When you’re trying to save on holiday gift shopping, Black Friday is one of the first ways people think of to try and save. Admittedly, there are a lot of deals to be had on this day but there is also a ton of frenzy involved which can easily lead to blowing your written budget. I love shopping on Black Friday but over the years I have developed tips to shopping Black Friday and Cyber Monday effectively. These tips will help you save money without completely losing track of your budget and gift ideas.
The 10 best tips for shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday! #write31days #diyholidaychallenge Click To Tweet
Black Friday Tips
Avoid big ticket electronics on these days.
Stores only stock a few of these items to entice you to come in and shop. In many cases, you won’t get the item that you went in the store for in the first place.
Make a List
Always make a list of the exact items you are going in to buy. Go in and get those items and leave. Black Friday is the worst day for perusing the aisles.
Skip the Cart
Don’t grab a cart on Black Friday. Instead, have several reusable shopping bags that fit over your shoulder to carry your items. This allows you ultimate maneuverability and helps to prevent impulse buys.
- Bonus: This is a great workout once your bags are loaded up!
Skip the Purse Too
To make the entire process easier on yourself, the only items I recommend carrying on your person are cash, identification, cell phone, and your reusable bags. Leave everything else at home or in your car.
Know the Store Layout
Don’t go to a store you’re unfamiliar with. The “doorbuster deals” are never stocked where they would be stocked regularly. If you don’t already have a general familiarity with the layout, you are going to get lost and disoriented quickly. If you don’t regularly go to a store that you believe is likely to have a deal on a gift you are looking for, visit the store once or twice the week before to get an idea of the layout. You will absolutely thank yourself later.
Cyber Monday Tips
Beware of Available Stock
In the past there have been issues with both Cyber Monday and Black Friday online purchases where customers did not receive their orders in time for their celebrations. This can easily happen any time you are purchasing this online, especially when you use the free shipping option.
Think About Shipping
When you are ordering online, don’t forget to account for shipping. A lot of stores have a minimum purchase requirement of $50-$100 or more to be eligible for free shipping. As mentioned above, this also doesn’t guarantee you will receive your items on time. If you don’t qualify for free then those shipping charges can start adding up fast resulting in hundreds of extra dollars spent. If you’re shopping online, you’ll be able to find loads of coupons from websites such as PromoCodeWatch.com to help you save a bit of money.
Be Cognizant of Packaging
I once ordered an entire tea set (including table and chairs) for my daughter for Christmas. When it showed up on my porch it was in the box it would have been shelved in meaning that my kids could clearly see what was inside. In addition to ruining the surprise of the gift, it also exposed me to theft since anyone going by my house could clearly see what items had been delivered. Always keep this in mind when ordering anything online, especially larger items less likely to be grouped inside another box.
Know You’re Getting the Best Deal
Before purchasing an item that you don’t already know is an amazing deal, do a quick Google search. It can be easy to get caught up in the flurry of sales. Luckily, it is so easy to do research when shopping online. Simply copy the name of the item and paste it into your search engine. Shopping results are always one of the first snippets listed and you can quickly compare prices.
- Bonus: You can do this in stores easily as well if you have a bar code scanning app on your phone. Scan the item and a list of items any prices will come up on your screen. The caveat is that it does use up data on your plan so keep that in mind if you don’t have unlimited data usage.
Don’t Be Afraid to Let and Item Go
One of the most important tips to remember is to let an item go. It may be an incredible deal but if it’s not on your list or simply not in the budget this year, let the item go. Don’t give in to the pressure to “buy now”. I speak from experience when I tell you that there will be other sales. Don’t let the illusion that if you don’t get it now, you’ll never be able to find another deal on it get you to purchase something you can’t really afford.
These tips will help you save on Black Friday and Cyber Monday even if you’re completely new to shopping on these days. The two biggest takeaways I want you to have are that to be effective you have to have a plan and you have to be able to let an item go. Those two tips alone will save you a lot of remorse and heartache after the holidays have ended. Plus, if you do it right, Black Friday can actually be so much fun. Make it an enjoyable experience instead of a chore you feel compelled to do in order to save money. If it stops being fun use any of the other holiday gift options to help you save money without shopping these sales. Ultimately, the holidays are meant to be enjoyed. That’s why you want to stick to your budget in the first place.