By Bernard Freeman
Sticking to your Budget
The mounds of advertisements for Black Friday savings can easily entice someone to stray from their budget and take advantage of plastic payments. However, depending on the cost of an item, it’s possible to find yourself paying for the same purchase when the season rolls around next year.
Credit cards are great companions for emergencies or when offering points toward travel, fuel or cash-back rewards. But when you begin relying on them for luxury items, spending habits can quickly become harmful.
When you’re Black Friday shopping this year, stick to buying items with cash instead of leaning on credit.
If you plan to purchase high-cost items this holiday season, using a credit card that offers rewards can be great way to build points — if you can pay off the balance before interest is charged.
Even Better Deals
Black Friday is known for offering awesome prices to eager shoppers. Did you know it’s possible to score even better deals with a little preparation? Before you start holiday shopping, there are great techniques to keep in mind — and keep extra money in your pocket.
One way to strategize your shopping trip is by researching ads from your favorite retailers. Make a list of the most important items and who has the best deal. Narrow down your first stop by choosing the most desirable product. Since you can’t be in two places at once, recruit the help of friends to travel across town to another store if they have another great offer.
Here are some insightful tips to get you on the right path to save even more money when Black Friday shopping.
Discounted Gift Cards
With a little online research, you can find numerous websites who offer gift cards for popular retailers, at a discounted face-value price. Try to find offers from stores that are known for their Black Friday savings.
Another avenue to look for these cards is on social media or community sharing sites.
You can usually find sellers who received them as gifts but would rather sell them for cash-in-hand, especially if they don’t frequent the store.
A marketing strategy performed by retailers is offering discounts when you become a member to an in-store program. You may need to time the membership to qualify for Black Friday savings if their initial offer is limited within a specific timeframe.
To find these deals, simply browse your favorite store’s website or visit the customer service desk at their location.
Sign Up for Emails
In addition to becoming a member, look for businesses who send customers periodic emails to take advantage of savings. It’s typical that their Black Friday promotions are more appealing, but by being informed of upcoming deals, you can save money throughout the entire year.
Door-buster deals are front and center in most Black Friday advertisements, but what isn’t so clear is the fine print. Stipulations listed underneath the highly discounted price sometimes reveal limited-time windows or limits per customer. Make sure to perform a thorough review before showing up for the sale and leaving empty-handed.
If a deal is only in effect for a short time period, make sure to allow yourself plenty of time to arrive early and grab a good place in line.
Many stores boast a promotion to match a competitor’s lower prices. While this can lead to big savings throughout the year, there are often exemptions during Black Friday events.
You can easily find out a retailer’s policy by searching for their specific terms online. Stay ahead of the curve and know who price matches when finding the best deal.
Throughout the country, many businesses are opening their doors a day early for the largest savings. In recent years, the evening of Thanksgiving features many door busters while continuing smaller sales throughout the next day. Pay attention to the dates and get the most out of shopping on both Thursday and Friday.
Free Shipping Threshold
While Cyber Monday dominates the holiday season online, don’t be surprised if brick-and-mortar stores honor their savings through their websites.
One factor to look for is the amount you need to spend before free shipping will be honored. If you don’t reach the threshold, consider how much you are actually saving, it can be more valuable to shop in-store.
Holiday Shopping List
With all the amazing deals offered by retailers in your area, you should have no trouble finding something for everyone on your list.
While you may have to sacrifice a peaceful shopping experience and immerse yourself in a crowd, taking advantage of Black Friday sales can help you save a ton of money while completing your holiday shopping.
When researching upcoming Black Friday deals, consider the loved ones on your list.
Here are a few categories that offer big discounts each holiday season.
For the Tech Lover
The question on everyone’s mind when anticipating Black Friday is which retailer will offer the biggest television at the lowest price. Keep in mind, these hot electronics go fast so you should understand how many are available, at which times they are on sale and what features they include.
Smartphones, tablets and smart watches are other staples that are discounted during the holidays.
For the Fashionista
To find the perfect outfit, you may need to inquire with your gift recipient or someone close to them to discover the size they need. Don’t limit your search to winter wear. Instead, purchase a few items they can wear when the temperatures warm up so they can enjoy your gift throughout the entire year.
For the Home Renovator
Even discounted appliances can be on the high end of a budget, but for the person who is renovating a room in their home, Black Friday is a great time to save a lot of money.
Before investing, ensure the finishes match your loved one’s plans for a design scheme.
For instance, stainless-steel appliances are great to modernize rooms like a kitchen and darker colors can enhance a room with a rustic aesthetic.
Tools are another item that home-improvement stores advertise with price cuts. Gift the DIY renovator in your life with the equipment they need to finish a project while saving big bucks.
Plan for a Successful Experience
Researching deals and making a game plan to shop at your favorite retailers is only a small part of the shopping experience. To score the best prices and have the most fun, consider creating a checklist to make sure all your bases are covered.
Make it a family affair by inviting your loved ones who gathered together for a Thanksgiving feast. After sharing a memorable meal, plot your strategy and ask who may be interested in going.
It’s also a good idea to find someone to watch young children as they may become restless in the crowded stores and lines.
Stay up to date with the latest deals by downloading applications from your favorite retailers. While you’re browsing their software, look for ways to sign up for loyalty point programs. They can be built up throughout the year to take a big discount off a Black Friday purchase.
Learn How to Avoid Crowds
If you don’t like the idea of waiting in line at a crowded store, search to see which deals are honored online. Many retailers are moving toward offering the same sales through e-commerce and traditional in-store shopping experiences.
Unless you just love the tradition of the Black Friday, an online shopping visit can save you time and from becoming stressed out.
Wake up Early
If you plan to start your shopping trek early Friday morning, make sure to set an alarm early enough so you have time to get in the shopping mindset.
Give yourself a big enough window to make it to the store and find a spot in line with other shoppers.
Arriving ahead of the crowd will increase your chances when planning to purchase limited-quantity goods.
If your local retailers feature sales in different areas of the store, it’s a good idea to invite a friend to patrol other sales that are occurring within the same timeframe. This is also a good strategy to get around purchases that are limited to one-per-customer.
Plus, sharing the experience of the Black Friday atmosphere with a loved one can make it more enjoyable.