Shopping is a huge part of the holiday season, and prepping for Black Friday shopping is like getting ready for a marathon. It’s unwise to set out in the morning (or the middle of the night) without a plan, because there are too many things to keep track of. What stores open when? Are you looking for a specific item? Is there someone who still need to purchase gifts for? Answering these questions, and others, before you leave the house will make your Black Friday experience a success.

Establish a Budget

It’s easy to be distracted by a price tag, and the bad part of Black Friday shopping is the temptation to be sucked in by low prices on items you had no intention of buying. Establish a budget specifically for the items you want to buy, and allow yourself only a little bit of wiggle room. Take cash rather than cards to help limit your spending and you won’t have to worry about heading home with more stuff to store.

Create Your List

Decide ahead of time which stores you want to go to, and where you want to be first. Study the ads to determine where you’ll find the best deals on the items you need for your Christmas list. This will also help you decide what time you are leaving the house. Some deals start at midnight, and others start at 5am. Is there a deal that’s worth camping out for? You’ll need to know ahead of time, or you’ll miss out.

Your list should also include what you’re planning to buy for whom. Check these off as you go along so you can stay on track. There are plenty of apps that can help you track both your budget and your purchases.

Pack the Necessities

Black Friday is a serious commitment, with early morning hours and long lines. Pack snacks and water to keep your energy up while shopping, and you won’t have to worry about fighting the restaurant crowd. If you plan to camp outside, check the weather and pack a hat and gloves if necessary.

Store Your Receipts

Have a folder or zip-up compartment handy while you shop to store receipts. Otherwise, it will only take a few stops before your wallet becomes overrun with loose bits of paper. If it’s an option, have the store email your receipts so that you have an electronic copy. You’ll want them on hand in case you end up needing to return something.

Black Friday shopping can be fun and productive with the right preparation, but keep in mind the basic rules of an organized home. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it, regardless of price. Even free items cost space and cause clutter, something that adds stress to the holiday season. Organizing your shopping adventure brings peace to your mind, your wallet, and your home.