Black Friday is a time for great deals — and maybe great exhaustion.

So how do you make the most of the busiest shopping day of the year, without letting it drive you nuts? We stopped in and spoke to the sales staff at Ashley Furniture HomeStore of North Brunswick, part of the same group that owns locations in Greenbrook, Eatontown, Freehold, Linden and Woodbridge.

Design specialist Michael Peterson is working his third Black Friday with the store this year. For him and the rest of the staff, it means an early start on the day — and a (welcome) onslaught of customers that puts any weekend day to shame. He said shoppers should expect about twice the traffic they'd see even on a busy Saturday.

His tips:

Call ahead: If you know what you're looking for, see if the store has the item in stock and on-location.
Have some patience: There's a lot to be seen on Black Friday. Taking a breather can be important on a long day of shopping if you want to keep your wits about you.
It is worth it: For all the attention Cyber Monday and the extended shopping season's gotten lately, Michael said Black Friday's still the time to get prime deals.
Think through a major purchase: In a store like Ashley's, you might buy furniture that'll be in your home for years to come. Be sure you love what you buy — if you're putting real money behind a purchase, know it's something you'll love for a long time.

This article was produced in collaboration with our advertising partner Ashley Homestores of Central New Jersey with locations in North Brunswick, Linden, Green Brook, Woodbridge, Freehold, and EatontownFind your location now.

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