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Susan Karagjozi is Long Island's top Black Friday shopper
The results are in, and after a long and arduous Black Friday journey, 57 percent of our readers who voted were correct: Susan Karagjozi, a 33-year-old teacher from Middle Island, has been crowned Long Island's top shopper.
"I am so pleased to have been the winner," Susan says, "because I did not waiver from my morals of being with family on Thanksgiving, not waiting on lines, not pushing people out of the way to get something, not opening up credit cards to pay for items and putting myself in debt, and lastly enjoying the spirit of the holidays as a time for giving and thankfulness instead of materialism and greed."
Susan, who saved a whopping 63 percent overall, said she couldn't have done it without her sister and loyal Black Friday companion, Pamela Webster.
"Without her I am not sure I would have had the drive and will to continually ask for discounts, price match items from ads, and stop to breathe," she said.
And, although Susan has now been Black Friday shopping for about 16 years, she said she gleaned some new tips this time around:
1. Bring a blanket to cover hide packages from view in your car.
2. Buy two copies of Newsday for double the coupons. That way, you can bring ads into the stores to price match knowing that if you lose the ad you have another in the car.
3. Do not pull all the way into your parking spot; this allows you to quickly see what aisle you were down and spot your car more easily.
4. If you are shopping with another person, try to bring reusable bags for your purchases in one color, so when the day is over, you can separate the purchases more quickly than having to scan the contents of each bag.
Some of Susan's hot buys included jewelry worth $250 for $47 at Kohl's, plus deals on electronics at Target and kitchen appliances at Macy's.
Although she came out on top, all five of our ExploreLI.com Super Shoppers worked hard to score amazing deals.
Maragret Verow Goldstein, 55, of East Setauket, saved an average of 44 percent, including 50 percent on more than $1,150 worth of clothing at Old Navy, which she donated to a local charity; $605 at C. Wonder; and $180 at Banana Republic. She also snagged a steeply discounted pair of Michael Kors boots at Macy's.
Jennifer Johnson, 27, of Hempstead, was Karagjozi's runner up, saving 58 percent on purchases that included two RCA dual-core tablets for $100 at Walmart, plus crazy savings at Macy's, Walgreens and Bath & Body Works.
Lauren Sheehan, 27, of Levittown, saved 54 percent on items including a mirrored console table, for $251 that was originally $700 at J.C. Penney, a Christmas tree at Home Depot and toys on at Kohl's.
Lauren Falco, 29, of Commack, saved 47 percent on items including furniture worth $1,400, which cost her $840 at Ashley Furniture, clothing from New York & Company and Kohl's, and electronics from Best Buy.