Every year, it seems that Black Friday begins earlier and earlier. Just a couple of years ago, people all across America debated the morality of retail stores opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day rather than waiting until Friday.

This year is no exception. Opening up my browser recently, I was a bit startled to see Black Friday deals had already begun. While I am not advocating skipping out on family time to shop, I do believe in planning ahead so that you can make the most of the deals to come.

Start looking now

One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is sitting down at the coffee table after dinner and perusing the ads of a printed newspaper, passing “the good ones” back and forth among family members. This year, we can check out some of the sales online — starting now.


There are websites that give a nice, up-to-date rundown of the most popular stores and biggest deals. Make a list of the things you want and, more specifically, when they will go on sale. Black Friday websites also provide handy tools for typing out your plan and creating an itemized wish list, complete with ad scans.

Go outside

If shopping in person is more your style, consider going outside of the early morning rush. Yes, the deals will not be as drastic, but the lines will be shorter and you can still score big-time savings.

As I mentioned earlier, Black Friday sales start earlier in the day, and in the week. Look out for special, bumped up hours in newspapers and store ads. Many of them start on Thanksgiving. So put those shopping shoes on right after removing your dining bib!

Look at last year

For retailers that have not yet published their Black Friday deals, look at what they did in 2017. There is no guarantee that they will offer the same deals, but retailers tend to improve year after year, especially to keep up with the competition.


Think, too, about where you shopped in person last year. Where did you park, when did you go, and what did you score? This can help you to create a roadmap for what to do this time around.

Back to tradition

Over all else, nothing really beats going back to some good-old, smell-good newspaper flippin’.

Pull out all of the ads found in this very Sunday Honolulu

Star-Advertiser edition, and also, the MidWeek is another great source. As you flip through the pages, write down a list of what you want with the prices so that when you hit the stores you already know what you are looking for. This is one less stress when shopping in a big, hectic crowd of people.


Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.