Shopping tips: shop smart this Black Friday

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) – There’s one special day out of the whole year where coupon enthusiasts, deal seekers, and retail lovers all come together to find the best finds of the season. That’s right ladies, Black Friday is among us! If you’re planning on partaking in the shopping festivities, there are some things you should know. Here are 5 tips on how to make the most out of your Black Friday experience.

1. Head out Prepared – a.k.a. Do your research

There are plenty of deals out there on Black Friday…but you have too know where to look. Some stores may say there’s a sale, which may be true, but not every item is included in their discount offer. Do your research ahead of time. Know what items you’re looking for and where the best sales are for those specific items. This way you get the best deal for everything on your list, every time! There is nothing worse than going somewhere and constantly pulling out your phone to price match an item at other stores. Don’t be that person this year!

2. Stick To The List

It’s easy to get distracted and caught up in all the excitement and action that goes on during Black Friday. Unfortunately, sometimes all the chaos can make you loose sight of what it was that made think waking up at the crack of dawn was a good idea. If you dilly-dally too much in one particular store , looking at “extra” stuff  you could potentially forget about what you came for. It could also cause you to spend more money than you planned on, which could be a problem if you’re not careful. To put it bluntly….don’t buy more than you need to. Make a list of what it is you’re looking for this season and stick to it. Spur of the moment gifts are not necessarily a bad idea, but just abe careful you’re not spending more than you wanted to. The holidays are expensive enough, don’t rack up the bill with unnecessary purchases if you can avoid it.

3. Make A Plan

If you already know what it is you’re looking for, then you should have a good idea on the places you need to go in order to get everything. Make a plan that includes all the locations you need to visit before your big shopping excursion. This will save you from wasting time and also let you decide a route that makes the most sense for you. There’s no reason to drive past a store you need to go to just to come back to it later. Save your gas for the drive home from your in-laws after you stuffed your face with more turkey and stuffing than you’d like to admit.

4. Apps, Coupons, and Rewards! OH MY!

Take a look at coupons ahead of time, and actually use them! Many people have smart phones now which allow you to find coupons online so you don’t have to go through and cut out every single one you plan on using.  Do you already have in-store rewards with specific locations? Figure out the best way to utilize those rewards before hand. If you do have a smartphone, there are actual apps that give you special deals as well. One app that I swear by is called RetailMeNot.  It’s free and it’s amazing. You get all sorts of special discount at all of your favorite stores, restaurants and more. There are several more apps just like this one that you can download right on your phone. Make this Black Friday the year of savings coupons! Not only will your bank account and wallet thank you but you will also make your check out process go faster because you came prepared. You go girl!

5. The Early Birds vs. The Night Owls

Not everyone’s a morning person. Some people rather just stay up late and get their shopping done before going to bed. Stores accommodate that. Not every store, but many stores have both early bird and/or night owl deals. Make sure you know about the hours ahead of time because not every store is the same or has the same hours on Black Friday. If you made your list and know where you want to go to get your purchases, which you should because it was mentioned in tips 2 and 3, than you should be able to call the stores ahead of time or check out their websites to see what their hours of operations are and when their big saving times will be. Go when it makes the most sense for you!

Click here for a list of Black Friday store hours near you.

 

 

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