CHICAGO (CBS) – Thanksgiving may spell parades, football, and good times with family for most. But this year, there’s a good chance you, or someone you know, broke with tradition and went shopping. A growing number of stores are open for the actual holiday.

There were plenty of people out hunting for bargains along Michigan Avenue Thursday afternoon.

So is this another sign the economy is recovering?

CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez asked shoppers if their willingness to hit the stores today means they plan to spend more this year.

It seems like more shoppers than ever are sneaking away from their traditional Thanksgiving Day dinners with an appetite for deals.

The Gap on Michigan Avenue lured plenty of shoppers with deep discounts.

“A lot of great deals. Today, we have $10, $20, $30 promotions,” said a Gap employee.

While a lot of shoppers are shaking up their routines by shopping Thursday, they don’t plan to shake up their budgets this year.

When asked if she will be spending more or less this year, one woman said, “My husband is saying less, but I don’t know. Maybe about the same.”

Time and time again, shoppers told CBS 2 they’d be spending about the same as last year, even though most aren’t really sure what that was.

Even families that are cutting back the rest of the year said Christmas is the exception.

“We try to make the holidays fun. We save to spend, not spend to save,” said a man.

“I have been the type of shopper in the past where I would just go and get what I wanted it,” said one woman.

But with the new economic reality comes a new philosophy for some.

“Look for bargains and shop cheaper,” she said.

A philosophy that fueled sales on a holiday normally reserved for kicking back.

“We’ll be watching football a little bit later on,” said one man.

Most of the stores open Thursday have already closed, but many others are preparing to open within hours with Black Friday door buster deals.

Toys “R” Us opens at 10 p.m., getting a big jumpstart. Wal-Mart opens at midnight. K-mart and Sears will also get an early start, opening at 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.

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