Money Health

6 Black Friday Tips to Get the Best Deals

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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 on Black Friday.

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. 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 may be a great time to save money on holiday gifts, appliances, and much more, be careful not to overspend on deals that are too good to be true. Use the Black Friday tips below to help you shop smart, get the best deals, and avoid added debt.

1. Plan ahead

Black Friday can be a good opportunity to purchase those high-priced items you’ve had your eye on all year. However, 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 by what you don’t. Once you get your must-have items, you can browse around for other deals that catch your eye.

2. Set price alerts

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

Here are a few price-tracking apps and browser extensions that make it easy to ensure you get the best deal:

  • Price Tracker for Amazon
  • Idealo
  • Fluctuate
  • ShopSavvy
  • CamelCamelCamel
  • Honey
  • SlickDeals
  • Amazon Assistant

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.

3. 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, set a Christmas 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.

4. Get social

Companies are known to share special Black Friday tips and deals with their customers via email and social media. To help 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.

5. 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.

6. Stick to electronics

If clothing and toys are on your gift-giving list, you may want to hold-off on those Black Friday deals because they tend to be cheaper or easier to shop for at other times. Instead, focus on electronics and big-ticket items, including:

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

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

Learn better money management

Preparing for your holiday spending is just one part of the bigger financial plan you could be working on. And luckily, learning how to deal with debt, money, and planning for your future doesn’t need to be hard. We’ve developed a simple to follow guide to help you find the tools you need to move to a better financial future. Get started by downloading our free guide right now.

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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.