Black Friday, the day that retailers traditionally offer ridiculously low prices and open their stores at ridiculously early times while attracting ridiculously crazed customers isn’t just for the day after Thanksgiving anymore.

Frighteningly, it’s starting this Halloween weekend.  The lure of all these goodies is going to go on for a long, long time this Christmas season so your job is to plan carefully.

Sears is running a big sale and Toys ‘R Us is putting all of the items in it’s Christmas Toy catalog on sale on October 31. Target is gearing up to drop a circular with 176 gift items with deeper than normal discounts the Sunday before Thanksgiving, Walmart online will be offering very low prices beginning in November… the list goes on.

The rationale behind time and supply limited deep discounted items is to snatch your shopping dollar before another retailer can pick your pocket.  Once they get you inside, they tempt you with a big loss leader, something they may very well be making no money on (unless they’ve cut a great deal with a supplier), and grab your limited disposable dollars before you make off with another guy.

Hey, we’re not condemning them for that– every one needs to make a buck.  You just need to be a withholding little B (with your purse, ladies, your purse) and not wantonly give it away to any Kohl’s, Walmart or Macy.

What should you do with all this frantic and early promotion? By all means, if there is a brand new television that was on your list and you see it at a great price–snap it up.  But, don’t add a new toaster, iTouch and Taylor Swift CD while you’re cruising through Best Buy just because they’re 20% off, too.

We’re curious: what % off an item is motivational enough for you to make a purchase?