Black Friday and Cyber Monday come around once a year. The days are filled with shoppers rushing to and fro, looking for the very best deals on the perfect gifts for friends and family. If you are one of the crazy shoppers that get up in the dark hours of the night to stand in line outside a store or logon to a computer to shop, there are ways you can save money in addition to the sales. I do all of my shopping on Black Friday, and get it out of the way as cheaply and quickly as I can, so I can enjoy the holiday season. You can do the same with just a little planning.
Before you do any shopping, make a list of the people you need to buy gifts for and ideas for gifts for each person, with a maximum price you are willing to spend. If you are shopping for yourself, make a list of the items you are looking for and your maximum spending amount for each item. This list will help you to avoid overspending, impulse buys, buyer’s remorse, and wasted time at the returns and exchanges counter.
After you set up your shopping list and budget, check out the Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads. These can be found online, in sales flyers in stores, and in your Sunday paper. Determine which store has the best prices on the items on your list so you’ll know what stores you must shop at, and which ones you can pass up.
Next, check the sales flyers for special sale hours. For example, one store that I frequent every Black Friday has the regular Black Friday specials available all day long from open to close. However, certain items are deeply discounted for only a few hours during the day. My favorite time to shop there is between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Black Friday, because they have all Coach bags marked down the regular 20%, and another 25% off for that two hour period. Checking the special sale hours can save you hundreds of dollars, depending on your budget.
Then, check online and in the sales flyers and newspapers for coupons and online coupon codes. Most major department stores have coupons for in-store and online use in addition to the special Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale pricing. Taking advantage of these valuable coupons can save you even more money. I once got a set of $200 picture frames for less than $10 at a department store because I used a coupon. Coupons take a little effort but are most definitely worth the savings.
Make a route for your shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. You may wish to drive in a big loop around town, visit the closer stores first, or go to the stores with the special sales at a certain time. Planning your route saves needless driving, resulting in savings on fuel. It also helps you avoid crowds and frustration, and takes away a little of the stress on a very stressful day.
And if you are doing all of your shopping online, make a list of the sites you need to visit, what you need to buy there, and what time you need to log on. This will help you remember everyone on your list and get the best deals on their gifts.
No matter if you shop in person or online this year, have a safe and enjoyable Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and a happy holiday season!