Black Friday Tips From Money-Saving Experts

By Carrie Kirby on 25 November 2010 (Updated 6 June 2013) 1 comment
Photo: Chris22090

I recently had the chance to hear top money-saving bloggers Miriam Kamin of Wantnot.net, Cassie and Alex Michael of TheThriftyCouple, and Tiffany Ivanovsky of MyLitter (so called because the lady has seven kids). They all presented at Savings.com's Save Up conference in Chicago, and they shared their top tips for saving the most money possible on Black Friday. Here's a sampling:

From Mir of Wantnot.net: Prepare for online Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping at least a day ahead of time (as in, now)

  • Try filling your shopping cart in advance. Some retailers will save it, some won't. If you're not sure if it will save, jot down the item numbers so you can quickly throw them into your cart on the big day.
     
  • Layer on the discounts. Black Friday sales may look good, but you can probably do even better by combining that sale with a coupon code, or shopping through a rebate portal like Ebates. (Carrie here: If you have a Groupon or other daily deal certificate, try using that on a Black Friday sale.)
     
  • Assemble your coupon codes in advance. (Carrie here: You can find them at RetailMeNot, Ebates or just by Googling the store name and "coupon code.")
     
  • Follow your retailers on Twitter and Facebook. They might announce limited-time deals or release coupon codes.

For more tips from Mir, see my Black Friday planning post on my blog, Frugalista.

From The Thrifty Couple: Take advantage of the deals without blowing your budget

  • If you're married, work together to set up a specific per-person budget and gift list. For example, the Michaels budget $50 for each immediate family member and $15 for extended family.
     
  • As you shop, update the list so you know when you've spent your allocated funds.
     
  • Also note on your list where you hid each gift.

For more tips from Cassie and Alex, see my Black Friday budgeting post on Frugalista.

From Tiffany of MyLitter: Tips for buying for a large family

  • No matter how many children you have, leave them at home on Black Friday.
     
  • Don't feel like you have to budget exactly the same amount for each child. "There's no reason that my 4-month-old child is really going to get anything at Christmas. She's going to get the token wrapped present from Santa at Christmas so the other kids don't get suspicious."
     
  • If you see a good toy on sale, buy it. Chances are, one of the kids will be ready for it by the holidays.
     
  • Look for large toys sets, like the huge Lego bucket with lots of pieces, or multipacks that can be divided and wrapped individually.
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LMPR

Great tips - thanks!
For all online shopping, not just Black Friday/Cyber Monday, remember to check with your credit card issuer. Many times their cash back deals are better than any of the others. Discover, for example pays a minimum of 5% back.
Also, here's a handy site to compare several various cash back deals:
http://www.cashbackmonitor.com/