Black Friday Cheat Sheet

I asked my husband for his best Black Friday shopping tips. “Don’t go,” he said. I guess he doesn’t want me to save on our family’s Christmas list this year! So if, like me, you happen to love the crowds, the craze, but mostly the deep discounts then here’s your cheat sheet for making the most of the Black Friday deals.

1. Devise a strategy. This is Black Friday. Black Friday shopping is not for the faint of heart—or body in case you get trampled when Target opens its doors. Black Friday shopping is for competitors. The fastest, smartest, most prepared shopper does in fact save the most money. A winning strategy is made up of the following

2. Make a list. Black Friday prices can be too good all in one setting. And while you might be able to snag that Keurig at next to nothing, if you’re not careful you’ll fill your cart with impulse buys. Skip the fuzzy heated blanket that looks so cozy just because you’re shopping in the middle of the night. Commit to spending your holiday gift buying money on actual gifts that you’ll give to your friends and family.

3. Make a budget. Speaking of holiday gift buying money…decide ahead of time on an amount that you will spend. Having one big limit is helpful, but take it a step farther. Will you spend $40 per child and $10 on every child’s teacher? Maybe you need to allot $20 per grandparent. Having these conversations and expectations beforehand make the quick-paced decisions that are the only kind of decisions on Black Friday shopping actually doable.

4. Bring a friend. This is where you can enjoy each other’s company while waiting in line. And then once you’re shoved through the entrance, divide and conquer. If you’re both shopping for girls and both shopping for boys, send your friend down the boy aisle with your list in hand and you head down the girl aisle with her list in hand.

5. Know the ads. Here’s a live link to current big box store ads and also trending news about their Black Friday deals.  Decide which items are your must-haves first and then make a prioritized list of those stores that you’re wanting to go to, including their store opening times AND locations. Don’t forget to compare specific items at each store. Some items might be priced similar or even lower, but they may not be on the front page of the ad. This could save you some store-hopping.

6. Remember to eat. I’m notorious for packing lunchboxes full of snacks for my kids but nothing for myself. If you don’t want to be digging crushed, half-eaten peanut butter crackers out of the bottom of your purse take snacks for yourself. And eat before you go. You don’t want to waste time shopping by having to take a break to go buy a bite to eat. Throw in a water bottle too.

7. Charge your cell phone. You’ll be shopping in the store. But you want to be certain that you don’t assume something is the best deal just because it’s right in front of you. You should download a price comparison app or two (and make sure it has a scanner). Also, load up on rewards apps like THESE.

8. Have fun! Be kind. Spread holiday cheer. Smile at other shoppers. Remember that the store employees are real people too.

And if you’d like to join in the madness but aren’t sure where to start.  In the past, here are the stores that have been known for the best deal in their type of category.

Best deal on…

Clothing & Shoes: JCPenney

Computers: Office Depot/OfficeMax

Electronics: BestBuy

Toys: AmazonTarget & Kohl’s 

Small Appliances: Macy’s 

Stocking Stuffer: CVSWalgreens & Rite-Aid 


We hope you steal some great holiday deals this week! Happy Holidays!