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Stores are pulling out all the stops this year to capture precious consumer dollars, with sales starting as early as Thursday morning and ads packed with all kinds of freebies and deals. So with all the choices, how do you decide where to go? Here are some strategies to get you the biggest bang for your buck with the least amount of hassle.
Do You Really Need to Do It?
For some of us, Black Friday shopping is a family tradition. I get that. But for the rest of us, many of these deals will also be available online. In fact, last year Amazon matched prices for some of the hottest deals including electronics, toys, kitchen appliances, tools and sporting goods. Many items that weren’t available for the same price on Amazon could be found at the website of the store that was hosting the sale.
Consider narrowing your Black Friday/Thursday shopping trips down to items you can only get in-store. For example, in the past CVS has offered over $100 in items totally free after ECBs. Walgreens and Rite Aid had a nice supply of freebies too. And then there are the craft stores. Michael’s, JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby will have deals that aren’t available online. Your local grocery stores will be getting in on the action too, with some rock bottom prices on food. While other stores will offer free product coupons or doorbusters that can only be snagged in-store.
Make Your Lists: In-Store and Online
Think about your shopping needs and then devise a strategy for taking advantage of the most in-store and online deals possible.
- Start with a list of people you are exchanging gifts with and a dollar limit that fits your budget.
- Brainstorm some ideas for what you’d like to give them and write them down.
- Compare your shopping list to the Black Friday ads (more coming soon!).
- Keep track of your gift list with my free printable spreadsheet HERE.
- For those items you decide to buy online, you may still need to set the alarm clock – as online sales often start at the same time or earlier than in-store sales. And once they’re sold out, you’re out of luck.
- Save by opting for DIY gifts! You can scroll through my 100 Days of Christmas for some affordable ideas and free printables. Or look for magazine subscription deals priced at $3.99 or less (I’ll share them here on Moms by Heart!)
- For Homemade Gifts – There are still some deals you can score on Black Friday to cut down the expense of making these items. Print out recipes or craft tutorials you plan to use and come up with a master list of ingredients and supplies you’ll need. Then search the Black Friday sales to find the best prices on these items. Don’t forget, grocery stores get in on the Black Friday craze too by offering some hot deals on holiday baking necessities!
- For Gift Baskets – Black Friday will offer you some freebies and deals to include in these. For starters, expect to find deals on baskets and containers at the craft stores. Then look through the drug store ads to find items that will be free after store rewards. You can even select your gift basket theme based on what you will be able to get for free!
- Use Your Store Rewards – Save up your Walgreens Register Rewards, CVS Extra Care Bucks or Rite Aid +UP Rewards and cash them in for toys, gift sets, wrapping paper, holiday food, stocking stuffers and decor items.
- Cheap Options for Restaurant Gifts – Soon we’ll be seeing discounted gift card and gift-with-purchase offers from our favorite restaurants. Keep up with all of them by subscribing to Moms by Heart.
Share your best holiday shopping strategies in the comments!
Posted in: frugal living tips