First Person: Camping Out for My Black Friday Deal

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After gorging myself with grandma's Thanksgiving turkey and sweet potato casserole, I did not expect to recover on the sidewalk of a shopping center in town. I spent the night sleeping on a sidewalk in order to nab the best Black Friday deal ever. I scored a $700 laptop computer for my son for only $139.

At first I was skeptical that a laptop marked down so much would stand the test of time. But I'm happy to say my son has had it now for six years, and plans to use it through college.

My ultimate Black Friday deal finder started with the daily newspaper advertising inserts. The Thanksgiving Day paper was stuffed with ads. We spotted the laptop in an electronics store flier and knew we had to get there early. After frantically packed some sandwiches, we headed out to the store. There were already a few people in line when we arrive at 6 p.m. I stayed in line while my husband went home to gather up overnight supplies.

I was surprised by how cold it got by nighttime, but the people in line were friendly and polite. They let you keep your place in line if you had to leave to use the restroom. Most people drove or walked to the nearby fast food restaurant that was open 24 hours. It was terribly uncomfortable to wait in line for more than 12 hours.

By early morning, a store representative came outside and offered "Black Friday vouchers" for different sales items. I nabbed the voucher for the laptop and other shoppers picked other vouchers. Not everyone in line received a voucher since they had a limited number.

After getting the voucher, we went to the car to sleep the rest of the morning. In just about two hours the doors to the store opened. Hundreds of people crowded into the store, but those of us with vouchers could just head straight to the front register to claim our deals.

Was it worth it to save more than $550? At that time in my life, it was worth it to see my son's face on Christmas morning. But I don't think I'll be doing another all night camping trip for Black Friday deals. I'm just more of an indoor kind of girl.

More from this contributor:

Keeping financial peace in my marriage

How I kicked my shopping addiction

Best Time To Snag A Deal

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