Smartest Black Friday shopping strategy: Buy the stuff others overlook

The promise of Black Friday deals can look downright amazing — who wouldn’t want to buy a 50-inch flatscreen TV for $150? But the competition to score deals on big-ticket items can be fierce and frustrating. You can be the third person in line when the doors open on Friday morning only to discover you’re still too late because the store had just two TVs in stock at that price.

Most people who head to the stores on Black Friday are looking for the same thing. A survey by fatwallet.com found the top three things people will shop for are clothing (42 percent), electronics (34 percent) and toys (30 percent). Instead of feeling the burn over deals that fizzle, or the frustration of fighting your way through crowds of people circling the biggest discounted items, why not shop smarter on Black Friday?

Buy necessary holiday items other people overlook on the biggest retail day of the year, such as furniture, holiday decor or gourmet foods. Retailers like Big Lots consistently offer a wide selection and competitive pricing on such items, so you’ll have no problem finding what you want while others are competing for a handful of “deals.”

Here are some ideas of smart items to shop for on Black Friday:

* Food staples and snacks – You have to feed holiday guests, and Black Friday can be a great time to score deals on a variety of fare. Look for gourmet coffee, imported cheeses and crackers, baking ingredients, spices, condiments, candy and more — everything you need to field a festive feast for holiday celebrations.

* A new mattress – Instead of fighting the crowds for big-ticket electronics, why not put your money and efforts toward making the guestroom more welcoming? When grandma visits for Christmas, she can sleep on a new mattress. Big Lots offers great prices on mattresses year-round.

* Holiday decor items – While others are duking it out in the local toy store over the season’s hottest toy item, why not turn your attention to decorations? Black Friday is a great time to stock up on holiday decor. If you wait until closer to the big day to purchase decorations, you may find a dwindling stock and prices driven up by higher demand.

* Pet supplies – Fido and fluffy deserve to share in the festivities. Since you would be shopping for pet supplies like treats, toys, food and sweaters for them anyway, why not do it on a day when everyone else has turned their attention elsewhere? Big Lots carries pet beds, food, toys, leashes and collars, attire, treats and more at great prices all year round.

* Items for the home – It’s the little touches that your holiday guests will appreciate, so Black Friday is a great day to purchase items for the home, such as new bedsheets for the guest room and towels for the guest bath. A brightly patterned table cloth, new dinnerware and flatware can add some flare to holiday meals.

* Simple yet heart-warming gifts – Everyone’s holiday shopping list always has some acquaintances and co-workers who don’t need a big-ticket gift from you. While others are competing for the pricey, show stuff on sale, you can find simple yet heart-warming gifts for your babysitter, housekeeper, your child’s teacher or a colleague. Bath sets, grooming sets, gourmet food and coffee, and cosmetic kits all make welcome gifts, and it won’t cost you a lot to give a holiday greeting.

For more Black Friday shopping ideas or to find locations and hours of Big Lots stores near you, visit www.biglots.com.

EDITION: California | U.S. & World
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