It's nearly that time of year again. The sales. When everyone, or almost everyone, goes crazy for a bargain.
Here are WeekendNotes' top tips for how best to handle what can be a chaotic day (or days) in shops across the nation.
1 - Plan ahead - Check the websites of the stores who sell items you're interested in to find out exactly when the sales will be kicking off. Get there an hour late and you'll miss the best stuff. If you think the sale's going to be a popular one, you'll have to get there a couple of hours before (or even the night before) in order to get a decent place in line, thereby giving yourself a better chance of bagging a bargain.
2 - Sharpen those elbows - It can get physical in the sales. While we wouldn't for a moment suggest pulling an aggressive move such as a deft punch or swift kick in order to secure a cut-price item, a little bit of gentle pushing and shoving may be required. Stand tall and stand firm, but smile and be friendly too. The sales aren't worth getting a black eye or a police record over.
3 - Wear comfortable running shoes - If you're in a queue outside a shop, waiting for the doors to open, it means you're probably there with your eye on a particular item you've seen advertised. So when those doors open, there's no point tottering in in your high heels or flimsy sandals. You need to make sure you turn up with decent running shoes that'll help you get ahead of the sprinting masses. You never know, you might all be heading for the same item.
4 - Take a car (or lorry, depending on your shopping habits) - For the sake of the environment, it is of course always best to use public transport whenever possible, but the first day of the sales is one time where people can be forgiven for driving into town. This way, you can buy your goods and dump them in your vehicle before heading out to bag more stuff.
5 - Do it all online - If you simply don't have the energy for the fight - and let's face it, after all those Christmas puddings and glasses of sherry, many don't - then just stay fully wedged in the sofa and shop for bargains online instead. You could even enjoy a Christmas pudding and glass of sherry at the same time. Perfect!
6 - Don't bother - You could of course forego the stress of it all and take a trip out to the countryside for a bracing walk in the fresh air instead. After all, do you really need ten more garments for your wardrobe? Is that discounted gadget that customers weren't interested in up until now really any good? Do you honestly need all those material possessions?