Sometimes swimming against the tide is easier than floating along with the crowds. Like the shoppers who head out to malls during Vikings games. Fewer people, shorter lines, relaxing experience.

Some of you won't be caught anywhere near a mall on Thanksgiving evening or Black Friday morning. But if sleeping late isn't your thing, Minneapolis Institute of Arts will be doing its third annual Black Friday alternative from 6 A.M. to 7 A.M. Get a free ticket to  “Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945” with admittance varying between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Friday. Then get 20 percent off all purchases in the gift shop. including  one-of-kind and vintage Italian clothing, accessories, and objects, from Fendi, Missoni, Prada and other brands. Receive a free gift on purchases of $125 or more all day. Free coffee and treats are also served early in the day.

An MIA rep who answered the phone Wednesday said that crowds have been moderate for the early bird event in past years, although there is usually a line at 6 a.m. when the museum opens.

Here's another example of not following the crowds--going to the grocery store when your fridge is bulging with Thanksgiving leftovers. Lunds/Byerly's offers a one day Black Friday sale with 7 deals worth a visit:

Norwegian salmon fillets for $7/lb (reg. $19/lb),]

Cuties seedless clementines $3/3 lbs (reg. $7)

Deli salad bar $5/lb (reg. $7)

Store brand spring water $1/15 pk (reg $3)

Cottonelle double roll TP $4/12 count (reg. $10.60)

Brew Pub pizza $4/12-inch (reg. $10)

Caribou coffee $5 (reg. $9.80--limit two).

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Eyeglass frames for $59 this weekend, regularly $259 and up

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