3 tips to shop like a pro this Black Friday

Person Shopping Online
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Black Friday is underway, but if you ask most retailers, it began long ago. For weeks leading up to the big sales event today (November 25), many retailers have been advertising big savings on a variety of products. 

As a result, it’s a great time to begin holiday shopping, as you’ll be able to save on a multitude of discounts. Everything from Macbooks to mattresses are on sale, letting you stretch your holiday budget further this year. 

However, with so much on sale leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it can be overwhelming when trying to shop through the deals. Knowing how to shop like a pro this Black Friday can help you buy what you want, without hurting your wallet. 

The below tips will help you avoid overspending this Black Friday while still getting everything you need. 

Make a plan 

It’s important to make a plan and have a budget in mind before shopping this year’s Black Friday deals. It’ll keep you from spending on what you don’t need, and more importantly, what you can’t afford. 

First, decide which items are on the top of your shopping list. Maybe it’s a new TV or MacBook. It’s good to go ahead and list out specific items and give yourself a reasonable budget to stay within.

By planning ahead of time, you’ll be able to avoid deals that seem great  but aren’t, and you won’t have to dig through thousands of sales ads to find something that catches your eye. It’ll also make comparing discounts between stores easier, helping you score the best price possible. 

Determine which deals are actually worth it

With so much on sale, it can be hard to determine which deals are really the best. With all these “must-have-deals” going around, if you want to shop like a pro, it’s important to determine if a Black Friday deal is really worth it before making a purchase. According to NerdWallet, determining if a deal is worth it has to do with an “item’s reduced price, availability and affordability.”

When determining whether or not a Black Friday deal is as good as it seems, a good place to start is to check if an item is selling at its best price. When deciding whether or not a deal is worth it, check to see if it’s the lowest price the product’s ever been. Price tracking is one way to do this, and with the use of an app or browser extension, you can even receive alerts when prices fall. You can use sites like CamelCamelCamel or Capital One Shopping to check price histories. 

Another important factor when determining what Black Friday sales are worth it, comes down to what you can afford. If an item's not in your budget, then it’s safe to say it’s not worth it. Even if it seems like an amazing discount, put your credit card down if it’s out of your price range. 

Maximize savings

Now’s the time to cash in on additional ways to save, especially if you’re planning on doing all of your holiday shopping during the next few days. With budgets getting tighter due to high inflation this year, many people are looking for ways to save as much as possible. 

One way you can save some extra cash on the purchases you’re already making this holiday season is by using a cash back app. These apps offer exclusive discounts and rewards at thousands of stores and can easily help you save a few extra dollars on those holiday purchases. For example, app Rakuten (for iOS and Android) is one of the best cashback apps for shopping as it partners with over 3,500 stores. Sites like CashBackMonitor can also help you maximize discounts when shopping these next few days. 

Another good idea is to shop with the right credit card to ensure you’re getting the most cash back on purchases. Check your credit card’s rewards rate and introductory bonus to make sure you’re maximizing savings this Black Friday. In fact, these are the 5 best credit cards to use on Amazon in 2022. 

Erin Bendig
Staff writer, personal finance

Erin pairs personal experience with research and is passionate about sharing personal finance advice with others. Previously, she was a freelancer focusing on the credit card side of finance, but has branched out since then to cover other aspects of personal finance. Erin is well-versed in traditional media with reporting, interviewing and research, as well as using graphic design and video and audio storytelling to share with her readers.