On Friday, retail’s version of The Hunger Games will commence. That’s when the holiday hordes descend on stores and websites around the country, trying to claw the very best deals on gifts for their loved ones (and themselves).

You can not only survive the weekend, but you can thrive, knowing you got the best value for your shopping dollars. Here are a few ideas that can help along the way.

See also: Brace Yourselves For Amazon’s Big Holiday Blowout

Start Out With A List Of Products You Want To Buy

If you’re not sure what to get your friend, co-worker or family member, it’s possible to browse for gifts this weekend. You might even get lucky and score some great values here and there. But don’t leave your whole list up in the air. The other shoppers scavenging for supplies at stores probably won’t. You don’t want a lack of focus to leave you exhausted, desperately hunting for whatever you can get. 

Do A Little Research; It Goes A Long Way

Amazon has extra lightning deals going. Best Buy offers some sneak peeks and early sales. (It also offers a price match guarantee on certain items, if you happen to spot it somewhere else for less.) So do Staples, Target and others. Even Twitter has a holiday initiative to connect stores and users. 

See also: Twitter Lets Retailers Tweet You Deals—Just In Time For Black Friday

For particular products, check out CNET’s picks for the best Black Friday tech deals, or peruse USA Today’s Black Friday Stock Lists, which covers whole-store inventory for more than 35 major retailers.

Stay On Top Of Deal Alerts And Sales

BFads.net’s sole purpose is to corral Black Friday deals—it even has an iPhone app—and DealNews does an admirable job of staying on top of specific droolworthy sales and promotions. Keep these tools in your bookmarks or phones, to keep abreast of jaw-dropping sales and discounts. 

With a little savvy, some swift action and a lot of chutzpah, you won’t want for gifts and other products. And even if you do miss out on a few items, don’t fret: The season has only just gotten started. Let the Holiday Games begin. 

Know of another great deal or holiday shopping resource? Tell us in the comments section below. 

Photo by Mark Hillary