Skip The Stampede: Your Black Friday Survival Guide

So, you're putting on your game face and braving the crowds for Black Friday sales. Well, go get 'em, girl. Nobody ever said shopping was supposed to be an easy feat. No pain, no gain!

Kidding, about the pain, of course. While Friday is bound to be hectic, we don't want you to get lost (or worse) in the crowd. Keep these Black Friday savvy shopping tips in mind and you'll be good to go.

1. Make a list, check it twice. Yes, Santa style. You don't want to get to the stores and spend half the time wandering about trying to remember who you need to shop for and the other half picking out their gift. Write down everyone you need to purchase something for, how much you're looking to spend on them, and type of item they'll be getting. If you're going with clothes, make sure to find out the right sizes beforehand, especially when you're gifting for kids. They may be double the size since you last saw them!

2. Make a back-up list, check it twice. Quantities are limited and lines are long. It'd be foolish to think that you'll be getting your preferred choice item for everything on your shopping list. Create a back-up one with additional items you'll go with should the first ones be sold out. This should especially be the case if you're planning on shopping for electronics. Unless you're ready to be one of the first 50 people in line, chances are that half off flat screen's going to be gone before the sun comes up.

3. Comfort first, fashion second? We can't believe we're putting fashion on the back burner either. Don't throw out style completely, but this is not the time to “suck it up” and strut those heels or boast the ballet flats that give you blisters. Black Friday will take a lot of walking and a lot of standing in line. There's nothing that can make the experience more miserable than having your feet hurt. You know what shoes in your closet are most comfortable. Some women need their athletic shoes for a long day on their feet, while others are happy in a pair of flats or boots. Do what works for you.

4. Comfy clothes, lots of layers. Outside is bound to be cold, air-conditioned stores can be colder, and crowds get hot. That's a lot of temperature fluctuation, so dress in layers. Wear clothes that are comfortable and easy to change out of in case you find the courage to face the dressing room lines.

5. Bring the BOB. That's big, organized bag. The tote should be large enough to hold one of your lighter layers should you choose to take it off, and organized so that you're not scrounging around, holding up the line at the cash register. Make sure everything is in place in your wallet: credit cards and gift cards lined up, coins in their proper pocket, and cash in its rightful place and in an order. Bring an envelope side zip up pouch to keep your receipts in.

6. Subsidence is key. It's about to be a long shopping adventure. Don't overly exhaust yourself by skipping the snacks. Bring protein bars that you can keep in your purse and a water bottle you can keep refilling in the bathroom.

7. And please, be patience. A last, it's nice to be nice. People are going to push, shove, and be snappy. But that kind of negative energy is not healthy to consume. Take a deep breath and let out the frustration. And remember, the more patient you are with employees, the more likely they are to help you out!