Black Friday Tips For Montana Residents
Black Friday in years gone by has earned its meme-worthy reputation: frantic shoppers pelting each other with elbows, fists, and feet clad in Clogs as they shove their way through the aisles trying to secure the last doohickey on the shelf. It's laughable thinking that behavior like that was/is expected the day after Thanksgiving, and it actually seems encouraged as department stores and retailers ramped up their Black Friday ad campaigns leading up to what we now know the last Friday of November to be: a swath of shoppers cutting their way through aisles, leaving trails of muddy snow from their boots and unfolded pants off the racks in their wake.
It doesn't have to be this way, does it? Not in Montana it doesn't. We'll happily lap up a sweet Black Friday deal, but we have the experience needed to not only get the deal but also be courteous to our fellow Black Friday dealseekers.
Those Who Plan, Win
Shopping whimsically, one could argue, is at the core of Black Friday. As far as I know, the "event" could have been selected almost any day after Thanksgiving, perhaps they picked it by throwing darts at a calendar?
Don't get caught in Reserve St traffic if you can avoid it; pick your route before even warming up the truck. Know when stores open and find the best way to get to all the stores you want. Remember it's harder than it looks going east and west in Missoula? As my dad would say, "The shortest distance between any two points blah blah blah I forget the rest HEY SIRI WHERE AM I?"
Have A Budget And Stick With It
Similar to the route planning, this one is a lot like picking who you're going to root for and against before Brawl of The Wild. There's not a lot of fandom overlap. (source)
Doing your research before Black Friday ensures that you'll know the price of the stuff you're after, and once you total all those up, you'll have a dollar amount that you can not only understand but prepare for. Knowing this total can also help you expect the credit card bills once they come due.
Experiences vs Things
The true Montana experience does NOT end with watching Yellowstone and thinking, "Yeah I wanna move there." Montanans value doing stuff outdoors, whether its hiking, fishing, hunting, or rafting the river.
One of the best gifts you can give a Treasure Stater is the gift of an experience. No amount of wrapping paper could contain a weekend in Glacier or a guided fishing trip on the Upper Missouri or Blackfoot River. Same could be said for a season ski pass to Montana Snowbowl or Whitefish Mountain. The best gifts come in small packages, right?