Looking to make the most of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping this year? We don’t blame you—there are so many deals to be had. But with those deals comes the annual shopping frenzy. Take a deep breath, get your gift lists ready, and let us help you develop your best strategy to shop the sales this year. The spirit of giving lies in these easy tips and tricks:
Whether you decide to brave the malls or shop strictly online, staying sane starts with getting organized. Create a budget, do preliminary price research, and get ideas by browsing sites like Zulily.com for great gifts like kids’ toys, on-trend fashion for him and her, and home goods.
You can also easily keep track of your favorites by clicking the heart next to the products you love. Wish lists make it easy to refer back. Plus, when you plan ahead with retailers that already offer deep discounts, your holiday shopping becomes much simpler come Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
To save big, figure out which retailers offer better deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Then, buy from those that offer a price-match benefit. That way, if something comes up on sale from a competitor, you get a refund for the difference. Discount retailers like Newegg offer price-matching, although in some cases, you might have to shop outside Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. For hot-ticket items like iPhone 8, it can be worth it to shop early and scan later.
Combine your own efforts by downloading apps and signing up for email lists to save this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Though almost everyone has Amazon on their phone, stores like Target have their own apps with money-saving offers. Paribus scans prices for you, letting you stay up-to-the minute with online deals as you shop, and Shopkick will help you earn toward gift cards at your favorite retailers. Download it now and you’ll be well on your way to savings in a few weeks.
Even if you’re a compulsive unsubscriber, email lists can also help you this busy shopping season. Visit your favorite retailers online and enter your email address to receive their newsletter. Most offer a discount just for signing up, so you’ll already be ahead of the game. Then, as the big weekend approaches, look to your inbox for messages about what sales and promos are running. Don’t be surprised if you get discounts nobody else gets, either: Email lists are often the first place brands offer discount codes, free shipping, or other exclusive ways to shop the sales. Better yet, the discounts can be available both in-store and online.
Maximize Your Savings
This is the time of year to take couponing to the next level: Layer up on direct-mail coupons, email promo codes, and in-store discounts. Bundling discounts can go a long way, too, especially when your kids have tons of cousins or you’re planning to buy everyone at work a gift. A store will offer three for the price of two or everyone’s favorite—buy one, get one. This can be a great time to buy for winter weddings or January birthdays, too.
When you hit the malls or your local downtown shopping area, expect some chaos. Keep spirits high by making sure you’ve eaten beforehand, and bring snacks for yourself and your kids. Don’t be afraid to stop for coffee if you need a cup—and make sure you wear comfortable shoes!
With these easy approaches, you’ll find that holiday shopping is a fun way to appreciate the ones you love during this special season.