Local coupon expert says savvy shoppers should start preparing for Black Friday now

Savings blogger, Lauren Greutman, provides Black Friday savings tips.

It may feel early but our local coupon queen, Lauren Greutman, says preparation is the name of the game when it comes to Black Friday shopping This is the time to start making a list and checking it twice so you can determine which of the items are Black Friday worthy.

"Electronics are huge. Cameras, tvs, computers, dvd players, those are all things that are going to sell out pretty quickly," says Greutman.

If you're buying toys for the kids or the latest technology for your gadget guru, it's worth the early hours and long lines because you will find the best deals. For clothing, you'll see sales all year long, but the exception to the rule is seasonal items like boots, scarves and gloves.

"Jewelry is a great thing to get on Black Friday. Last year I got my daughter a pair of diamond stud, white gold earrings for $34 and it was normally $200 so jewelry is a definite purchase," says Greutman.

Once you decide to take the plunge, it's time for a game plan. You should figure out what store you're going to and what time it opens.

Locally on Thanksgiving night, Macy's, JC Penny's, and Kohl's will open at 8pm. Local malls like Destiny USA and Great Northern Mall open their doors at midnight. Lowes will launch its online deals at 4am and Radio Shack will open at 8am on Black Friday.

"I also recommend you bring a buddy with you. That way you can hold the cart, you can go grab everything and protect everything because unfortunately people will take things out of your cart," says Greutman.

If you're not getting big items, avoid carts all together and bring reusable shopping bags to give yourself space to maneuver the crowds.

Physically, prepare yourself for a long day by wearing layers and comfortable shoes.

"Try not to bring a purse with you. Try to put everything in your pocket so you don't have to lug around a big bag with you," says Greutman.

Some simple tips to help you not only survive

but walk away with big bargains on Black Friday.

For local Black Friday deals in Central New York, visit Lauren's blog,