Crowded, cramped and congested stores, just one of the signs the holiday season is on its way. Savvy shoppers hoping to find the big ticket item for a smaller price believe the last minute deals are the only way to save.
"You can get 50 percent off on Christmas Eve if you want to tackle it with all the people," says Debra Lane.
"When I was single I was the day before Christmas," says Evelyn Radowicz. "I would get everything and I loved it."
But can you skip the rush and stick to your budget? Shoppers we spoke to say it's not only easy, it's sometimes a necessity.
"We have a little one now so we don't think we could last with the mob scene," says Holly Viola.
"I have to start so early because the kids patience level is over," says Radowicz. "So I got two gifts today."
"I start really early because I have to make sure I have enough money to spread it all out," says Savannah Ward.
The key to keeping your wallet stuffed as you stuff the stocking is organization.
"Keep it organized and then you won't overspend," says Viola. "We made a list of who we're buying for and what we're looking to get them. Hopefully that way we can track our savings as well."
Knowing what you want and where you plan to get it can help you avoid impulse buys when the sale signs are flashing. Another benefit to pre-season shopping, the hottest items are still in stock.
"You get to get everything before somebody else does," says Ward.
Whether you're an early or late shopper, shoppers we spoke to say to avoid the lines all together, just skip the stores and head to your computer.
"It's easier to shop on-line when the kids are napping, and I found better prices," says Radowicz.
If you can't resist the rush at the register, you can still use the internet to prepare for the biggest shopping day of the year. Web sites like blackfriday.info and theblackfriday.com release sale information weeks in advance, so you'll know where to get discounts on the items on your list.