Black Friday deals aren't what they used to be: Is it even worth it anymore?

(NBC) - Four weeks from Friday and the most die-hard shoppers get the day of their dreams. But that's not how everybody views it.

Black Friday is as traditional as the turkey on Thanksgiving.

"You know. Moms and daughters would be clipping coupons while dad watches football. And then they decide which stores they were going to hit, then go out and line up at 4 in the morning," said Kelli Grant with

But, yet again this year, many are wondering whether the fad of Black Friday is fading..

"I think a lot of consumers have realized that you don't necessarily get the best deal on black Friday," said Allison Linn, "Today" consumer finance writer.

A new poll, conducted by Ipsos, found that 40% of shoppers started their holiday shopping weeks ago, while only 12% will wait until Black Friday to begin.

"We've talked about Christmas creep in years prior but it's really getting longer and longer," said Trae Bodge,

Given the economy, Black Friday's fade doesn't surprise those who follow retailing.

"I think it is one day that people go shopping but people are much more savvy about getting deals other times of the year and they're much more cautious with their money than they were 4 or 5 years ago," said Linn.

But they say the stores realize it, too.

"Retailers are going to be clamoring to get a piece of that pie and therefore offering great deals to consumers much earlier than they usually do," said Bodge.

Another prediction that bodes well for retailers: half the shoppers surveyed by Accenture say they expect to increase their spending this year by at least $250 before, during and after Black Friday.