10 Ways to Save Money on Black Friday

Date posted: Nov. 25, 2016
10 ways to save money and not overspend this Black Friday

By Kathleen Keenan

Shopping on Black Friday is an American Thanksgiving tradition. It came north of the border when Canadian retailers, concerned that Canadians were spending money in the U.S. instead of at home, started offering deals on the Friday after American Thanksgiving.

Although various surveys suggest that Canadians think Boxing Day is better, there are still deals to be had on Black Friday. But the day can also be a frustrating shopping experience when you spend more than you planned. So how can you make the most of Black Friday shopping?

Plan ahead

1. Research what stores are offering. Scan print and online advertisements, and sign up for a store’s email list a week beforehand to receive special offers. Some retailers give their social media followers sneak peeks at sales. If you know anyone who works at a chain retail store, ask about upcoming deals — employees know ahead of time, especially if stores are offering TVs as door crasher prizes.  

2. The best Black Friday savings are found on big-ticket items like mattresses, electronics and appliances. If you’re looking for a new washing machine, research to see if any stores have Black Friday deals. You’ll save money on a purchase you already needed to make.

3. Compare different stores to find the best offers, and find out what items cost normally. Be wary of price inflation prior to Black Friday – sometimes stores might increase the “regular” price so the discount looks bigger. 

4. Buying holiday gifts? Get a gift receipt, and ask if the recipient can exchange the gift later. Some stores restrict their return policies during special sales.

Stay calm

Make a list and an overall budget and don’t deviate—this will help you avoid overspending. Black Friday is not a day to take your time deciding. Stores will be busy and there will be limited quantities of popular items. Going in with a list will help you act decisively.

5. Avoid buying something you don’t need just because it’s on super sale.

Factor in extra costs

6. Unlike Boxing Day, Black Friday isn’t a holiday. Consider whether you really want to take time off work to wait in line. If you miss a few paid hours of work, the money you save should cover at least those hours.

7. Consider the cost of transportation. If you need to pay for public transit or take a cab to get your purchases home, figure that into the costs.

Consider waiting

8. On Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday, chain retailers offer significant online deals. Start shopping at midnight so items are still in stock. With many retailers offering free shipping when you spend a certain amount, there is no reason to pay for shipping.  

10. Most stores offer their deepest discounts in January and February. After the holidays, sales go way down; stores are desperate to make their numbers and clear out old stock. That old stock could have clearance prices with an additional sale percentage taken off—a common strategy at chain clothing stores.

If you follow these tips, you just might score some deals without overspending. But don’t be afraid to pass up a sale if the deal isn’t worth it.

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