Black Friday may be more popularly known for getting consumers to stay out all night or arrive at department stores at the crack of dawn in order to get great prices. However, we couponers know that it means something a little different—and maybe more exciting—to us!

We've already started seeing Black Friday coupon deals being posted, complete with breakdowns. (Drugstores typically offer the best Black Friday coupon deals—and lots of them!) To a new couponer, this can be overwhelming. We're used to, what, two or three freebie deals at each store per week? When it gets amped up to nearly 40 free items, the excitement is almost too much to handle! Instead of feeling flustered, try these strategies to help you prep for Black Friday like a pro!

1. Make your list ahead of time.

Create a running list and just keep adding to it as you see more Black Friday coupon deals. You can do this on paper or electronically, whichever method works best for you. Don't forget to include the quantity of each item you plan to buy (read those limits, especially at CVS!), the price it'll be on sale for, any coupons you will use, and how much you will pay after coupons. If the item gives out store rewards (most Black Friday coupon deals do), include how much you should receive as well.

Note: I create my list electronically so that when it's complete, I can rearrange items to include similar items next to each other, making it easier to navigate the store.

2. Gather your coupons early!

Sites like KCL are awesome about sharing what applicable coupons are available to go along with each Black Friday deal. Clip the newspaper coupons you'll need, and print any Internet coupons as soon as you see them…because we know those can disappear quickly!

Keep them neatly organized and stored until you'll need them. Doing this a few days ahead of time will save you a headache and frantic, last-minute clipping—trust me!

Be sure to check out the Black Friday deals at these stores!

3. Get familiar with your store.

This may sound obvious, but there are a few Black Friday freebies that are uncommon products, or maybe there’s a new brand on the market that you've never seen in the store before. I can't count how many times I couldn't find something on my list when I got to the store, even after my husband and I split up to look. We'd either end up asking other couponers where they found the item because we spotted it in their cart, or just miss out. Plus, employees don't always know where promotional items are located in the store and can be really busy on crazy days like Black Friday!

Take your completed list to the store a few days before and make sure you know where to locate each item on your list. Don't stress too much if you still can't find something; often drugstores will place promotional items on endcaps or displays on the day of the sale to make it easier for us!

4. Plan your route to each store.

I have multiple CVS and Walgreens stores in my area, so I’ll always check online to see which locations are open 24 hours and hit those first! Black Friday coupon deals start at midnight on Thanksgiving night, so I head to my first stop at a 24-hour CVS around 10:00 P.M. This gives me enough time to find everything on my list, organize my separate transactions in my cart if I have any, and pull my coupons out to double check everything before I check out at midnight.

When I'm finished there, I head to my 24-hour Walgreens and get in on those deals. Not a night owl? Would you rather get your sleep in and coupon early in the morning? No problem!  Make sure you get to a traditional-hour store location right when they open because the 24-hour stores may have already been cleared by the time you get there.

Remember to have fun!  Black Friday deals should be exciting, not stressful. By taking the necessary steps to being prepared ahead of time, there should be nothing between you and your trunk full of freebies!

This is a guest post by Amy from Rockport, TX.



How to Prep for Black Friday at the Drugstores