If you’re always looking for the best deals and bargains, then Black Friday has to be at the top of your list as the – if not THE BEST – day to score huge discounts at your favorite retailers. But with so many deals out there on that glorious day, it’s easy for your wallet to take a big hit in a short amount of time.
Here are some tips to help you keep your holiday spending under control and help you maintain your sanity on the busiest shopping day of the year.
- Create a plan of attack
Shopping can almost be compared to a sport, in that you have to devise a strategy for obtaining the item(s) you want and at the best possible price. First things first: SET A REALISTIC BUDGET! It’s no fun paying for gifts through July. Planning ahead for whom to purchase gifts for, what gifts to get them, studying store circulars, and deciding where and when to shop are other important details to consider.
Timing, for example, can be a major factor in the kinds of discounts you can take advantage of. Many stores are opening ON Thanksgiving. This year J.C. Penney will be opening its doors at 5 p.m., while Sears and Kohl’s are opening at 6 p.m. Do your homework and find out which one of your favorite retailers is opening at a special time, which can mean sweet deals for you if you get there early on. DealNews has a substantial list of Black Friday store hours for a number of popular stores.
- Go Digital and Get Social
By now, many of us are aware that the same deals available in brick-and-mortar locations are also available on those same stores’ websites. But, did you also know that you can find lesser-known deals on those same stores’ social media pages? Amazon.com’s Instagram feed, for example, is now another shopping avenue. Since timing was just mentioned above, Amazon.com will also be offering new discounts every 10 minutes through November 28. Visit amazon.com/blackfriday.
Apps are also your best friends when it comes to Black Friday. Chameleon is an app that helps streamline the whole shopping process by telling you the aisle and inventory status of items on your shopping list. The app is also a price scanner and can collect reward points redeemable for gift cards. It only works with select businesses (Best Buy and K-Mart being two), but is nonetheless a valuable tool.
Shopping for the kids in your life will also be a snap since Toys R Us has an app that lets you locate what you’re looking for, down to the shelf, AND sends offers to your smartphone while you’re in the store. Doesn’t get any easier than that!
Make sure you sign up for texts and emails to receive coupons directly from stores too.
- Comparison Shop
Nothing hurts more than knowing the same 50” TV you purchased at Walmart was cheaper somewhere else. Comparing deals is a MUST when looking for the best price on Black Friday. Some major retailers will match Black Friday prices of other stores (just make sure you read each store’s policy).
Don’t forget to also check out price comparison sites to find the latest and greatest deals. PriceGrabber.com is one such reputable site worth browsing.
There are so many ways to maximize your funds on Black Friday. It takes a little work on the front end, but the extra cash in your pocket is well worth it. Decide what strategies you’ll use…and put on some comfortable shoes for the day ahead!
One last item on your To-Do list: remember, some deals are better the days before and after Black Friday. Many shopping enthusiasts swear Thanksgiving Day is the best day to shop for electronics, while others say Cyber Monday is the best day to purchase clothing at a steep discount.
What other tips would you add?