Black Friday has traditionally been one of the busiest shopping days of the year, but with the current state of the economy, many people are wondering whether 2008 will be a comparative disappointment.

Last year, online spending was recorded at $272 million on Thanksgiving, and $531 million on Black Friday; this year holiday shopping is expected to be more challenging with one in five shoppers saying they simply have less money to spend. With that in mind, we've created a Black Friday resource list to help you navigate your way to a bargain.

If you're not familiar with Black Friday, it is the day following Thanksgiving (always on a Thursday), and typically signifies the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Retailers slash prices and open stores in the wee hours, and customers are known to line up hours before the store is expected to open in an attempt to grab some bargains.

According to Shopzilla's Helen Malani, shoppers are turning to the Web, not only for shopping, but for gift ideas and product research. "Whether they make those holiday purchases online or in stores, the Internet will have a tremendous influence on holiday sales this year," she said.

So if you're willing to do a bit of research on the Web, there is a strong chance you'll find some of the best deals available.

Where to find information about Black Friday online

In the lead up to Black Friday, retailers oftentimes leak special offers, and there are plenty of sites that offer up that information. Problem is, how do you know where to look? Here are four sites that you might want to bookmark. All offer RSS and e-mail subscriptions to keep you up-to-date.

Black Friday 2008

Black Friday Info

Cheap Stingy Bargains

Note: Cheap Stingy Bargains offers coupons and coupon codes all year round
as well as Twitter updates

Black Friday at Gotta Deal

Comparison Shopping Search Engines

According to a recent study by Shop.org, 78 percent of retailers plan to offer free shipping at some point during the holiday season. This is great news for the budget conscious among us, but where do you find the best deals online? You start with price comparison search sites.

If you do decide to go and face the crowds, don't forget to plan your strategy by visiting ShopLocal to find the best deals in your area.

Finally, if you're willing to rise before dawn and wait in line in the cold there's a good chance you can find a bargain on Black Friday; if you miss out, don't worry too much, you can always find a great deal online come Cyber Monday.

If you know of any other great sites, please share them with us.