Black Friday is almost a week away and many shoppers are gearing up for big savings! But nowadays, Black Friday isn't always the best day to get deals - we've also got Gray Thursday (Thanksgiving Day), Cyber Monday, and the weekend in between! No matter which days you're shopping on, use these tips to save the most money.
1. Determine a Spending Plan
Figure out the total amount you can afford to spend over the holidays. Don't just take into account Christmas presents - also consider how much you'll spend on food, decorations, parties, holiday events, etc. Be realistic and set reasonable expectations with your family. You don't want to find yourself in the midst of Christmas 2014 still paying for the things you bought this season! Once you've determined how much you'll spend on gifts, you can divide that amount by the number of people you're buying for. Now you know how much you can afford to spend on each person.
2. Determine a Shopping Plan
Now that you know how much you can spend, you can start figuring out what you want to buy. Use deal websites like bfads.net and retailmenot.com to find the best deals. If you don't know have specific items in mind, some sites many sites will allow you to sort by price. The weekend of Black Friday you'll be sure to find lots of steals in the $10 or less category!
3. Don't shop for yourself!
The National Retail Federal recently determined that the average consumer spends 18% of their holiday budget on themselves. It can be difficult to curb spending impulses as you shop for everyone else, but if you can prevent yourself from buying for yourself, you'll likely save quite a bit of money!
4. Use gift cards
Do you have any gift cards lying around that you've never used? Perhaps they're for stores you seldom frequent? Use them to buy presents for others! That store you never shop at could be a favorite of a certain friend or family member. If you don't have any extra gift cards and you plan to buy particular items from particular stores, you may want to buy a discounted gift card! Lots of websites re-sell gift cards - that $20 gift card your Aunt Theresa gave you to the Hallmark store may not be your cup of tea. But you can sell it on a website like www.CardPool.com and get $20 cash for it! When you're the one buying a discounted gift card, it's almost like using a $5 off coupon in the store.