The biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, will be here soon. And if you're new to the experience, it can be a lot to take on. As a 10-year Black Friday veteran myself, here's what you need to know before you head out into the retail battlefield.

Since many of the Black Friday ads have already been leaked, you might already know what you're looking for. I know I have my eye on a few things. And since stores are opening earlier and earlier each year, Black Friday really starts on Thursday. If you are planning to "hit the streets" this Black Friday (or Thursday) I've compiled a few survival  tips as you brave the crowds this holiday season.

Coffee is a MUST - If you are like me, you've been cooking ALL DAY. You're probably worn out, so coffee will be your best friend on Black Friday. I'll be bringing my mug with me and I'm sure I'll make a stop or two at my favorite coffee shop.

Wear Comfortable Shoes - You're going to be walking a lot (and standing in a lot of lines), so sneakers are your best option. I know you want to look cute for pictures on Snapchat or whatever social media platform you use. You can look cute, just don't photograph your feet. No one will notice. Your fancy shoes just aren't worth it today.

Don't Take a Jacket - It's just one less thing to carry into the store. With a few hundred people in every store, it's gonna be hot. So what's the point of a jacket anyway? Also, you need your arms and hands free for all of the stuff you're buying. So if you do bring one along, just leave it in the car.

Bring a Snack - My sisters and I bring a cooler with drinks and snacks to keep us fueled. We eat a Thanksgiving lunch, so by the time we head out for shopping we're due for a recharge. Chips, chocolate, whatever you need to keep you going as you shop Thursday night into Friday morning.

Download a Black Friday App - There are several out there (Flipp, Black Friday, etc.) so just go to your app store and download a couple. In some of the apps, you can like an item and it'll automatically save it. That way, you won't forget it when you get to the store. Keeping track of everything on your own can be a big undertaking.

These may be simple tips, but trust me, they'll come in handy. And remember, if you don't get an item, you probably didn't need it anyway. It's the Holiday season after all, so be nice to each other. And maybe pick something up for Toys for Tots or our Load The Lobby campaign and help someone have a Merry Christmas.

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