7 Black Friday Hacks

Best Black Friday Tips

Making the Most of Black Friday

Black Friday is the busiest shopping day in the United States. As it has evolved throughout the years, and with the addition of Cyber Monday, the actual day has become less of a focus and many stores have deals throughout the whole month and extended weekend. While many decry the demise of Black Friday, especially since Amazon’s big Prime Day has better deals on Amazon-branded items, there are still a lot of great deals to be had.

Reducing prices on new and exciting toys and gadgets are how many Americans are able to afford gifts for each other before the Holiday Season. Many people rely on Black Friday sales to be able to get their kids and loved ones the things they want.

I remember my parents buying the newspaper before Black Friday and waking up at 5 am to be able to get us toys and other things we needed. One year my sister and I got a Razor Scooter (remember when those were a new thing!?) thanks to a 5 am Walmart trip. They probably would not have been able to afford it had it not been for that sale. They were all the rage back then and “everyone” had one! We were so thrilled and could barely wait for Hanukkah when it was gifted to us.

How do you make the best of Black Friday?

I asked some of the best Personal Finance Bloggers around for their best Black Friday and Cyber Monday hacks and deals to help you get the best bang for your buck (and time!) without getting too caught up in the temptations that surround the biggest shopping day of the year.

Because, as great as the deals are, a deal is not a deal if you can’t afford it. Stores know exactly how to bombard with you with advertising and marketing that ensure that you spend the most money at their stores. Sometimes they do such a good job that they even pass off not such great deals as great sales and door busters. BUT: They don;t have your best interest in mind and they aren’t the ones paying the credit card bills months after Black Friday is over. They aren’t the ones paying interest on purchases that already in the trash or chasing after rebate money that you were counting on to pay for those pricey electronics.

So the best advice for Black Friday shopping is: Shop Smart. Make Smart Decisions and remember: A Deal is not A Deal if You Can’t Afford It!

And without further ado, here are the tips that will get you the most out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

7 Black Friday Hacks

7 Best Black Friday Tips:

  1. Brian from Debt Discipline: The best tip I can offer for Black Friday, and it may be an obvious one, is to have a plan for what you are shopping for. Use the power of the internet to research any item on your list ahead of Black Friday and make sure you are getting the best deal. Just because it’s a Black Friday deal, doesn’t mean it’s the best prices, do your homework!
  1. JoeHx from JoeHx Blog: Plan what you want to get BEFORE seeing the “deals.” Make sure what you’re buying actually is a deal and isn’t simply discounted after raising the price the week before. Finally, don’t buy anything just because it’s on “sale.”
  1. Mr. SR From Semi-Retire Plan: Plan ahead! Especially when shopping Black Friday at a brick and mortar retail store, the big ticket items often quickly sell out. Check the sales at your local retailers online before the sale begins. Then plan strategically so you can be at the front of the line for the item that will offer you the biggest savings — like you would “bee line” to the most popular roller coaster at an amusement park right when the park opens.
  1. Jarek from Time in The Market: Check out websites such as slickdeals.net. There are people on there doing most of the legwork for you and posting the best deals. Even reddit has useful subreddits such as r/frugalmalefashion or r/frugalfemalefashion that will help you spot deals with almost no work.
  1. Kevin from Just Start Investing: Have a plan! There are deals everywhere on Black Friday, obviously, but just because something is on a crazy good deal doesn’t mean you should buy it. Scope out what you need ahead of time and find the best deals for it, and avoid making any impulse purchases that you’ll regret a few weeks later!
  1. MC at Keeping Up With The Bulls: Don’t use Black Friday and that something is “such a great deal” to justify spending. Instead, be very pragmatic about your purchases. What are things you buy regularly that you may be able to get a deal on during Black Friday or Cyber Monday? What gifts will you be buying for the holidays, what is the normal price of these items and is there a better price during Black Friday or Cyber Monday? There are lots of deals during the holiday shopping season, if you’re not deliberate with your purchases it’s easy to spend way more than you planned and regret spending so much!
  1. Enoch from Savvy New Canadians: Your Black Friday preparations should begin several weeks before. Start with making a list of the things you need to buy and do your research by clarifying the technical specifications for electronics, identify the models you prefer, compare prices, warranties, return policies and determine how much you plan to spend on shopping. Make a note of the time your preferred stores go live with deals online and also the in-store shopping hours on Black Friday. Be ready to jump online before the start time in order to avoid delays at the checkout and products getting sold out. I recommend buying big-ticket items first, especially when the discounts are deep. Keep an eye on your spending and don’t break your budget by purchasing what is not on your list. If you use a credit card, plan to pay off your balance quickly, so you don’t carry over debt into the new year.

Don’t forget to KEEP ALL RECIEPTS from your shopping expeditions so that you can return items if you do have buyer’s regret. While I wouldn’t recommend counting on rebates (they often have difficult/complicated rules that are designed to have a high rejection rate), if you are planning on applying for one- keep all the paperwork and receipts in a specific place so there is less of a chance of you misplacing it.

 

As you gear up for some super shopping here are some other great articles to help you keep the spending in check and the deals flowing!

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble- Black Friday

A Deal is Only a Deal if you Can Afford It

Shopping for Gifts

 

Shopping for Clothing on a Dime

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures for more info.

How I Shop for Clothing On a Very Tight Budget

I try not to pay full price. I can’t say never but I really spend a lot of time looking for the best possible deals.

Working with an Extremely Limited Budget

I have an extremely limited budget to buy the things I need. I set aside 10% of my paycheck every month for clothing, shoes, toys, household items etc and that amount is all I am able to spend. You may be thinking that I have quite a large budget but then again you have no clue how small my paycheck is:) With 2 kids who are constantly needing new things and stuff that keeps breaking (why?!?) its a constant challenge to get the things we need with the money we have.

Take shoes. I always heard and read about mother complaining about “keeping kids in shoes” but I had NO IDEA how many shoes my kids would ACTUALLY go through! Shoes get ruined and kids outgrow them faster than you can blink. And that’s not including any boots or slippers or dress shoes!

I wish I had Hand-me-downs

I also don’t have any friends or relatives with kids who are a year older than mine so hand-me-downs are few and far between!

Sometimes I feel like all I do is shop. But I don’t actually spend any money- I just keep on looking and looking for things that I need at a price point I can afford.

“Stocking-up” on Clothes and Shoes

Since I do have an “envelope” for these items, I always have “some” money to spend on sales and stocking-up. For example, I was recently at Target and they had boy’s sneakers for ridiculously cheap. Since I already have the cash set aside I was able to buy each kid a pair in the next size up. This saves me money and the stress of not being able to find anything affordable when they will need new shoes.

But I don’t just stock-up or buy things for the next season- I have a system that I follow.

My System

Continue reading “Shopping for Clothing on a Dime”

Shopping and Kids: A Terrible Combination

How To Say “No” To Your Kids

How to Shop with Kids and Not Lose your Mind or your Temper

We’ve all seen it: the kid screaming in the store because they so desperately want the toy that is the only thing that is standing between them and eternal happiness. And the mother, red-faced and angry, trying to complete her shopping while her kid is screaming and howling across the store.

And sometimes you are that mother and the only thing standing you between you and eternal happiness is your kid stopping to scream. So there are really only two options: give in to the kid or have a shopping trip from hell. Neither are ideal. This is only made worse if you cannot actually afford to buy the child said item. Kids don’t really get that when it comes to bread vs. random action figure then bread wins every time. They just assume that they will be well-fed, no matter what. And it comes down to us, the poor parents, to make those difficult decisions (not). But no matter how tight money is, there is probably not a mother in the world who considered giving in to her child when that tantrum starts.

Two weeks ago, I had a lot less cash than I usually did. This meant no extra spending on anything. Since I am very strict about using my credit card (emergencies only-and that means medicine.) I had taken my kids to the park and I just couldn’t deal with the inevitable walk home past all the lovely shops on the way to my house. Even without the possible tantrums-who can handle that look of longing and heartbreak on those adorable faces? So I did something that I thought was pretty smart- walk the long way around and miss all the stores entirely. It took longer-but hey-we can all use a little extra exercise!

How do you control your kids at the store?

Don’t take them!

Don’t take them!

How do you say “no” to your kids?

The best way is to avoid the situation altogether. Basically, I don’t take my kids to the store. Ever. And no-this doesn’t mean that I just leave them at home with a babysitter or ordering everything online. This usually means, early morning trips or very late store trips. Or waiting until my husband comes home or husband doing the shopping instead of me even though I don’t like the vegetables he picks out. It’s not easy to organize this way but it certainly beats taking my children shopping! And I save money this way! And please don’t take your kids to a really “fun” store if you are not planning/cannot afford to get them anything-it’s too hard for those little people to control themselves!

When I do take my kids to the store there is a LOT of preparation involved:

  1. I set out expectation beforehand: “We are only buying milk and bread- nothing else” or “We can pick out 1 treat- and I have to approve of it”.
  2. In the store I try to keep them as engaged as possible in what we actually have to buy. I let them pick the items of the shelf. I offer options- red or green peppers? I have them hold the items that we are purchasing.
  3. Before we get to the checkout (where enticing options are usually lurking) I remind them again: “we are not buying anything this time- only the milk and bread that we picked out” or “You already picked out one treat -we are not getting anything else”.
  4. I praise them constantly for not complaining and make a big deal when we leave the store about their great behavior: “wow! I am so proud that you didn’t even ask for a toy!”

How do you make saying “no” to your kids less painful?

How do you make sure your kids don’t derail your budget?

I always want to give my kids whatever they want and make them happy. But am I doing it for them or for me? I learned the hard way that sometimes its more about me than them!