As soon as Thanksgiving starts looming near, the first thought on many people’s minds can be summarized in two words: Black Friday! Also known as the ultimate shopping day for many a deal-addict out there!
However, while there are many opportunities to save “beaucoup” money on Black Friday, there are even more opportunities to make it even more strategic by preparing adequately. I remember the days of waking up extra early on Black Friday to hit the stores, sacrificing precious sleep and turkey leftovers to score a few good deals. Fast-forward a few years later, I’m learning to indulge my beauty sleep and enjoy those mac-and-cheese-and-stuffing leftovers by doing some advance prep work!
Here are 7 steps to actually be ready for Black Friday, minus the stress, sleepless night before and missing out on the best leftovers because your cousins are too broke to go shopping but hungry enough to terminate any food in sight:
Make a list
Black Friday mistake numero uno: jump into the abysmal sales pit without a list! This simply opens you up to buying any and everything that has a discounted price tag in sight. Instead, smarten up and make a list the day before!
List all the gifts you need to buy for Christmas first, and any extras you’d like to indulge in! This way, you will focus on getting what you need first and save precious money, time and energy in the process!
Create a budget!
A woman (or man) without a set budget on Black Friday is setting herself/himself up for financial doom! Also read: you will come home broke (and hungry, but that’s another issue for another day!).
Again, do not jump into the Black Friday sea of sales without a budget, aka your holiday life jacket! Do some homework the week before and figure out how much each of the items on your list is going to cost you. Use sales circulars and ads to plan ahead of time how much money you will need. And do NOT, I repeat DO NOT, go over it!
Did I mention my sleepless nights from a few years ago, when I used to forego Holy Sleep for Tempting Sales. After a couple of kids and some pretty heavy Thanskgiving dinners over the year, I’ve become wiser (and more cognizant of my own physical limitations).
Did you know that according to dealnews.com, you can find the same, if not almost the same, deals in stores than in the comfort of your cozy home in front on your laptop, nibbling on some leftover fried turkey. Chile!
Before you sign up to venture out in the cold at the wee hours of morning, at the risk of getting stepped over for a deal on the new ipHoneX, consider doing the same at home! And saving just as much, plus beauty sleep, extra food and your life and sanity too…
Protect your credit
Keep in mind that your credit cards to shop online or offline can increase your chances for credit theft! As you score amazing deals and get all your African aunts the latest Fenty makeup products, remember to monitor your credit score too!
Use sites like Credit Sesame or Credit Karma to monitor changes in your credit score during this period.
Save some items for Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday is also a great shopping day! Think of it as the cute auntie to Black Friday who likes to chill comfortably at home! Instead of running from store to store with your barely digested Thanskgiving turkey still navigating your sleep-deprived body, you can just shop online on Monday (instead of doing your work)!
Reserve some items for Cyber Monday by placing them in your cart and saving them there! You’ll find them there on Cyber Monday, plus the discount you can now happily take advantage of!
Ship items directly to people
Take advantage of the many free shipping offers on Black Friday by shipping gifts and items directly to people! Instead of shipping them to your house, and then having to re-ship them out, you can kill two birds with one stone and score some serious shipping savings!
Plus that also means less to think about as Christmas approaches and you start losing whatever you have left of edges…
Google coupon codes for websites
Do some prep work and research the coupon codes for the websites you’re interested in! This will save you even more money, time and energy instead of scrambling at the last minute. Make a list of all the coupon codes you will need and save them in a safe, accessible place. Now that’s what you call organized shopping!
What other tips do you have to prepare for Black Friday?
To Your Success,
The Corporate Sis.
Author: Solange Lopes
Solange is the founder of The Corporate Sister, as well as an author, entrepreneur and CPA. She’s passionate about helping women do work they love, build fulfilling careers and living life on their own terms.