Local Black Friday pregame

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Ready. Set. Shop.

By Amy Brozio-Andrews

There are a ton of Black Friday-oriented discount websites out there if you want to scope out deals in advance while your turkey's in the oven. Here are a few websites and sample deals for stores with local outlets -- and a rundown of sales at a handful of local businesses:

First, the deals from the web (your mileage may vary):

Black Friday Ads: JoAnn Fabrics has Best Value 100-ct. holiday light sets for $2.98

RetailMeNot.com: Print out some coupons to take with you -- 20% off at Borders, $5 off a $30 purchase at Sears, free item (up to $13 value) with $10 purchase at Bath and Body Works

BlackFriday.info: Best Buy has Magellan - RoadMate 1212 Portable GPS for $79.99 (reg. $199) Requires ticket -- see Best Buy site for details.

TheBlackFriday.com: Be one of the first 50 people at PepBoys and get a $10 gift card

Black Friday at Amazon.com: Get a J.A. Henckels 8 Piece Stylus Block Set for $29.99 (regularly $225)

Make sure you read the fine print on any of these offers; certain terms or conditions may apply, naturally. (It can never be easy, can it?)

More info about what's planned at local stores (both local as in "here" and local as in "owned by people here"):

Kohl's opens at 4:00 a.m. on Black Friday but you can begin shopping their early bird specials online at 1:00 a.m. (Click here for details and to browse their ad.)

Walmart opens at 5:00 a.m. Their specials run until 11:00 a.m. Best deals from the Washington Avenue store's flyer: an HP Deskjet All-in-One printer/scanner/copier for $29 and a Kitchen Aid stand mixer (model #K4555WH) for $130.

Speck Boutique in Saratoga Springs is offering 30% off from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m and 20% off from 9:00 a.m. until the store closes, plus additional sales in-store, up to 50% off.

Also in Saratoga, Impressions of Saratoga is having an early bird sale, starting at 6am with savings of 50% off during the first hour, 7am-8am 40% off, 8am-9am 30% off, and then 20% off for the rest of the day. (And there's complimentary coffee!)

Elissa Halloran Designs in Albany is offering 10% off all jewelry from Nov. 28 - Dec. 13 (as seen in Metroland ad).

Also, Troy Night Out falls on Black Friday this year. Here are the listings for food, entertainment, art, and of course, shopping. (And don't forget TightKnit.)

So what are some good strategies for surviving Black Friday?

  • Plan ahead. Who do you have to shop for, what do you want to get, how much do you have to spend. Figure out your plan of attack so you don't have to do a lot of doubling-back. Look at company websites first so that you know exactly what you're shopping for. Today is not the day for browsing.
  • Read the fine print on any coupons you want to use. Remember, some of these discounts are valid only during certain times of day.
  • Eat a good breakfast before you go and have a snack in your bag if you need it. You could be standing in really long lines with no end in sight.
  • Shop with a friend -- it's easier to keep going.
  • Try not to shop with young kids, they'll probably wear out before you do.
  • Dress in layers. It can get hot in the mall.
  • Keep all your holiday shopping receipts in the same place to make returns easier.
  • Plan something fun for the end -- meet up with a friend or catch a movie, something to look forward to when you're standing in a line 20-deep for Wii.
  • Be aware when buying gift cards that some retailers may not be in business too long in 2009. You've probably received that multiply-forwarded email of stores slated to close; Snopes has the scoop on this "mixture of accurate, inaccurate, and outdated information." More food for thought on this subject from Consumer Reports.

See also: Kristi G's been listing a bunch of holiday shopping deals over the last week.

All right, team, break!

photo: Flickr user Silfverduk

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