I’ve had enough up-too-early-not-enough-caffeine days in my life to learn that there smart ways to shop on Black Friday. You can save money on Black Friday with these simple tips:
Shop early. If you want to get the best deals, you can’t leisurely crawl out of bed on the morning of Black Friday and drift casually into the store. You need to be up and at ’em bright and early. Set your alarm, program your coffee maker, and be ready to go at least an hour before the stores open.
Shop with a plan. Shopping with a plan is a must if you want to save money, but it’s extra important on Black Friday. Because sale items disappear quickly (and are often limited in quantity), you have to make sure that you don’t waste time shopping for items that aren’t high on your priority list.
Check out the Black Friday ads to see what items are at each store. Then make a detailed list of everything you want to buy, prioritize it, and assign part of it to a family member or friend so you can cover twice as much store in half as much time.
Make sure to bring your cell phone (a smartphone is even better for comparison shopping) and set it to vibrate because you may not hear it in the crowds.
Shop with cash. Sticking to a budget can be really tough when the bargains are great. But if you shop with cash, you won’t be able to overspend. You’ll have to make some tough decisions on which deals to get, and maybe you’ll even return home with a few bucks to spare.
Shop without kids. Having a family member or friend help you shop for the items on your list can be very helpful during the crazy early hours of Black Friday. Bringing overtired, hungry, and impatient kids with you is not. The kids will pressure you to buy extra things, it will be nearly impossible to hide any Christmas purchases from them, and they require a lot of supervision. All things that just don’t work with trying to get the best deals. Leave them at home with your spouse or a sitter.
Shop online. If early morning hours and big crowds aren’t your thing, stay home! There are plenty of deals to be found online from Black Friday through the holiday shopping season. There will be Black Friday deals at Amazon all day long, and Savings.com will have plenty of great online shopping codes to help you save. Of course, you can shop through Ebates and earn cash back on your purchases.
Just remember, Black Friday is just another day. There will be plenty of deals to be had this season, so don’t feel pressured into buying things just because of all the hype. Stay on a budget, make sure a deal is really a deal, stick with a plan, and enjoy the savings.
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