Shop ’til You Drop: How to Shop Black Friday

Black Friday pop art

You’ve probably been seeing the Black Friday ads popping up in your inbox, but what are some of the best ways to shop this crazy day? Here are some Black Friday basics, and tips for keeping your sanity while getting great deals.

Black Friday Basics

Who doesn’t like some good discount shopping?!?! I definitely do! And Black Friday offers some of the best deals around- whether you’re shopping a Walmart Black Friday, or at a more specialized local boutique.

The name “Black Friday” dates back to the early 1950s and referred to the extra traffic and chaos around the busy Christmas shopping season. By the 1980s, the connotation became more associated with the time many stores start to be “in the black” after finally achieving profitability due to their high volume of sales for the day.

Black Friday shoppingBlack Friday and Beyond

Black Friday officially starts the Friday after Thanksgiving, though many stores open midnight after Thanksgiving to lure in extra shoppers. Some stores even start their Black Friday deals much earlier in November to attract customers and get a jump on the competition!

Other stores use it as a jumping off point to many other sales and savings. The next day, you have Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and even Giving Tuesday – provided you haven’t already blown your budget on gifts!

Some stores offer a different Deal of the Day that extends for the weeks up until Christmas. You can do your online shopping with extra perks like free shipping and deep discounts. So you might not get the absolute best deal on the actual Black Friday.

Black Friday shoppingBlack Friday Doorbusters

Many big stores like Walmart, Best Buy, and Target will have some big doorbusters on anything like Smart Lighting or Philips Hue lighting, to tableware, to TV deals and more! For those who like the sport of shopping (and like all sports, shopping can get violent in extreme circumstances), have at it!

The one caveat here is that there are only limited quantities of the most deeply discounted items. So you might have to be aggressive and show up at midnight to get the best deals. Unless there’s something you ABSOLUTELY HAVE to get and there’s no possible way you could afford it without these crazy coupons, I would recommend getting a full night’s sleep and waiting until morning. There will definitely be more sales and savings over the next week, both online and in the stores.


gift list black fridayGeneral Black Friday Tips:

  • Make a list, and check it twice.- Have a clear list of the people on your Christmas list
  • Make a budget and stick to it.– NO deal is a good deal if it causes you to go into debt in the process. You (and your friends and family) will be much happier with no gifts and your financial solvency than an over-the-top holiday present.
  • Do your research.– It can be SO HARD to resist the bright, shiny sales, but a lot of times, the sales that seem too good to be true are, in fact, not really a great deal. Websites like Lifehacker also offer good tips.
  • Look for extra coupons.– You might even be able to find deeper savings on items if you do extra research. Even a simple google search like the product/store you want with “coupon” might turn up some good results. Websites like Topcashback are another great way to get cash back on various online purchases.
  • Beware of “free” gifts.– Some free products are great bonuses. But a lot of times, the gift with purchase is just a gimmick to entice you to get more.
  • Your time is a valuable resource.– Your quality time is worth a lot! Don’t spend so much time scouring all the stores that you miss out on what’s really important.
  • Workmanship matters. You are much better off investing in a few quality items than loading up on items that are going to be given away sooner than later.

The Reason for the Season

Black Friday can be a fun shopping day, but keep all things in perspective. Little things, like spending quality time with your loved ones over the holiday are far better than the latest trinket. As great as Black Friday is, don’t lose track of the bigger picture of the holidays.

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