6 Ways to Save Money — and Stay Sane — on Black Friday

posted: 11/24/15
by: Katie Morton

Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving, is the Super Bowl of the retail world. With crazy sales at stores across the country, some people line up in the early morning hours just to get the best deals on Christmas gifts. And lots of people participate -- The National Retail Federation predicts that U.S. shoppers will spend a staggering $630.5 billion this holiday season! But with so many people rushing for the same deals, how do you bargain hunt without losing your mind? Here are our six tips for having fun and scoring some stellar deals on the busiest shopping day of the year.

1. Study the ads

Compare prices before you hit the stores, since many major retailers will post sales in advance. Look to deal websites like FatWallet or DealNews to keep current on best prices. If you find a great deal at one store, use the comparison site to see if you can score a better deal at a competitor.

2. Download apps

Many stores now have apps for smartphone users which may make you privy to exclusive deals or special rewards. Sign up for Black Friday shopping alerts about promotions, coupons, and discounts. Amazon's app lets your phone camera scan store items and comparison shop online, so that you can make an informed decision on the best possible price.

3. Stay loyal

Retailers' loyalty programs offer promotions to members first. Members may also earn rewards on purchases, such as cash back or coupons for shopping in December. If you're loyal enough to go to a physical store on Black Friday, and an item you want to purchase isn't in stock, you may be eligible for free shipping to your home--just ask a customer service representative.

4. Mind your budget

It's easy to get swept up in the fervor and excitement of all the too-good-to-be-true deals. To resist impulse shopping, create a budget and stick to it. If you're too liberal when using a credit card, consider leaving the plastic at home and using cash only.

5. Dress the part

Before you get dressed to go out on your Black Friday shopping spree, consider whether you'll be trying on clothes to purchase that day. If so, then a nude camisole and solid leggings might be a good choice so you can avoid packed dressing rooms and slip things on over your outfit. Either way, you want to be comfortable and prepared. Here are the basics you should wear: comfy shoes, a hands-free bag, and layers for going in-and-out of the heated stores to cold parking lots.

6. Don't forget Cyber Monday

Nowadays, many people do all of their holiday shopping online so they can miss the crowds. While Black Friday might offer the best deals at some brick-and-mortar shops, Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, may have better deals on electronics and other items. Bonus: You can shop at home in your pajamas and slippers!