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Woman with holiday shopping bags

Braving Black Friday to snag the best holiday shopping deals is not an activity for the faint of heart. From the early morning hours to the long lines to the minor scuffles, there are plenty of factors that make shopping on Black Friday a daunting task. But with these 7 tips (and your best game face), you’ll be sure to score big discounts and leave victorious. You came. You saw. You shopped.

  1. Make a shopping list and a budget.
    It’s easy to convince yourself you could use another microwave—even if you already have 2 at home. By planning out your shopping list and budget ahead of time, you’ll avoid making purchases that you don’t really need or can’t afford and stay focused on what you came there to buy.
  2. Do your research.
    Most stores will have special Black Friday hours, many that begin even before the sun comes up. (Some stores even have pre-Black Friday sales!). Check store hours ahead of time so you don’t miss out on a great deal because you arrived too late. Also, check out sites like TheBlackFriday.com for sale details.
  3. Plan your route.
    Map out which stores you want to visit beforehand. You’ll have plenty of company on the roads on Black Friday, so use an app like Waze that has real-time updates to avoid traffic jams and find the quickest routes to your destinations.
  4. Wear the right shoes.
    You may be shopping for the latest fashions on Black Friday, but it isn’t the time to dress to impress. Definitely wear comfortable shoes. You’ll last longer on your feet and be able to move quickly in the event there’s only one medium-sized blue coat left on the rack and you have to spring into action to grab it.
  5. Download price-checking apps.
    Armed with apps like PriceGrabber and ShopSavvy, you can compare the prices you’re seeing in the store with dozens of other stores to make sure you’re getting the best deal. The Amazon App is great for price-checking, too. And check out our “11 Free Money-Saving Apps” post for more potential savings!
  6. Bring something to munch on.
    Not only will this give you an energy boost during that mid-morning slump when you’re ready to forfeit your place in the checkout line for a delicious bagel from across the street, but it will also save you money by not having to eat out.
  7. Store your receipts in a safe place and know the return policies.
    You might be the type of person who accumulates crumpled receipts in the floor board of your car, the pockets of your jeans, or in between your couch cushions, but when it comes to holiday shopping on Black Friday, you’ll want to keep the receipts for everything you buy. And, if possible, ask for a gift receipt for everything!

Tell us how you’ve mastered the art of holiday shopping in the comments below!


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