There is a saying that honesty is the best policy and, like most people, I couldn’t agree more. Following this principle goes a long way in keeping us out of trouble. However, like any rule, sometimes this guideline has to be bent a little. After all, is a sane man going to tell his wife that she looks fat in that dress? Not likely!
In a similar vein, while we should mostly avoid seeking unfair advantage, I decided to make an exception and offer A-J Media readers the ultimate cheat sheet for Black Friday. With these crib notes, you will avoid a lot cramming and still pass the big test with the biggest scores!
As one example, consider this case of what you would have found online if you researched toy sales in a prior year:
• Dollar General (Thanksgiving Day Sale): 11/22/2018 (7:00 AM): 11/22 (7:00 AM – 10:00 PM)
• Big Lots (3 Day Sale): 11/22/2018 (7:00 AM); 11/22 (7:00 AM – 11:59 PM), 11/23 (6:00 AM – 11:00 PM), 11/24 (8:00 AM – 11:00 PM); Deals on Pages 1 – 5; Hours valid for 98th Street Location
• Kohl’s (Black Friday): 11/22/2018 (5:00 PM); 11/22 (5:00 PM – 11:59 PM), 11/23 (12:01 AM – 11:59 PM); $15 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent, 15% OFF Coupon on Page 2, $15 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent, 15% OFF Coupon on Page 2
• Target (3 day sale): 11/22/2018 (5:00 PM); 11/22 (5:00 PM – 11:59 PM), 11/23 (7:00 AM – 11:00 PM), 11/24 (8:00 AM – 11:00 PM); 11/22 5:00 PM – 1:00 AM (Canyon West), 11/23 7:00 AM – Midnight (Canyon West), 11/24 8 am – Midnight (Canyon West), Friday Only – Spend $50 or more – Get 20% OFF future shopping trip – See pg. 20 of ad, Save $25 on Christmas decoration when you spend $75 (Saturday & Sunday Only)
• Walmart (Black Friday): 11/22/2018 (6:00 PM); 11/22 6:00 PM – 11/24 11:59 PM; Store hours may vary by location. Starts online Wednesday (11/21) at 9 PM.
When looking at this sheet, here are a few of the edges you will gain:
• Narrowing the Field: Needless to say, there are a lot of sales. If you are looking for a particular item, you will have to peruse a lot of ads to find the deals for the products you want. Unless you use the online savvy shopper table! With the above table being just one example of products being matched to sales, you will find the same kind of table online for everything from appliances to XBoxes!
• Store hours: Because ad campaigns are frequently national and store hours vary by locale, Black Friday ads lack store hours more often than you might think. To save you the legwork of finding out hours, we have gone online or called the stores to find out when the sales are actually taking place.
• Start times: To help you schedule your time wisely without calling all the stores to get their hours, the sales are sorted by when they start.
• Comments: Where it makes sense, this cheat sheet will shortcut you to coupons and other helpful information. In addition, clarifications are offered.
In addition, if you are more interested in going to one store and seeing what comes up, the Savvy Shopper is offering an online list that details the where and when of the sales in one highly convenient spot. For example, if you had wanted to know more about Target in a previous year, you would have found the following information at lubbockonline.com:
Target (three-day sale): 11/22 (5:00 PM – 11:59 PM), 11/23 (7:00 AM – 11:00 PM), 11/24 (8:00 AM – 11:00 PM); 11/22 5:00 PM – 1:00 AM (Canyon West), 11/23 7:00 AM – Midnight (Canyon West), 11/24 8 am – Midnight (Canyon West), Friday Only – Spend $50 or more – Get 20% OFF future shopping trip – See pg. 20 of ad, Save $25 on Christmas decoration when you spend $75 (Saturday & Sunday Only)
Although there are always exceptions to every rule, here are some additional tips I can offer:
• Since Black Friday disrupts all other sales, Wednesday grocery deals and Sunday deals will not be covered this week. However, regular coverage will return starting next Wednesday.
• During the Black Friday period, the deals are almost always good.
• Unless stated otherwise, it is safe to assume that a sale is valid while quantities last and that no rain checks are given.
• The earlier a sale, the better it is.
• In most cases, sales of short duration offer better prices. For example, events that last one day are mostly better than those that last 3.
• On early and short duration sales, limit yourself to ones you can arrive at well ahead of time. Otherwise, the store will probably run out by the time you can buy the item.
• Many stores offer the option to buy online and still take advantage of deals. Be sure to check for this.
Again, you will find links to all this valuable information at this article on lubbockonline.com. We would have loved to include it in the print edition, but you wouldn’t be able to lift it! Believe me, it’s huge! With all this in mind, don’t miss out on these tools and have the best Black Friday ever. However, most importantly, have a happy Thanksgiving!
• SALE ITEMS LINKS (Table A) – For a complete list of commonly sought after sale items and the sales where you can get them, go to: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1heE7NKufoBPG9e-zTDhCYbn8jtZt2IpH/view?usp=sharing
• SALE INFORMATION (Table B) – To find sale hours, coupon information, and other helpful tips, go to: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1InnhVB33pc6qnN-Z_4UjS_QSCBQf8hJR/view?usp=sharing
This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Fields: The ultimate Black Friday cheat sheet for Lubbock