Money Health

6 Tips to Get the Best Out of Black Friday

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After feasting on Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie, millions of shoppers hit the stores to take advantage of the year’s biggest and best deals for another year of Black Friday savings.

Black Friday is arguably the busiest shopping day of the year. In fact, 61 percent of shoppers say they’ll participate in Black Friday this year, according to BlackFriday.com. In addition, deal-seekers say they’ll spend an average of $502 on Black Friday this year compared to last year’s $472.

While Black Friday is a great time to save money on holiday gifts, appliances, and much more, be careful not to overspend on “too good to be true” deals. Use the tips below to help you shop smart and get the best out of Black Friday.

Plan Ahead

Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to purchase those high-priced items you’ve had your eye on all year. Before you hit the stores, make a list of “must have” items you want to buy. That way, you can stay focused on what you need and avoid being distracted what you don’t. Once you get all your must-have items, you can browse around for other deals that catch your eye.

Set Price Alerts

Don’t be fooled by all the Black Friday hype and pay more for an item than you need to. Instead, take advice from Moneycrashers.com and set price alerts ahead of time for the products you plan to purchase during the holiday season.

By setting price alerts, you’re able to monitor the price of an item throughout the year and ensure you don’t end up paying more come holiday season. Educating yourself ahead of time is key to saving money and getting the most out of the day.

Check out these great price-tracking apps that make it easy to ensure you get the best deal:

  • Price Tracker for Amazon
  • Smartprix
  • Idealo
  • Fluctuate
  • ShopSavvy

Set a Budget and Stick to It

It’s easy to get distracted by Black Friday discounts and put your finances in the red. Rather than max out your credit cards, take advice from BestBlackFriday.com and set a budget.

Evaluate your income and expenses to determine what you can afford to spend. Once you have a budget in place, make a list of people you’re shopping for, the gifts you plan on purchasing, and an estimated cost for those items so you can be sure you’re able to stay within a reasonable range.

Take it one step further and use cash to reduce the temptation of using your credit or debit card for impulse purchases. Once your cash is gone, your shopping is done.

Get Social

Companies are known to share special Black Friday deals with their customers via email and social media. To ensure you don’t miss out on any deals, follow your favorite brands on Facebook and Instagram and sign up for their email newsletters.

Check your inbox and social accounts in the weeks leading up to Black Friday for special in-store discounts and doorbuster deals that you can take advantage of. Many stores will even be offering Black Friday deals before the big day, so don’t miss out on those opportunities to spend less and get more.

Look for Early-Bird Discounts

Many of your favorite stores will open their doors to shoppers on Thanksgiving. To get a jumpstart on holiday deals and steals, check the holiday hours of the stores on your shopping list—you may be able to beat the crowds (and burn off some Thanksgiving dinner calories!) by shopping the night before.

Don’t forget about online shopping, as well. Many retailers will be offering early-bird discounts to online shoppers in the days leading up to Cyber Monday.

Stick to Electronics

If clothing and accessories are on your gift-giving list, you may want to hold-off on those Black Friday deals. According to AllWomensTalk.com, the best time to go shopping for these items is late January, early February, late August, and early September.

Instead, Business Insider says you should focus on electronics and big-ticket items, including:

  • TVs
  • Smart home devices
  • Gaming consoles
  • Video games
  • Kitchen appliances

Get the Most out of Black Friday

Don’t be lured by slashed prices and deep discounts. Be a smart, savvy shopper this holiday season using the tips and tricks above.

Jessica Thiefels is the CEO of Jessica Thiefels Consulting and has been writing for more than 10 years. She’s written for AARP, Reader’s Digest and Lifehack and regularly contributes to The Financial Diet, Homes.com and more.