Black Friday Shopping Tips

When thinking about shopping for the holidays you can’t help but notice advertisers and their many, many, many advertisements concerning their Black Friday deals. You hear of dream like prices and bargains of yesteryear from your friends, but the  idea of facing crazy, competitive shoppers and crowds of people at hours of the day in which you are normally sleeping may seem overwhelming, especially if you have just spent the day before cooking and enjoying a fun and exhausting day with family and friends for Thanksgiving. However, taking advantage of Black Friday bargains does not have to be overwhelming or complicated if you take a few simple steps and keep a few simple rules in mind.

Black Friday Shopping Tips

Creative Commons License  photo  credit:  kevinspencer

6 Tips for Black Friday Shopping

1.  Set up a Google Alert to track chatter about Black Friday deals.  Google Alerts are email updates of the latest information that pops up on a Google search of a topic that interests you. Setting up a Google Alert titled “Black Friday” most easily helps you track news as it relates to Black Friday.  I find it easier to follow my Google Alerts in the month before Black Friday than by going to the many, many sites that summarize Black Friday for you.

2.  Do not be dependent on Black Friday focused websites that promise previews of Black Friday advertisements. A lot of time these advertisements are not accurate. Always double-check what you are reading with the official advertisements later.

2.  Know what you are looking for and what price is a good price.  When perusing the advertisements for discounts you won’t know a good discount unless you’ve done your research about what a good bargain actually looks like.

3.  Make a list of what you are going to buy and stick to it.  People tend to overspend and get caught up in the excitement of bargain shopping on Black Friday. However if you have a list and promise yourself to stick to it, you will not get sidetracked. This will help you will more easily stick to your spending goals.

4.  Make a shopping schedule.  Back in the day all of the stores may have opened one or two hours earlier than normal, but they all opened at the same time. Now different stores are opening at different times, some as early as midnight. By creating a schedule you can most efficiently move from store to store and be finished with your shopping more quickly than you originally thought.

5.  Gather recruits to help you shop.  Many stores open at the same time, and the best deals can disappear within minutes. Gather your friends and family to help you,  and together you can divide and conquer. Be careful of purchasing limits, however. Often times you are limited to a certain amount of certain items. If you and your partner both want the same item, this could be a problem requiring more recruits.

6.  Look to see if stores offer the same deals online.  Most stores these day offer the same deals online that they do in the stores, and sometimes those deals pop up earlier. Last year there was one particular item I wanted, and I searched online Thanksgiving day using my smart phone while road tripping to my cousin’s house for dinner. By the time my husband got us to our destination I had made my Black Friday purchases all before having a single bite of turkey. Be careful as shipping charges can sometimes destroy the bargain you are getting on Black Friday.

Black Friday shopping does not have to be complicated or overwhelming.  With a little organization, and the few tips I’ve provide above it can be a rewarding experience that can be completed in just a couple of hours.  Good luck!

Do you have any advice about Black Friday shopping that I may have missed?  I’d love to hear from you.

Kelly K.

About Kelly Kinkaid


Kelly Kinkaid, professional blogger and freelance writer, enjoys writing about such topics as stretching a dollar, personal finance, diet and fitness, and living a life well lived. She spends all of her spare time in her many roles including but not limited to soccer, basketball, swimmer, band, and piano mom, runner and wife. You may also contact her on Twitter as @Kellyology, or on Facebook.

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  • http://alifeinbalance.net Barb @ A Life in Balance

    My only item to shop for is a DS Lite for 2 of my boys. They both have Amazon GCs to put towards the purchase with Santa picking up the balance. I wasn’t thinking of checking for deals on Thursday, but now I will. Since we don’t NEED the DS Lite, I’m quite willing to wait for Cyber Monday, though I don’t think my 8 year old and 6 year old will be too happy about that. :)

  • http://www.freemoneywisdom.com Jon — Free Money Wisdom

    Awesome  tips!  I’m going to have to pass this on to my fiancee.  She’ll love this.

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  • Jessica Cohen

    Great info, Kelly. I’m heading out for my first Black Friday this year. Wish me luck!

  • Tina @ Life Without Pink

    Great tips! I don’t normally go, I get too overwhelmed but I know my day is coming….as the boys get older :)

  • http://twitter.com/MomMadeItLookEZ Jennifer Williams

    I’ve done the whole Black Friday thing for the past couple of years, but I’m kind of turned off by the midnight openings this year. I don’t mind getting up early, but I don’t want to stay up all night after cooking.

  • Anonymous

    I used to shop on Black Friday; but the stress far outweighs the fun. I prefer to sleep in, and I do most of my shopping online anyway. Same deals for the most part. And I get to stay in my pj’s. =)

  • http://www.moneybeagle.com Money Beagle

    I think our biggest piece of advice is ‘Don’t Go.’   So far, for us going out on Black Friday hasn’t proven to be worth it. Actually, there was one time a few years ago where we both woke up early, so we decided to go out just for the fun of it.   We bought some LED lights at KMart, went to a few other places just to see what was going on, had breakfast and just went home.   That was actually fun because we weren’t stressed out about shopping.

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