Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

Think you need a riot shield to survive Black Friday? I’m Lucas Wysocki with your bankrate.com personal finance minute.

The biggest shopping day of the year is fast approaching and you need a plan if you’re going to brave the crowded malls. Start researching now to make the most of Black Friday deals. Don’t wait for the paper. Go online to get an early look at where the best deals are and get your comparison shopping out of the way before leaving the house.

Once you know what you want to buy and where to get it from, make a plan. Find the route which will get all of your shopping done in one trip. When you do hit the stores, leave the kids behind and bring a friend. While you wait to checkout, your friend can bring you items to buy, or vice versa.

Finally, if you want to skip the crowds altogether, much of your shopping can be done online. Many door-buster sales start online on Thanksgiving day, and if you can wait through the weekend, there are plenty of online deals to be found on Cyber Monday. For more money saving tips, visit bankrate.com. I’m Lucas Wysocki.