It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the talk of Black Friday, right?! The whole idea of Black Friday is to save some money on awesome products, but what’s better than saving money?
If you guessed saving more money, then you were right!
Since it’s the week of Thanksgiving, I’m sure you’ve already seen some of the amazing deals that are being offered. Now is the perfect time to snag that Christmas, wedding, house warming or graduation gift for the special people in your life, so take advantage!
Today, I’ll let you know about 7 shopping hacks for making the most out of Black Friday this year.
***This post contains affiliate links to products that I personally use and recommend. I may receive a small percentage of a sale at no extra cost to you.***
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFOREHAND
As obvious as this might seem, you’d be surprised at the amount of people who just go out and buy things on a whim because of the seemingly good deals they see. Not only is this reckless for your bank account, but it’s possible that you could’ve found an even better deal by just investing a little time to properly research beforehand.
After checking the ads that come in the newspaper and your promotional emails, head online and see if there are other stores that would have the same or a better deal, since they may also offer better options as far as shipping is concerned.
For example, Amazon offers free 2-day shipping for Prime members and if you aren’t currently a Prime member, it’s simple to sign up for the 30-day free trial. Just remember (unless you love it) to cancel before your 30 days runs out, otherwise you’ll be hit with a surprise deduction (been there, done that, lol!).
2. CARPOOL WITH YOUR FAMILY OR FRIENDS
When I think of carpooling, I always think of a mom carpooling her kids and their friends to school, but in reality, it’s really efficient!
Think about it, instead of everyone going out to do their separate shopping (sometimes in the same stores), why not just have everyone pile in the car to save not only time but gas?
It’s better to get together and figure out what stores everyone wants to visit, develop a strategic route to get there and then have everyone pitch in on the gas to lessen the burden for the driver.
Bonus tip: Nothing says teamwork like divide & conquer! One way to minimize “out of stock” disappointment is to have your friends or family members grab items off the shelves for each other. That way you all can get what you want in half the time with half of the hassle.
3. CREATE THAT BUDGET!
As I mentioned earlier, instead of some pre-planning, most people will venture out on Black Friday just because they know that there will be deals out there. However, this is the easiest way to lose track of your funds. “I went to _______ for one thing and came out with 20!” Don’t do that to yourself on a day of sales.
Create a list of things you need to buy or at the very least, have an idea of an item even if it’s not brand specific. That way you’re not out in the stores grabbing everything, AKA wasting money.
My favorite apps for keeping up with my spending every month are Daily Budget Original (iOS) and Personal Capital (iOS, Android). It’s always easier to exhibit self-control when you can see where every dollar is going.
4. HIT THE STORES EARLY
I don’t mean at 2 AM to camp out, either! My family is notorious for saying that the food will be ready by a certain time and it never actually is. Instead of lounging around the house waiting for grandma to finish the meal, why not swing by the main stores you plan to hit and get the lay of the land?
This way, you’re not aimlessly running around like a chicken without its head and you already have an idea of where the items that you’re looking for are located when you return later. The items that are on the cover of newspaper ads or on the homepage of websites will typically be placed in the front of the store, so you can’t miss them.
Sometimes, you can even purchase these items the day before Black Friday as well with the same price tag.
5. CYBER MONDAY IS YOUR FRIEND
Instead of dragging yourself out of the house to deal with other crazy shoppers, why not shop from the comfort of home with a nice cup of coffee or hot chocolate? That’s what Cyber Monday brings to the table in addition to equal if not better deals than Black Friday and other in-store offers.
It’s a lot easier to do the research and compare prices across different sites for a product. There’s also less reason for impulse buys as you can’t see 50 things that are marked down for sale within arm’s reach.
Granted, some stores throw in freebies in-store that you would obviously miss out on while shopping online, but that’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it.
6. TRAVEL DEALS ARE A THING TOO
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also two of the best times to rack up savings on travel costs. There are usually discounts on hotels and flights from almost all of the major chains. But make sure you read the fine print that discloses info like flying restrictions and hidden fees. Sometimes the deals you see advertised on these days have already been around; they just have more restrictions because the companies know that you’re more likely to buy now.
Don’t get caught up by not having a plan for this either. If you’ve been planning a trip to Europe, look for the best deals for that trip. Don’t get distracted by 20% off a flight to Australia.
Here are a two places to find a great deal:
Expedia is having daily sales in addition to the holiday savings of up to 75% off select hotels.
Southwest Airlines is offering up to $250 off flight+hotel packages for both domestic and international vacations. Flights must be booked by December 4, 2017 and travel must be done through August 6, 2018. This time frame is amazing and gives you plenty of time to plan for that perfect trip! Use the code SAVE125 for $125 savings on destinations within the U.S and SAVE250 for $250 savings on international trips.
7. THE FINAL AND BEST WAY TO SAVE: DON’T PARTICIPATE
I know, I know. It seems counteractive to say not to shop after all this great advice but at the end of the day, I’m here to save you money! Before you venture out to the stores or browse around the web, stop and think about your goals: are you trying to pay off debts? Save for a down payment? Fatten your savings?
If so, put that shopping money towards something that would benefit you more down the line and shop normal bargains and deals when they come around.
And that’s all she wrote, folks! Have a safe, happy holiday and be sure to save some money while you’re at it! Do you have any additional tips for saving on Black Friday?