The countdown is on. The number of days and weeks until Christmas is shrinking (probably faster than you’d like).
We all know 1 or 2 of those people that are Super-Shoppers and have the majority of their purchases made before November 1st. Good on them! But if you’re not one of these people, you will probably be doing a bulk of your buying during the Black Friday sales blitz.
Here are some tips for shopping smarter, not harder this Black Friday.
1. Resist The Urge To Shop Too Soon
Looking back to when we started SaveaLoonie in 2011, Black Friday wasn’t really even a “thing” here in Canada. Now it is by far, the biggest shopping day of the year!
As with any “holiday” the promotions and sales will start coming up earlier and earlier. Resist the urge to shop too soon, the very best deals & biggest discounts will be Black Friday weekend.
2. Be Prepared
Before starting your Black Friday shopping, have a plan. Know what stores you want to shop at, in which order and what you’re buying from where.
Prioritize. What deals are most important to get? What items are likely to sell out the fastest? Research where the best deals for these items are and plan to purchase them first.
Have a backup plan. If a “must-have” item is sold out in one store, where else can you get it for a similar price?
Make sure you stick to a budget. It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of the deals but you don’t want to over-buy.
3. Buy Discount Gift Cards Before Black Friday
In the weeks leading up to Black Friday, stores will often have special promotions on Gift Cards (save 20% when you spend $xx on a SomeStore Gift Card, earn PC Optimum Points on select Gift Cards, etc).
Use these promotions to purchase gift cards for the stores you plan to shop at on Black Friday. Double dipping on discounts is always good!
4. Avoid Going Into Stores Like Walmart, Best Buy & Old Navy
Big box stores are always big time crazy on Black Friday. Skip the stresses and the line ups – shop online instead.
You can get almost anything online that’s available in store (door crashers excluded) and most stores offer free shipping with a minimum purchase amount so you get it delivered right to your door step.
Most online sales start at midnight, so you have your shopping done before you head to bed!
5. Use Coupons When/Where You Can
Yes, you can use coupons on Black Friday (unless strictly specified)!
Grocery stores often will have their own version of Black Friday Deals, like Superstore offering No Tax or bonus PC Optimum Deals. Take advantage of these special sales and use coupons to make them even better!
Stores like Bath & Body Works that frequently offer in-store coupons may also let you combine coupons with Black Friday sales.
6. Ditch The Kids, Shop With A Friend
Sorry kiddos, this shopping day is NOT for you. If your littles aren’t already in daycare or school, plan some sort of care for them for Black Friday. The stores are packed, the lines are long and your list is even longer.
Skip the melt-downs, stress and matrix-like maneuvering trying to hide Christmas gifts-to-be from your kids’. Leave the kids at home and shop with a friend, it’s way more fun and you can divide & conquer the stores.
Bonus, if you bring a friend you can double up on those “limit 1 per person” door buster deals!
7. Sign Up For Amazon Prime Trial In Early November
Amazon is infamous for making the entire month of November all about Black Friday. In the weeks leading up to the big day, Amazon will have tons of Pre-Black Friday Deals happening.
If you aren’t already a Prime member, sign up for a free 30-day trial and take advantage of free one or two day shipping for the whole month and get all of those deals delivered to your door!
8. Use Rakuten For Cash Back Online
If you do any shopping online, you must have a Rakuten (formerly eBates) account.
When you shop through Rakuten you earn cash back on your online purchases at hundreds of participating retailers. It doesn’t get much better than getting money back on some of the best deals of the year!
9. Stop Searching The Racks
When shopping at your favourite clothing retailers on Black Friday, just grab and go. If you spot an item that you LOVE but don’t see your size right away, grab it in a different size and purchase it at the sale price. Then, exchange it a few weeks later for the right size.
Be sure you double check the store policy before you do this.