How To Shop Black Friday On A Budget
Over 150 million Americans shopped on Black Friday last year, and they averaged around $300 in purchases. Many people go overboard on Black Friday, and some have admitted that they have gone into debt purchasing gifts. If you are planning on shopping this year, you don’t have to spend a fortune. In fact, there are plenty of ways to shop Black Friday on a budget.
Set A Budget
So first, you need to decide how much money you plan on spending on gifts and purchases. If you don’t write down your budget, you may spend more than you expected. Once you’ve decided on your budget, you should decide how much you need to save and how much you want to spend for each person on your Christmas list.
You could take out this amount in cash, but if you are uncomfortable with having that much on you at all times, you can just keep the shopping receipts to see how much you’ve spent during the day. Having a budget will also give you a number that you know you have to stop at while shopping.
Make A List
Once you have decided on how much you will spend, have everyone (including yourself), make a wish list of the items they need and want for Christmas. With a list handy, you will be able to narrow down the stores you shop at, and get the items your family actually wants vs. buying a bunch of random gifts that add up in price.
Do Your Research
There is a ton of helpful information on the internet when it comes to Black Friday. Once you have your wish lists made, you can check online to see if there are specific stores that offer great deals on the items that everyone wants and needs.
Many stores put out their Black Friday ads out a month or two before Black Friday so people can see all that they will have to offer. A few of my favorite sites to check out are The Black Friday and Brad’s Deals. Both of these websites do most of the research for you and show you all of the stores that are actually worth shopping at. Doing your research and checking out websites like these can save you a lot of headaches and running around(which can mean money saved!)
Bring A Few Shopping Buddies
Whether it be your family or a few friends, bringing a few shopping buddies will help you divide and conquer gift shopping. For example, one person can go to the clothing store, one to the superstore, and one to the electronics store. By shopping this way, you aren’t having to spend more time in a store searching for gifts, and you won’t have to go to multiple stores which in return will only wear you out.
Did you know that you could use coupons during Black Friday? Many stores still accept their regular coupons, even if the item is discounted. This could mean more savings and money in your pocket!
If you’ve chosen the stores you plan to shop at, go to their website or to a website like RetailMeNot and see if they have any coupons available for the items on your list. Make sure to read the fine print, but if you can use the coupon, you can score yourself a real deal!
Prepare A Bag
This tip may sound a little odd to you, but Black Friday is all about strategy and preparation. Can you imagine waiting in line, only to hear your stomach rumble with hunger? If it becomes bothersome, you may have to step out of line just to go get some food.
If you prepare a bag specifically for Black Friday, you can pack items such as a book or other form of entertainment, a few snack bars and a bottle of water, and even an energy drink to keep you awake if you need one.
Now, packing a bag won’t help you if you have to get out of line for the bathroom, but it should keep other random emergencies at bay, keeping you from spending unnecessary time waiting in line. We all know time is money, so the more time you waste, the more money goes down the drain, and that is what we want to avoid.
Wait For Cyber Monday
If you still don’t like the idea of trying to shop during Black Friday on a budget, you can always just wait a few days and shop on Cyber Monday instead. Not only will you get the same deals (sometimes you could score BETTER deals), but you will also be able to shop from the comfort of your own home.
If you choose this route, make sure that you get up early enough to catch the best deals, and you may want to go ahead and load your favorite sites ahead of time. Many sites have a limit to how many people can shop at once, so preparing ahead of time can get you in the “door” a little faster.
Since you will be paying online using a debit or credit card, keep a running list of your purchases so you know what you have spent. Shopping online can become addicting, and before you know it, you may have spent more than you originally planned! Keeping a running list will help you manage how much money you have left to spend and keep you on track.
Black Friday doesn’t have to be a pain or a headache. It can be a fun experience, but it also doesn’t have to break the bank. Keeping these tips in mind will help you budget, choose the best gifts for the best price, and have an awesome Black Friday experience!
Drop a comment below or head over to one of my social media channels to connect and let me know how you plan and budget for one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
Kim is a content creator and Virtual Manager in Kansas City, MO. When she isn’t taking care of her toddler and teenager, you can catch her surfing Pinterest or reading a good book. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as the Entrepremomer.