13 Black Friday Shopping Tips to Help You Save the Most
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclaimer for more information.
Black Friday has become a very hectic day of the year. So much, in fact, that it’s not even just limited to the Friday after Thanksgiving anymore. Some stores start their deals on Thanksgiving day at 5pm, while others offer Black Friday deals and savings the week prior to Black Friday.
In some aspects, this is good, since we’re getting more opportunities to save massive amounts of money. In other ways, it’s taking away from family time and can also lead to spending money that isn’t necessary.
So in order to help you save as much money as possible Black Friday shopping and spend more time with family, here are my top tips to help you do so.
Black Friday Shopping Tip #1: Know How Much Money You Want to Spend (and don’t bring a cent more!)
The first and most important step for a successful Black Friday shopping trip is having a set amount of money you’re willing to spend. Generally, this is something you’ve already saved up or set aside for the special occasion. Once you have your budget set, you need to make sure you stick with it. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending more money than you can afford, thus defeating the purpose of Black Friday deals to save you money.
Black Friday Shopping Tip #2: Know What You’re Buying and WHY You’re Buying It
Whether it’s on Black Friday or any other day of the year, many people tend to buy things that aren’t really necessary. It’s important you actually know what items you plan to buy. In addition, you should know why you’re buying them.
Is it a gift that your kids want for Christmas? Will it be used as a birthday present for your mom? Have you been waiting for this laptop to go on sale so you can get rid of your old one? Or is it something that will probably be used once or twice and then never touched again?
Knowing what you’re buying and why you’re buying it will help you narrow down the stores you go to and the amount of money you spend. Remember, you should always aim for quality over quantity. Just because you gave someone 10 small, irrelevant gifts doesn’t mean they’re better than gifting one or two things that person actually wanted.
Black Friday Shopping Tip #3: Browse the Ads Beforehand & Make a List
In order to figure out what’s on sale at each store, you need to look through the ads. This will give you an idea of which store has the best deals on the products you’re looking for.
Once you’ve found what you want from each store, create a list of each product, the sale price, and which store the items are located at. This will make it easier to get in and out of each store and help you stay on track and budget!
Black Friday Shopping Tip #4: Shop Around for the Cheapest Prices
Going off from tip #3, check all the ads to find the best prices on the item(s) you’re looking for. Every store has different pricing and incentives, whether it’s on Black Friday or otherwise. For example, Best Buy might have the new iPad $50 off the original price while Target might have the same iPad that’s even cheaper.
When comparing prices, it’s also important to pay attention to the product’s normal price. If you’re only saving a few bucks on it, is it really worth all your time and frustration? Chances are it’s not, so keep this in mind when choosing which items to buy.
Black Friday Shopping Tip #5: Forget About Doorbusters or Other Limited Quantity Products
If you’re looking for more than just one item, it’s wise to forget anything with very limited quantity (i.e. 15 MacBook Pros available). Otherwise, you’ll spend hours, if not days, waiting in line for one product. In turn, you most likely won’t be able to get many of the others on your list.
Black Friday Shopping Tip #6: Have a Partner in Crime
Two is always better than one when it comes to Black Friday shopping. This allows you to divide and conquer, increasing your chances of getting everything on your list. Whether you go to separate stores or split up in the same store, you’ll come out with more than had you gone by yourself.
I should note it’s best to take another adult along with you, as opposed to a teenager. Since there are so many crazy people running around, you never know what could happen if your child is by their self. You don’t want anything bad happening!
Black Friday Shopping Tip #7: Know the Store Layout
In order to move as quickly as possible throughout the store, you need to know it’s regular layout. This will help you easily find the items you’re looking for instead of wandering helplessly throughout the store.
A lot of times the special Black Friday promotion items aren’t necessarily where they would be on a normal day. For example, there might be certain TVs in the front of the store instead of in the back with electronics. If possible, try and ask employees where certain items will be located on Black Friday. Knowing the layout of the store will help you easily figure out where these special items are located.
Black Friday Shopping Tip #8: Make a Game Plan
Once you’ve browsed the ads and determined what you want, it’s time for a game plan. You need to figure out which stores you’re going to, the times they open, and where they’re located.
If one store is on the opposite side of town than the others you want to go to, it might be wise to forget about it. You can see if the items are available at other stores closer by or online (during Black Friday week or Cyber Monday). Or you can have your Black Friday shopping buddy go there while you go to the other stores.
Knowing exactly what you’re doing will make the process a heck of a lot smoother. Not to mention all the time you’ll save by being organized and on top of it.
Black Friday Shopping Tip #9: Shop Online Instead
Sometimes, shopping online will benefit you more than shopping in store. Several retailers offer Black Friday shopping deals online throughout the week or the day of Black Friday. This means you don’t even have to leave home to get these amazing deals!
Below are just some of the reasons to do your Black Friday shopping online:
• You don’t have to leave your home
• If you have children, you don’t have to worry about finding (and paying) someone to watch them
• You can spend more time with your family on Thanksgiving
• Shopping online and during Cyber Monday can get you some pretty great deals (sometimes even better than in store)
In addition, you can save even more money shopping online when you use cash back sites.
Black Friday Shopping Tip #10: Cyber Monday Could Work Out Better Than Black Friday
Sometimes the items you’re looking for are only available in limited quantities. That means you need to camp out in front of the store for days or else you stand no chance of getting what you want.
To save you all that hassle, try shopping online on Cyber Monday. Many retailers have great online deals, sometimes as good or even better than Black Friday. I don’t know about you, but I’d take shopping online from the comfort of my own home over waiting in line for hours in the freezing cold any day.
And don’t forget to use cash back sites when shopping online! They’re at no extra cost for you to use. 🙂
Black Friday Shopping Tip #11: Don’t Just Buy Something Because It’s On Sale
I cannot stress this point enough!
Just because something is on sale does not mean it’s a good deal. If you have no use for an item or didn’t budget for it, you’re just wasting money. In order to maximize your Black Friday savings, you need to buy only the things you’ve budgeted for and have on your list. Nothing more!
Black Friday Shopping Tip #12: Buy Gifts for More Than One Occasion
If you have the money, Black Friday is a great time to pickup discounted items to give as gifts throughout the year. Whether it’s for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, or other special occasions, you can find something to gift.
This is a great way to save money since you’re getting all these great items at discounted prices, as opposed to buying them at full value around the time of the event. In addition, you’ll have a great stockpile accumulated, meaning you don’t have to worry about getting gifts throughout the year.
Black Friday Shopping Tip #13: Join Rewards Programs Beforehand
Many stores offer special incentives to members of their rewards programs. This means you get special Black Friday promotions before people that aren’t members. It’s usually free to sign up so you’re getting savings on top of savings. See if the stores you do your Black Friday shopping at have any rewards programs to join.
Black Friday Shopping Tip #14: Leave the Kids at Home
It’s a well-known fact that children make shopping 1000x more difficult than it needs to be. Black Friday shopping is no different. In fact, it’s even more difficult.
People go crazy during this time of year and it can be dangerous if you have children shopping with you. Trying to keep your kids close and push through mobs of people to find the items you want is very challenging, and it will definitely slow you down. In addition, chances are you’re shopping for gifts for them, which you don’t want them to see. Therefore, leaving the kids at home will make the whole process a lot easier (and you’ll get a break from them!).
What are your plans for this Black Friday shopping season? I know I’ll be snuggled up on the couch watching Marvel’s Punisher.
Don’t forget to share this post!