It used to be that Black Friday was the best day of the year to get stellar deals on holiday gifts.
I’m here to tell you: This is no longer true. Black Friday worthy deals are showing up earlier and earlier each year, and prices are staying lower longer, to allow retailers to remain competitive.
Black Friday Traditions
This is not to say that Black Friday shopping doesn’t have its place in terms of unorthodox holiday traditions that some Americans hold dear.
If you’re into camping out in front of Best Buy in sub-zero temps and getting cozy with 500 of your new best friends who in a few short hours will become your new worst enemies as you all run for the two ridiculously low promo-priced 60” HDTVs, why should I take that kind of joy from you?
But for folks like me who prefer to shop in their pajamas on Black Friday, or those who prefer to forgo shopping during the Thanksgiving holiday and enjoy food and football with the family, great deals can still be found.
I like to check out Black Friday shopping deal sites like BFads and FatWallet in the weeks prior to Black Friday to see what the promotional prices will be on my favorite items. This allows me to gain knowledge about price dips I can expect, and look for those prices to appear before Black Friday or Cyber Monday are here.
I also make sure to use Ebates to get cash back on my online purchases throughout the year. I get quarterly checks from them, and during the holidays they have Double Cash Back days (including Black Friday and Cyber Monday) where I can really rack up the online savings.
Remain focused, have fun and have a plan when you do get to your holiday shopping, and you’ll be well on your way to saving money and getting some wonderful gifts too.
4 Tips to Savvy Savings
- Make a Budget: This is tough one, but it will keep you on track and encourage you to look for the best deal for you.
- Have a Gift List: Do this well in advance of your shopping, so subconsciously you’re already looking for ‘just the right gift’ before and after Black Friday. TIP: I use Google to make an online form that populates a spreadsheet for me. I enter my gift purchases and then can see them at a glance on my Google Drive app on my smartphone, tablet and PC.
- Do Your Research: If there’s a gift you know you’ll be buying, research its retail price and then decide what a good price for you on that item would be when you are Black Friday shopping. If you don’t find that price before or after Black Friday, be prepared to adjust your expectations or have a ‘Plan B’ if the price just doesn’t come into line with what you want to pay.
- Remember It’s Just Another Day: Black Friday is an attempt by retailers to get you to spend your holiday cash. It can be a fun day for snagging great deals, or an exhausting, overwhelming event. Pace yourself to save money AND your sanity!