Black Friday is a holiday shopping tradition that kicks off the season every year. Unbeatable sales and one-day-only deals make it almost impossible to resist, hence the nearly 140 million or so consumers who will hit the stores that day. The best Black Friday preparation and survival tips will keep you safe and sane, as well as money savvy when you brave the Black Friday crowds.

Tip #1: Do Your Homework

Scan through the sales flyers a few days before Black Friday to see what deals you want to take advantage of and start planning the best route to visit the necessary stores. Compare prices between stores, but also check online to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible for everything on your list. It wouldn’t hurt to take the time to read a few reviews of the sale products that you aren’t familiar with.

Tip #2: Dress Appropriately

Waiting in line for stores to open in the cold night air is part of the Black Friday appeal for many shoppers. Think about the time you will arrive and how long you will be there when you dress. Remember that stores will be even warmer than usual because of the crowds. One of the best Black Friday preparation and survival tips is to layer your clothing and, most of all, to wear comfortable shoes.

Tip #3: Shop with a List

The longer you shop, the less likely you will be to make sensible purchases. Prepare for Black Friday by making a list of all the gifts you need to buy. Make a note of the items you plan to buy each person, or jot down a few possible ideas. Remember to include easily overlooked gifts you will need, like stocking stuffers or a secret Santa gift for the office. Using a list will help you spend less and stay on track. If you feel yourself getting tired, it may be best to call it a day.

Tip #4: Plan Your Meals

During the Black Friday shopping frenzy, it is not uncommon for food courts and restaurants near shopping centers to stay crowded all throughout the day. If you plan to visit more than one shopping center, consider eating lunch at a restaurant somewhere between the two.  It may be less crowded than those in the mall. Packing a few high energy snacks like granola bars or raisins can help you get through Black Friday too.

Tip #5: Arrive Prepared

The best way to survive Black Friday is to be prepared before you get started. Make sure you have a list or that it is transferred to your cell phone. Download price comparison apps to help you while you’re shopping. Remember to pack your notes, the right credit cards, and some snacks in a comfortable, lightweight purse or bag. Also bring the sales papers in case any of the retailers will match prices.

Even with the best Black Friday preparation and survival tips, it’s going to be a very long and tiring day. Get a good night’s rest and remember that Cyber Monday is just a few days away. You could always just stay home and enjoy another day off with family.