Deals

20 Ways To Win Black Friday Shopping

Tackle your gift list like a BOSS.

Black Friday is not for the faint of heart. You are either all in—or you should just get out. Otherwise, you are going to be one of the lost sheep trampled by the better prepared.

This shoppers’ holiday requires planning and preparation to get the biggest bang for your buck. And the earlier you can start, the better off you’ll be. Here are some insider tips that will help you be prepared to take on the frenzied masses.

1. “Black Friday” Is Actually Thursday Through Monday

In the past few years, Black Friday deals have been creeping up earlier and earlier. It may be necessary to make Thanksgiving dinner a lunch if you are going to be cleaned up and ready to shop by the time the stores open.

Giant Christmas tree in shopping mall
Adobe

2. Do Your Research

Get on stores’ email lists at least two weeks in advance. This way you can double up on the savings by using coupons. When the day comes, you should know which stores you are heading to and what specific items you will be purchasing at each location. Sign up for Macy’s email list here, and get this 15% off $100+ coupon instantly!

3. Buy Discounted Gift Cards

If you have done your homework and followed step two, then you may be able to save even more. Check out Raise.com, where you can purchase gift cards for 5 to 20 percent off of face value. for the stores where you will be shopping.

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4. Research While Shopping

Just because you are in a physical store, that doesn’t mean your research is done. With the Amazon app, you can scan bar codes to get real-time price comparisons. If you find the item happens to be cheaper online, go ahead and order it. Bonus: You’ll also save time waiting in line!

5. Scout It Out

By the time Thanksgiving arrives, you should have a pretty good idea of which items you will be picking up from each store. In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving Day, make a point to scope out the layout of your favorite stores. This will cut down on wasted time wandering through crowded aisles on Black Friday.

seasonally decorated shopping mall
Adobe

6. This Is A Time For Teamwork

This is a great night to enlist some friends as a support team. Not only will it make the trip more fun, it will streamline your shopping. Divvy up the sections of the store, and make on person responsible for grabbing the items on everyone’s list from that section (one person picks up electronics, another scours the toy section, etc.). Also consider bringing along a designated driver so you don’t have to waste time searching for parking spots.

7. Be Stealth

Ditch the bulky shopping cart for some oversized reusable bags. You’ll be able to navigate crowded aisles much more easily. Ikea bags are great for this! Amazon has a bundle of two for just $5.47!

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Amazon

8. Forget About Price Matching

Don’t waste your time. Price matching deals are off the table at most major retailers during the Thanksgiving season. From Amazon to Target to Walmart, many stores that usually price match won’t honor competitors’ prices on Black Friday.

9. Download The BFAds App To Keep All The Ads With You

Download BFAds app and leave the paper ads behind. The app will verify prices and promotions as you shop!

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Adobe/ slasnyi

10. Save At Least $50

If you’re not saving at least $50, is it really worth your time to battle the crowds when you could be on the couch eating leftover turkey and mashed potatoes? Don’t subject yourself to the emotional turmoil and physical strain of Black Friday shopping to save $10. There are other sales in December, when the stores won’t be quite as chaotic.

11. Make A Shopping List In Order Of Importance

Plan your trip according to importance. Make sure you get to the store with the product of greatest importance first! And try (keyword: try) to not get sidetracked. Stick to the list! Having a list that outlines the items you want/need will make both shopping time and your receipt shorter!

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Adobe/ amenohi

12. Make A Budget And Stick To It

Retailers lure you into the store with clever promotions, and then the next thing you know your cart is full of amazing deals on things you had no intention of buying. Don’t do it. Don’t let them win! Stick to your plan (and map and budget)—or else you are sure to have buyer’s remorse when you finally sleep off that shopper’s high. Try to limit yourself to seven items per store!

13. Look For Doorbuster Guarantees In The Ad

Many doorbuster ads will guarantee that the first 100 people will automatically get a doorbuster. Walmart is well-known for doing this. Plus the first people in line usually get FREE stuff! Last year, Kohl’s offered free movie tickets to the first 100 people in line!

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Flickr/Powhusku

14. Avoid The Main Aisles

Most deals tend to be along the perimeter of the store, so that’s where you will find the most traffic! Save time using alternative travel routes among the aisles.

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Flickr/bisongirl

15. JCPenney And Kohl’s Are The Best Stores To Shop Black Friday Deals

JCPenney is known for having the best clothing deals, and Kohl’s has amazing steals on toys! According to The Krazy Coupon Lady, the median discount on Black Friday 2015 items at these two stores was 60 percent!

16. And Costco and Sam’s Club Are The Worst For Black Friday Deals

Traditionally, Costco and Sam’s Club rarely have a toy sale worth mentioning. And while they do mark down their electronics, you can find them cheaper elsewhere! (Keep Reading!)

17. Go To Office Depot/Max For Computer Purchases

Here is where you will find the best deals on electronics! Specifically deals on computers. Last year Office Depot/Max averaged a 55-70 percent discount on computers and tablets.

18. Get Your Small Appliances At Macy’s

If you are braving the Black Friday madness for small appliances, then Macy’s is your destination! Your best bet for snagging these deals is to get there early. Last year the sale only lasted until 1 p.m.

19. Go To Drug Stores For Stocking Stuffers

If you are looking for stocking stuffers don’t bother with the mall. Drug stores are your best bet for these! Look at Walgreens and CVS.

20. Consider Staying Home

Other than the doorbusters, most Black Friday deals are now available online. You won’t even have to wait until Cyber Monday. So if all of the above steps seem like too much trouble, stay home and scout of the best deals online.

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Adobe/ Rawpixel.com

So there you have it! Now you are a Black Friday Pro. Shop safely and strategically, and you’ll have this in the bag!

Updated 11/21/2016

[h/t: The Krazy Coupon Lady]

We were not paid to write this story. The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.