No longer just the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday has evolved into a month-long campaign of meticulous planning, research and bargain hunting. With extreme deals like $300 40-inch flat-screens and free games for the new XBox Kinect at stake, there's no time for aimless meandering, turkey coma or not. Sure, there's Cyber Monday, but if you want to strike it big, you'll have to brave Friday's predawn retail assault.
'Tis the season to get your shop on.
Browse store ads, confirm "leaked" sales, create shopping lists and sign up for e-mail alerts on Black Friday-devoted websites:
Looking for a specific item or brand? Some companies like Sony have released comprehensive shopping guides to point you in the direction of the best deals.
With up-to-the-minute details on the best sales that are available at all times from any location, Black Friday apps will definitely give tech-savvy shoppers an extra edge. For iPhone users, there are Black Friday apps by BradsDeals and DealNews.com with built-in integration for Facebook, Twitter and e-mail so you can share your deals with friends and family. Even cooler is Black FlyDay for Android, which offers GPS tracking and real-time sale updates.
Download retail apps to help make the most of the time and money you spend in each store. Well-equipped for the retail madness, Target's app for iPhone or Android lets you browse the newest ad, check product pricing with the built-in scanner, get item availability and even pinpoint its aisle location.
Mix and match pieces a la Cher's digital closet in Clueless and order directly from your phone to avoid the dressing-room nightmare with Gap's StyleMixer for iPhone and Android. You can even upload your own photos to see how new pieces fit with your current wardrobe!
Amazon may not have storefront locations but that doesn't mean they're sitting out Black Friday. The website's Black Friday apps help you quickly search, shop, compare prices, read reviews and make secure purchases right from the palm of your hand.
Unsure of where to find the best deal for a particular item? Scan the barcode or the cover of any book, CD, DVD or video game using a free app like Red Laser for iPhone or Google Shopper and ShopSavvy for Android. Compare prices, and find reviews, specs and more, as well as websites and nearby stores that have the item in stock.
Best of all, all of these apps fit the money-saving theme – they're free to download!
When Staples marked down an HP 20-inch LCD computer monitor to $100 for Black Friday, the company made sure that its followers on Twitter were the first to know. This year, many major retailers are turning to social networking, so join your favorite stores on Facebook and Twitter for sales updates and exclusive coupon codes.
Reduce stress and wasted time on the road by planning out the optimal route between stores. Enter up to 100 addresses into RouteSavvy, an app in Bing Maps available to Verizon users, or plan your route on FindtheBestRoute.com and export it to your GPS unit to get from point A to Z in the shortest amount of time possible.
Lastly, don't let a dead phone battery put a kink in your Black Friday game plan. Be sure to stock a car charger or back-up options – I like the portable Duracell Instant Charger and Mophie Juice Pack Air, a cool gadget that doubles as a protective case and battery booster.
It may seem like overkill, but the most seasoned Black Friday warrior knows planning – and a few high-tech tools – are the key to money-saving shopping success!
And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .
SheKnows is making some changes!