Put down the spoon and grab the mouse to see if anything on your list is available on Turkey day. Also, many stores are open on Thanksgiving this year.
6. Stay up, sleep in: See if the items on your list will be offered online at midnight on Black Friday if you don't want to head out at the crack of dawn. Many retailers, like Lowe's, are offering the same deals online as in the stores beginning at midnight on Friday, making a trip to the store needless.
7. Use your smart phone: Your mobile phone can be an invaluable way to save. Download a shopping app. Check out Daniel Vasquez's Consumer Talk blog on the best ways to use your smart phone to shop and save. Also, use social media like Facebook and Twitter to help find the best deals.
9. Online rebates: If you do purchase online, use cash-back sites like EBates.com, FatWallet.com, ShopatHome.com and others to get percentages off your purchase deposited into an account. The sites then send you a check.
10. Have fun and be courteous! Heading out in the wee hours to shop on Black Friday is an adventure. I'll be at Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise at 4 a.m. on assignment for the paper. Share your scores and finds with us on Twitter using hastag #sflblackfriday!