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Black Friday as we knew it for years has changed. The days of having to go out at midnight to get a good deal are practically over. Holiday shopping trends had already changed, but now the pandemic has changed it again. Major retailers are already having epic deals that seem to be even better than in years past. They are now spreading out the holiday shopping cheer all season, rather than having a one week or one day sale.  Nonetheless, shoppers can continue to take advantage of some of the lowest prices of the year.

Keep reading to find out how you can get a jump start on saving money this holiday season.

Make a list and set a budget. Before you walk in to that store or click that “add to cart” button, set a budget and know what you are setting out to purchase. I know that $6 plastic ware set that all department stores carry sounds tempting, but how many do you have in your cabinet already? Sticking to your budget should be #1 in your shopping plan.

Shop early and online.  Like I already mentioned, the deals are already here so shop now! Not only will this save you time, but you can also take advantage of cash back websites, like Rakuten (formerly Ebates) and RetailMeNot. Coupon codes can also be found on these websites. My favorite online shopping tool that I am currently using is Honey. Honey finds the discounts for you and if they can’t find you a discount, they will give you “Honey Gold” which equals cash back in the form of gift cards.

Have your phone charged and ready when shopping in-store. As I shop and find deals that I may not have planned for, I always do a simple search on my favorite search engine to see the current price elsewhere.It may seem like a great deal, but you might pay less for an everyday online price. You can also check camelcamelcamel.com to find price history from Amazon.

Check last year’s Cyber Monday and Black Friday pricing. You can find last year’s sales by searching online. This will help you compare current prices to previous Black Friday prices.  My favorite site for this is blackfriday.com.

Here are some other quick tips to save money this season:

  • Always look for coupons. My favorite place to find coupons whether I am shopping online or in store is RetailMeNot.
  • Sign up for the retailer’s newsletter or download their app for coupons and reward programs.
  • Look through your wallet for old gift cards.
  • Are you a student, veteran, senior, or teacher? There are many discounts out there for you!
  • Check to see if your credit card offers price protection. This is a great feature that will refund the difference if an item goes on sale at a later time.
  • Make sure you know the return and price match policy before shopping.
  • Check online every single day. Many retailers are having daily and weekly sales. Every morning, I pull up my favorite retailers to see what their daily deals are.

Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday

Let’s not forget about our local businesses and non-profits. Small Business Saturday is the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

Comment and let us know what your favorite shopping tips are!