Hunting fowl and wildlife is a cherished fall tradition that I’ve shared with my son for years.

I share a different kind of annual hunting experience with my daughter: Chasing down bargains on Black Friday.

Just like a hunting trip in the wild, Lindsey and I have made a day of the deal quest since she was 12, and over the years we’ve refined it into a well-oiled machine.

Two days before this Super Bowl of savings we plot it all out: Which stores we need to get to, which coupons we have for each store, and what gifts we need to get for each family member and friend. This year we were armed with new shopping apps to find the best deals.

Black Friday ShoppingWe get up sometime between 2 and 3 a.m. and load up on caffeine before heading out armed with a manila folder containing our finely tuned list. The first stop is most likely Tanger Outlets – Bayside, unless we need some electronics, and in that case a stop at Wal-Mart is added to the agenda.

We’ve figured out that the earlier you get there, the better the discounts. But that doesn’t mean we get there at midnight, when the lines are stuffed with people looking to do the exact same thing as you. We aim to do our thing from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m., when there’s no lines, more parking and just as many discounts.

We hit the outlets hard. Lindsey loves J. Crew and since I am more mature (older) I like Ann Taylor, and we always make sure to scour Nine West, Michael Kors,  Banana Republic, Gap and sometimes even Nike and Under Armour to snag some gifts for the guys.

We don’t waste any time or try anything on. We get in, and we get out. We’re power shoppers. This helps us take advantage of the great Black Friday deals, which become even greater when we use our Tanger Club Card, giving us an additional 10 percent. And, of course, all of the shopping is tax free!

All of the stores, names and gifts are typically crossed off our list by 11 a.m., and then we go to lunch. If there’s a good girlie movie playing, we’ll grab some popcorn, rest in a cozy theater chair and make a day of it. This year, Lindsey is getting a puppy, so that’s going to be our big post-shopping present.

Yes, the deals are phenomenal, and you can’t beat the excitement of shopping at Tanger’s roster of retailers. But Black Friday shopping is a highlight of the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend because it’s a different kind of annual hunting trip, a time for my daughter and I to bond and have a blast – minus the duck calls and the guns.

*Featured guest blog post by Linda Parkowski – Director of Tourism, State of Delaware.