Beat Black Friday

by Nora Heston Tarte

Looking to score the best deals this holiday season?

Whether shopping for toys or a 60-inch TV, use our expert tips for saving the most bucks on this year’s holiday shopping.

Make a Plan

Instead of wandering aimlessly through the mall in the wee hours of the morning, maximize savings potential by having a plan in place. Most retail giants advertise sales days before Thanksgiving, giving shoppers ample time to pick and choose the best deals. Score a big screen TV for a fraction of the cost by waiting in line before the store opens. Prioritizing your stops helps to max out on door buster deals that often only last for an hour or so. Know what time each store opens and what items should be grabbed first so nothing sells out. A written shopping list can help.

Shop Online

Cyber Monday occurs the Monday after Black Friday, but shoppers don’t need to wait until Monday to take advantage of online savings. Many shops allow the same in-store deals to be purchased online, saving serious shopping time. On the west coast it’s possible to get those deals early given the time difference. However, some deals may be in-store only, such as door busters. Others may sell out immediately. Have two shops you need to hit at once? Fill one cart in store and another online to grab simultaneous deals.

Utilize Technology

Use apps on your phone for additional savings. Many store apps are loaded with stackable coupons, ShopKick and Ibotta earn shoppers additional points just for stepping into favorite stores, and some credit cards give cash back for shopping specific stores. Sign up for websites such as Brad’s Deals that email information on savings at smaller shops as well as retail giants.

 Print/Clip Coupons

Perusing the paper ads? Clip out coupons. In the days leading up to Thanksgiving (when many sales start) and Black Friday, mailboxes featuring plenty of info on the best deals around plus clip-able coupons will be stuffed in mailboxes. Checking the sales online? Print needed coupons for stores on your shopping list.

Have Fun

Grab some friends to shop with, load up on caffeine, and make a night of it. Black Friday shopping can be overwhelming if you’re braving the crowds on your own, or it can be a fun-filled outing where you help each other score the best savings while fighting off 3 AM giggles.

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