LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The wait is almost over for people hungry for sales and hoping to get a jump on their wish lists. This Black Friday comes after a long year of high costs at grocery stores, yet experts are optimistic.

The Thanksgiving plates might be clear but a few shoppers said they have full lists of stores to check out.

“I’m in the market for some good deals, maybe some AirPods or something like that,” said Madison Ru.

Ru was out already looking for those good deals after Thanksgiving dinner with her family. She wasn’t alone, Crystal Carlson was also at Big Lots’ Lansing location Thursday night.

“I know I want to go to Kohl’s because they have a board game that I want and I know I want to go to Daily Deals because I have a weird obsession with them,” laughed Carlson.

Black Friday kicks off a weekend of online and in-store sales for retailers both large and small. Andrea Bitely, the vice president of marketing and communications with the Michigan Retailers Association, said shopper confidence seems better going into this busy weekend.

“Many people view a retail buying opportunity as something that is not necessary. But the reality is we are coming up on the holidays and so many people are ready to get shopping,” said Bitely.

The National Retail Federation estimates 166.3 million shoppers will be hitting the stores this weekend, 8 million more compared to 2021. If you’re more tech-savvy, the savings don’t have to stop in stores, especially for locally owned-shops.

“The pandemic did one positive thing and that is it got a lot of small businesses online to do their sales. you should always good or check the Facebook page for your retailer of choice and see if that is an option if you can’t get to the physical store”, said Bitely.

If gifts are not on your shopping list, there are still ways to keep your dollars local.

“Find a locally owned restaurant to go to or find an indie bookstore to make part of your destination weekend instead of buying gifts,” She said.

Bitley said supplies chains have started to settle down and most stores should have stocked shelves. she says stores are seeing light numbers in terms of employees working, so she asked for patience at checkout.