We covered the pros and cons of Black Friday shopping in our podcast this week, and while none of us are huge fans of going out and braving the crowds, we admitted that there are deals to be found on certain things.
It just requires a smart strategy.
Unfortunately, most people are drawn in by the numerous “doorbusters” stores have and items being half off, and they end up spending more money than they anticipated.
Don’t want that to be you this year? Here are our tips for strategic and smart Black Friday shopping.
Research Prices Beforehand
One of the easiest ways you can make sure you’re getting a good deal on Black Friday is researching prices for the things you want beforehand. This way, you’ll know – at a glance – whether or not something is on sale for a decent price.
Let’s say you find a 40″ Smart TV on “sale” for $480. Under normal circumstances, you think this is a good deal, and decide to buy it.
But because you did your research beforehand, you know that you could get that TV for $500 normally. $20 isn’t a huge sale on a TV, and probably not worth spending your money on a whim. You’re better off waiting until around Super Bowl, when TVs really go on sale.
Or maybe you scour the Black Friday flyers and find that same TV on sale somewhere else for $400.
Either way, you can’t go wrong knowing the regular price of the items you want, and what you want to pay as far as a sale goes.
At the very least, make sure to price compare if you think you’ve found something for a good price. There have been many times where I’ve found something I want in a store, only to find it online (at the same store) for less. (I actually just saved $100 on an office chair by checking online.) Most places will honor the online price, or prices from other major retailers.
Make Use of Coupons, Apps and Store Rewards
Black Friday deals can be great, but you can make them even better with additional coupons and discounts. If you are apart of a store rewards program, be sure to see if they are offering any additional offers to save on Black Friday deals.
As you search through Black Friday sales ads, you may see coupons you can utilize or if you have a store coupon that is still valid, check the store’s policy to see if you can use it on Black Friday.
If you’re doing any shopping now, you may receive offers and coupons on your receipt that you can cash in if you come back on Black Friday.
An app I like for shopping is called Flipp and it allows you to take Black Friday sales ads along with other regular sales ads and coupons with you on the go. If you shop at Target a lot, the Cartwheel app is a must and cashiers can scan the barcode straight from your phone to apply a discount to your purchase.
Again, don’t settle for Black Friday deals if they don’t seem worthwhile. Check with stores to see what their policies are and if you can stack any coupons or discounts.
Leave Your Cards at Home
When I went Black Friday shopping in-store a few years ago, I made the mistake of taking my credit card with me. It was so tempting to buy more things than I planned for and “pay it off later”. Luckily, I only had two hands and they were both full, so I was able to stick to my Black Friday plan and only get what I went there to get. But if you don’t think you’ll be able to resist temptation, leave your debit and credit cards at home.
It’s not exactly safe, or smart, to walk around with a bundle of cash if you plan to purchase large or expensive items, but you’d be smart to opt for a pre-paid card of some kind instead. Pick one up before Black Friday and use it for your Black Friday shopping. This way you won’t be tempted to overspend and you won’t be a target for theft by carrying around a large wad of cash.
Do you plan to go shopping on Black Friday? What is your plan for smart Black Friday shopping?