Deal lovers everywhere love Black Friday. They wake up while it is still dark and wait hours outside of their favorite stores for rock bottom prices on electronics, DVDs and many other great holiday gifts. If you want to save some money this holiday season you can use Black Friday as your secret weapon.
However, if you don’t have a plan, Black Friday can end up being a nightmare rather than a money saving opportunity.
Watch Out for Retailer’s Tricks
Retailers are looking to make big money on Black Friday. While there are some great deals, you need to focus on savings rather than getting caught up in the bargains. A great deal is only a great deal if you can afford it.
As you make your purchases, watch for tricks and don’t buy anything that you can’t afford. The stores will be filled with impulse purchases and you need to be careful not to fall prey to these.
Take a List
It is a good idea to take a list with you to keep you on track and on budget when shopping at Black Friday. Make a list of everyone who you need holiday gifts for. Next to each name include a budget. For example your list might say something like, “Molly- $10-$15.” When you find a perfect gift for Molly, make sure that it is within your price range or less. If it isn’t, keep looking.Once you make a purchase, cross the name off the list. Don’t buy gifts for people that aren’t on your list.
Also, decide how much you are willing to spend on yourself and stop spending once you hit your limit even if you see a great DVD that you need for your collection.
Be Careful with Cash and Purchases
Black Friday is known for being a little bit crazy and hectic. This means an ideal situation for those looking to steal money and holiday gifts. Be careful with your cash, wallets and purses. It can be so easy to misplace money or have it stolen in all of the chaos. Don’t walk out of stores carrying cash in your hands; always put it away before leaving the register.
It is a good idea to leave your purse at home and instead carry your cash, cards and ID closer to your body. When leaving purchases in the car, always leave them in the trunk and make sure that expensive items aren’t visible through the windows. Park in a well lit area close to other cars.
Read the Ads
It is also important to read the various ads for your favorite retailers to find the best deals this Black Friday. Most items are first come first served, so if you want the best deals, you might need to make certain stores your first stop. Some retailers even give away small promotional gifts or gift cards to the first 100 customers or so.
Remember that lines build up quickly, so you might have to be willing to spend a few hours, or even a night, in the cold if you want to be one of the first customers in line.
Eat Breakfast and Get Enough Sleep
We make our best decisions when we are well rested, not hungry and not in a hurry. If you plan on getting up early for Black Friday, make sure you get to bed early. In the morning grab a quick and nutritious breakfast before you head out.
Don’t be afraid to take your time and analyze purchases. While the sales might only be a few hours, it is better to think carefully than to regret purchases later. Always save your receipts just in case you need to return anything. If you take your time and are rested and full you will make better decisions in the stores.
Black Friday can be a great way to get some excellent deals, however you need to keep your budget in mind as you make purchases. Don’t get caught up in the crazy spending atmosphere or you might find yourself regretting that early morning shopping trip.
What tips do you have for surviving Black Friday?