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Personally, I’d rather scoop out my eyeballs with a melon baller than go to the mall on the day after Thanksgiving. Every year on my other website, I do a compilation of shocking videos of shoppers behaving badly, and every year it seems like they behave just a little bit worse.
Despite that, there are some AWESOME ways to save money on Black Friday, all without the risk of getting trampled by someone who is determined to get EVERY SINGLE ONE of the purple bath towels.
How to get the most bang for your Black Friday buck.
While Black Friday is often a display of the very worst of consumerism, it can’t be denied that there are some good deals to be had. Here’s how to get the most bang for your Black Friday buck.
- Shop at locally-owned stores. Everyone thinks Big Box when they think Black Friday sales, but small, locally owned businesses will also be promoting their best deals. Not only can you support your neighbors, you probably won’t be fighting the crowds and you’ll get items that are far more unique than the stuff at Wal- Mart.
- Do your research ahead of time. If you DO decide to brave the mall or the local Best Buy, know what you want before you go. Maybe even go on a little recon mission so that you know where the desired item is displayed. Be careful about getting caught up in the crush when they open the doors. Make a beeline for what you want, grab it, and get out.
- Have a plan. If you go to a sale without an idea of what you want to buy, you and your money will soon be parted. It’s easy to get distracted by all the bright, shiny things they want you to buy and lots of people get swept up in the frenzy of everyone frantically grabbing everything in sight. Make a list of the people you want to shop for and what you want to get them. Be single-minded in your determination to stick to your plan.
- Shop online. Better yet, don’t leave your house. Grab a turkey sandwich and your laptop while you hit your favorite online destinations. As well, watch for great deals on your other favorite websites. I’ll be running sales on my digital publishing website, Learn.TheOrganicPrepper.com, and writing up a guide The Organic Prepper to help you support our financial supporters. I know many other small, non-Amazon sites will be doing the same.
- Compare prices. If you’re shopping online, this couldn’t be easier. Look for the items on your list at different websites and see who has the best price. Note that some websites will have cumulative savings – the more you buy from them, the bigger the discount. Take that into consideration when looking for the best price.
- Know who is having the best online sales. One report says that this year’s best online deals will be had at the websites for Amazon, Best Buy, Kohl’s, eBay, Target, and Wal-Mart.
- Don’t forget to use promo codes. There are websites out there specifically dedicated to promotional codes. For real! Use your favorite search engine and type in something like “Black Friday Promo Codes Kohls” and you’ll find tons of codes to try. I’ve saved a lot of money shopping online this way.
- Don’t overspend online. One really easy way to stay within budget is to pick up a pre-paid MasterCard or Visa and vow to use only that for your online shopping spree.
- Subscribe to newsletters. I know that I offer special deals to my subscribers that I don’t offer elsewhere and many other vendors do as well. (To sign up for my newsletters, go here and here.) After Christmas, be sure to unsubscribe because that barrage in your inbox can be difficult to resist, as I wrote about here.
- Use cash-back credit or debit cards. If you can trust yourself to stick within budget, use credit cards that offer you cash-back on your spending. There are also store cards that give you a discount, like the Target Red Card. You should not spend more than you can pay off immediately – it’s not a good deal if you pay 27% interest for a year!
- Learn more about saving on holiday spending. Check out my book, “Have Yourself a Thrifty Little Christmas” with even more great ideas for sticking to your holiday budget. (But wait for Black Friday to get it on sale!)
You are battling highly educated marketing experts.
Remember, marketing experts, are getting paid millions of dollars every year to separate you from your money on this ONE DAY. Don’t be snowed by their tactics. Make your plan and stick with it.
What are your best ways to get Black Friday bargains? What’s the best deal you ever got? Share your ideas, tips, and stories in the comments.