My sisters and I have developed a black Friday shopping strategy that works well for us. It involves walkie-talkies, a drop off car, and a coffee runner!
We usually determine the priority stores on Thanksgiving. There are usually around 5 of us shopping so we combine our lists for each store. We’ve determined that parking and standing in line are the two biggest time wasters. So when we have my youngest sister drops two sisters off at each of the two stores that we’re going to hit first. Once the doors open, one person immediately stands in line to check out while the shopping sister takes off to pick up the items on the list. We use walkie-talkies now instead of cell phones because they’re instantaneous and don’t go dead as quickly when multiple calls are being made, plus you don’t have to bother with call waiting! The sister standing in line reports her position in line so that the shopper can drop items off and make sure she’s finished by the time the person in line gets to the front. We usually put everything on one credit card for simplicity and divide it up at home. We also try not to use carts because they are a huge bottleneck and it’s much easier to move quickly without them. When we’re finishing up at the first store we call the driver to be picked up. The driver has our Caribou Coffee waiting and we’re off to the next store. We usually are done shopping by about 9 and then we grab breakfast on our way home.