It’s that time of the year again. It’s time for Black Friday shopping - the time of year when you can scoop up great deals on Christmas gifts and other items you need/want. What’s on your shopping list this year?
While many of us are spending the days leading up to Black Friday scouring websites and the local flyers to see what deals will be available, it’s important to also have a plan for when the day comes, especially if you will be going shopping with the kids.
Here are some great tips for taking the kids Black Friday shopping and surviving to tell the tale.
1. Sleep in
Sounds counter intuitive, right? If you are not trying to grab door crasher sales (the same ones everyone else is after) then what’s the rush? There are still hundreds of great deals to grab later in the day. If you wait until late morning, it will be much less crowded, and you will be able to have a more pleasant shopping experience.
Plus, there is no need to drag the kids out bed in the middle of the night to line up outside in the cold if one of the door crashers is not on your list.
2. Safety first
Unfortunately, Black Friday shopping is not only known for the deals. It can also be dangerous. We’ve all seen the videos online of people getting trampled or people fighting over items. Make sure your kids are safe and free of these situations at all times.
3. Have a plan
Shopping on Black Friday without a game plan will only add to the length of your trip. Know the items you are looking for, know the stores you want to visit, and do so in priority sequence. This will help avoid any unnecessary stops in your pursuit of great deals.
If you are planning to head to the U.S. for some Black Friday shopping, make sure your passport is up to date. Remember that your kids also require a valid passport to cross the border. To avoid long lines at the border, consider leaving on Thursday and staying the night.
Remember that you are also subject to customer’s rules and regulations when shopping in the U.S. Here are the current personal exemption rules:
Less than 24 hours: no exemption
After 24 hours: you can claim goods up to $200 without paying duty or taxes
After 48 hours: you can claim goods up to $800 with paying duty or taxes
If you are planning on a big purchase or two, you may want to consider making a long weekend out of your Black Friday shopping trip.
Learn more about what you can bring home to Canada by reading this mini guide by the Government of Canada.
5. Bring snacks
All that walking around will surely make the kids hungry. Rather than waiting in the long lines at the food court in the mall or eating fast food, pack some healthy snacks for your shopping trips. The snacks will keep the kids content, and it will also keep them busy when you are waiting in line to pay for your purchase.
6. Don’t leave them in the car
Even if you are only planning on running in for a minute, never leave your kids alone in the car, even if it’s not cold outside. You never know what could happen in a busy parking lot. Take your kids into the store with you.
One of the best ways to keep the kids in check when shopping is to bring a shopping partner with you. It can be your spouse, a family member, a friend, or even your nanny or babysitter. Having an extra person to help keep their eyes on your kids in a busy store can be a big help. It also ensures that someone can watch the kids at all times. You can alternate between shopping and watching the kids, so you will both be able to get all the items on your shopping list.
8. Let them help
To prevent the kids from saying the magic words – “I’m bored” – involve them in the shopping process. Let them help you make a list of the items you want to purchase, let them check them off the list when you get them, and ask their opinion. Keeping them engaged is the key to ensuring they don’t get bored.
9. Shop online!
You can avoid all the hassle of Black Friday and having to take the kids shopping with you, by shopping online. Most of the deals you want will be available online. Skip the hassle. Also, don’t forget Cyber Monday is only a few days after!
Bonus Tip: Hire a Nanny & Leave The Kids at Home!
If you are a true, hardcore, deal hunting Black Friday shopper you know it’s not fair to drag the kids around with you all day. Besides you know they will slow you down. If you have no one to watch them have you considered hiring help for cases like this? Feel good knowing your children are in good hands with a qualified babysitter or nanny. Don’t know where to start? We are here to help:
While it’s easier to just leave the kids at home, this is not an option for all parents. If you are going to take the kids Black Friday shopping this year, following the above tips can help you get your shopping done and keep the kids happy and occupied on the busiest shopping day of the year.
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