Score More Savings With These Black Friday Shopping Tips

Can you believe it? The Black Friday count down has begun! Amid all the chaos and crowds, some of the best deals of the season are just waiting for you to snap them up.

Black Friday shopping strategies

Are you ready to score your best deals?

Ten Favorite Black Friday Shopping Tips

Shopping Black Friday sales and deals can result in some pretty sweet savings. It can also be a bit intimidating to many a shopper, me included. So how do I approach Black Friday shopping? With a little pre-Black Friday preparation, that’s how! It’s key to my survival come that crazy shopping day, and helps me score the deals I want.

Need inspiration to prepare for your own Black Friday shopping day? Here’s my favorite Black Friday shopping tips to help you score your own sweet deals.

1. Create a Black Friday Shopping List

Creating a Black Friday shopping list is the perfect way to kick off your Black Friday shopping extravaganza. I start with my Holiday gift list because, well, I need to purchase these items for the Holidays! The list should also include Black Friday deals you want to buy, as well as where to find them.

Coupons.com

I’m a big fan of shopping lists. Not only do they help keep your eye on the prize, they help prevent overspending. I’m not a fan of creating my own though! I download and print a pre-made shopping list – my favorite is Coupon.com’s Black Friday Shopping List.

2. Comparison Shop Before You Hit The Mall

Know before you go what’s on sale at what price, and where for the items on your shopping list. Then check prices one last time on Thanksgiving day. The Holiday season is a dynamic shopping time, with prices changing at the drop of a hat. And just because it’s Black Friday doesn’t mean everything is a good deal. More on that in the next tip!

How to find the best deals

Comparison shopping before you buy is your best bet for finding the deals you want. Here’s a list of My Favorite Black Friday Shopping Apps you can use to compare retailers’ deals before you  head out to the mall on Black Friday. They’re also great for comparing Cyber Monday pricing too.

3. Know What NOT to Buy

Black Friday is chock full of shoppers’ bargains. But not everything is a bargain on Black Friday. As a rule of thumb, you might want to hold on purchasing these following items.

  • Black Friday What Not To buyHoliday decorations
  • Winter clothes and boots
  • Most toys
  • Brand name HDTVs
  • Electronics Accessories
  • Fitness Equipment
  • Bedding and Blankets

Better deals are just around the corner so holding out on purchasing these items until later in the Holiday season, or better still, in January, could mean scoring a better price. There are always exceptions, though, like a Doorbuster deal.

4. Have A Black Friday Shopping Strategy

Malls will be crowded, parking lots difficult to navigate, Doorbuster deals and Early Bird specials hard to score. Having a shopping strategy can save not only money, but time as well. Oh, and quite possibly a headache or your sanity too!

Use your Black Friday Shopping List to make a shopping plan and set priorities. Map out what stores you need to go to first, and which ones you can save for later. A shopping strategy is especially helpful if you plan to score Doorbusters at more than one store.

A Word on Doorbusters: Doorbusters are typically limited inventory and sell out fast. Consider shopping with a friend and splitting up the Doorbuster deals. You get one, she gets the other! You both win.

5. Arm Yourself with Mobile Technology

Put your smart phone to work! Arm yourself with a few favorite shopping apps before you head on over to that Black Friday sale. Those apps might just save you money, time, and lots of aggravation. Here’s a few of my favorites that I know I will be using.

Shopping APps

Using a few key shopping apps can go a long way in ensuring you get in, get the deal, and get out, with your sanity still intact. Apps are also great for online searches for coveted items already sold out at the store.

6. Shop Black Friday Sales Online

Did you know that many retailers actually release their Black Friday deals at their online stores on Thursday, often before the brick and mortar stores open their doors? And, sometimes the online deals are even better than in the stores! So sit back and enjoy family and friends around the Thanksgiving table. Then while everyone else sleeps off that awesome Thanksgiving meal, head on over to that computer and score yourself some early Black Friday deals. A great way to get the deal and avoid the crowds!

Online Shopping Advice – Be aware of shipping fees before you place your order.

7. Know When The Retailers’ Doors Open

Retailers are opening their doors to Black Friday shopper searlier and earlier, with many opening as early as Thanksgiving Day. If there is a Black Friday deal you must have, waiting until Friday to shop for that much coveted item could mean depleted inventory. If you must be there at the opening to score that deal, then check the retailer’s website or Brad’s Black Friday Store Hours to know what time to head out the door.

Store hours black friday

Who knows? With the stores opening at all different hours, you might even be able to score more than one Doobuster deal.

8. Ask for A Price Match

Found the item you want, but not as low as the retailer down the road? Ask for a price match! You never know. Read more about price matching at The Art of The Price Match.

Don’t forget to save your receipts. Check prices of big ticket items in the weeks to come for possible further price reductions. Who knows? You may be able to get a price reduction on an item you already purchased!

9. Know Store Return Policies

Whether shopping online, or shopping at the mall, it’s always good to know the store’s return policy. Especially if you get caught up in a frenzied shopper’s moment and purchase something that you just don’t remember why you purchased it! :)

10. Shop With Friends!

Shop with friends or family, have fun and don’t get caught up in all that Black Friday drama. Enjoy the day! If you aren’t having fun, then why do it?

Black Friday shoppers

That’s my ultimate goal! I shop early Friday morning (like, 5:00am early) with friends or family, and end my shopping morning with a nice, yummy breakfast.

What’s Your Black Friday Shopping Strategy?

So many deals, so many ads, and who’s got the best deal? Is that price only available as an Early Bird or Doorbuster special? It’s enough to drive a shopper insane!

How do I maintain my sanity on Black Friday? I use these shopping tips! And these three strategies are the keys to managing my own Black Friday-aphobia:

Strategy #1 – Comparison Shop! The weekend before Thanksgiving I put together my shopping list, complete with who has the deals for the items on my list.

Strategy #2 – Shop online first! Often the retailer’s online store is open for Black Friday sales and deals before the brick and mortar stores are open. And I hate crowds.

Strategy #3 – Shop early, with friends or family! We get up early, get in, and get out early. Then have breakfast. I really don’t like crowds.

What’s your Black Friday shopping strategy? Do you have any tips to keeping your sanity intact while shopping Black Friday? Or do you just avoid the day altogether? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Black Friday

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Images from Coupons.com, TGIBlackFriday.com, Amazon, Walmart. KirkCrawford via Flickr (Breakfast), and piper724_2008.

Comments

  1. Ellen M. GreggTwitter: ellenmgregg_nh says:

    Carol, these are great tips! While I’m not a Black Friday shopper, I do take advantage of online savings. In fact, I already have. ;-) I admit to getting a little geeked out over the cool apps that are available to get the best deals, submit coupon codes at the checkout, etc. So incredibly clever and efficient. :-)
    Ellen M. Gregg recently posted..Ten QuestionsMy Profile

    • carolbiederman says:

      Hi Ellen, thanks! I actually avoided Black Friday altogether until a few years ago. Then I realized that with a little bit of organization and planning, I could cash on the deals. So I bravely went Black Friday shopping. And now go every year.

      And I’m with you on the “geeking out” over apps! Love my shopping apps … they have helped save me money time and again. I’ve also been shopping the “pre-Black Friday” sales. There have been some good ones!

  2. Christy Garrett says:

    Great tips for surviving Black Friday shopping. We always had a plan and knew what we were after when we went shopping a few years ago. I plan on sleeping in this year. :)
    Christy Garrett recently posted..Christmas Gift Ideas – Six Bath Time Activities for Babies and ToddlersMy Profile

    • carolbiederman says:

      Hey Christy, thanks! Having a plan is what turned me from a “Black Friday avoider” to a “Black Friday shopper”. Granted I am not an all-day shopper. I’m in, then out, done by mid morning. Not a crowd person!

      Happy sleeping in! I know I won’t be .. .my teen has his eyes on some Black Friday deals and I told him the only way he’s getting them is if he comes with me! And he said yes. I think it’s the lure of breakfast afterwards. lol

      Hope you are having a great week!

  3. Susan NealTwitter: write_clever says:

    Hi Carol – as far as I’m aware, we don’t have Black Friday over here – I’ve only come across it online. I did manage to get CommentLuv Premium on a Black Friday deal – that was a real saving!
    Susan Neal recently posted..How To Write Tutorial Blog Posts That Go ViralMy Profile

    • carolbiederman says:

      Hi Susan, my niece’s husband is English, says the same. He’s come with us a couple of times on our Black Friday shopping, and really gets into it! We put him to good use one year and had him stand in the long check out line for us while we ran off to get a couple more items. Now that I think about it, he hasn’t joined us since. :)

      Hope you are having a great weekend!

  4. MaggieTwitter: SquarePennies says:

    If you’re going to do Black Friday shopping, by all means do it with a plan! Great tips. I’m a Cyber Monday shopper myself as I can’t take the crowds. We did do Black Friday a couple of times & we did not end up with the items we wanted, so bleh. Not worth it to me anymore. Be careful about what you buy. Some items are made just for that day and are not the same quality usually for sale, even the same brand. For those who do go, I wish you good deals!
    Maggie recently posted..Bourbon Caramel SauceMy Profile

    • carolbiederman says:

      Hi Maggie, I hear you about the “watch what you buy” comment. I do my best to stick to my list – get in, get it, get out. Home by 10:00 am. Then on to Cyber Monday for the items that I missed.
      Happy Cyber Monday shopping! May you find some great deal.s

  5. ShannonTwitter: TheHeavyPurse says:

    Great tips, Carol. I’m more of an online shopper when it comes to Black Friday and it’s great that it’s an option. Before you had to brave the crowds! Now, you can find a lot of great days online. Although I know for my shoppers, the crowds and excitement is part of the fun and tradition. But regardless, they should have a plan to keep their sanity and maybe a nice breakfast afterward will hope too!
    Shannon recently posted..Blog Round-Up: Week of November 18, 2013My Profile

    • carolbiederman says:

      Hi Shannon, thanks. I’m both an online shopper and in-store shopper for Black Friday deals. I’ve been already shopping online, watching deals, Seems to be more than usual this weekend, because there is one less shopping week between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m not into the crowds myself – just the deals! And honestly, I’m usually out of there before the insanity hits. One year we drove by Best Buy (back in the day before they opened on Thanksgiving evening) thinking we might just run in to see what’s there. They were scheduled to open in 15 and there were people lined as far as I could see! We opted to skip Best Buy that day. :)

  6. All great tips for Black Friday Shopping! I hope you enjoy your day and score some awesome deals. The breakfast part looked the most exciting to me :-) Will you do a post about what you buy and how your day went? Would love to hear about it.
    Sicorra recently posted..How To Make The Most Out Of Unused And Unwanted Christmas GiftsMy Profile

    • carolbiederman says:

      Hi Sicorra, thanks! I’m hoping to score some great deals! Still have a few items on my Christmas gift list to get, and a few things for the house. I don’t have a big list this year … instead I’m in it for breakfast with my niece this year!
      Happy weekend!

  7. TanyaTwitter: EatLaughPurr says:

    Good luck on your Black Friday shopping. With your game plan, you’ll surely score some great deals! I plan to laze about on Black Friday. I might keep track of Amazon’s Lightning Deals as I have found some great deals in the past that oddly have been more for me than for others. Oops. :) Have a great weekend!
    Tanya recently posted..Yummy Recipes for Your Thanksgiving FeastMy Profile

    • carolbiederman says:

      Hi Tanya, Thanks! I have a short shopping list this year, so my plan is to be in and out, and at the breakfast table by 9:00 am! Then back home by 10:00 to watch the Amazon deals. :) Like you, I’ve found a few deals there that have been worthwhile … last year it was $60 earbuds for $20. Bought 4 pair … we always seem to be in need of new earbuds!
      Hope you’ve had a great weekend.

  8. DonnaTwitter: DonnaChaffins says:

    This are great tips! I however, have never shopped on Black Friday. I’m usually out of town for Thanksgiving and spending Friday driving home. However, the weather is going to be bad for traveling :( so I may venture out on Friday. More than likely though, it will be to see The Hunger Games. :)
    Donna recently posted..November $100 Amazon Pinterest Blast Ends 11/28My Profile

    • carolbiederman says:

      Hi Donna, thanks! Funny, I used to never shop Black Friday for the same reasons. We don’t live near family, so we would typically be on the road over the holiday. However, all that changed when we had kids and decided to stay put and create our own Thanksgiving traditions. So for the past several years I’ve been Black Friday shopping.

      And yes, the Hunger Games is on our list too. Our bad weather hits tomorrow, and by Friday it will just be cold!

      Happy Monday!

  9. arelis cintronTwitter: djrelat7 says:

    I try and be done with my holiday shopping before black Friday. I just hate the chaos that holiday shopping entails. Good luck this Friday!
    arelis cintron recently posted..Why we must teach children how to be grateful.My Profile

    • carolbiederman says:

      Hey Arelis, I’m with you on getting all that shopping done before the craziness hits. Black Friday is “it” for me. Once that day is over, you won’t find me near a mall until January.

      Happy Monday!

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