Your Guide to Black Friday Shopping


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Delinah Rosario, Opinion Editor

Thanksgiving has come quicker than I anticipated and right after are the infamous Black Friday sales. I have never actually gone shopping on Black Friday, usually because I’m babysitting my siblings while my father and uncle go crazy. I remember one year we spent Thanksgiving in Orlando and came in an already cramped car. Six kids and suitcases don’t leave much room and yet that Black Friday my father bought a huge flat-screen TV. Did we need one? No. Did that stop him? Not at all. We were very lucky that my grandma was moving so we were able to put it in her U-haul to bring home to Broward. The moral of the story shopping on Black Friday can get crazy and a bit wild so here are some tips and tricks that can help make that hectic shopping a little bit easier. 

The ultimate tip is to start early. A lot of sales have already started. You don’t have to wait for Friday to actually go shopping. There are so many deals out now that have low prices for your favorite items. Many even have holiday refund and return policies as well. Also, don’t forget to make sure that everything is in your cart. 

Another good idea if you don’t like the hustle and bustle of shopping in a packed Walmart or Target is to skip the in-store sales and shop online. Many stores offer the same sales online that they do in person and you might have more luck and options shopping from your mobile device. Using websites and apps to judge how good the deals really are can also be super helpful. The same goes for Cyber Monday, which I’m personally a big fan of. Instead of pushing past people and waiting in long lines, I can get everything I need for discounted prices all with the click of a button. 

You can check out consumer reports and website lists to see the current prices and can also use different apps to save time instead of going from store to store comparing prices. You can also sign up for alerts for when discounts arise and when prices drop for larger sales. Browser extensions can also help to show you price histories and price alerts on top of available coupons. 

Another tip is to use loyalty programs that often grant members early access to the latest promotions, sales and a multitude of coupons. I’m a big fan of signing up for any of the free programs because they have so many benefits. They do come in handy, especially this time of year. 

One of the more important tips for sure is to create a budget and stick to it. As a conscious shopper, I try to look for the best deals and stick to what I want to buy, but even I’m guilty of adding a few extra things to the cart. When there are sales everywhere you look, it’s a million times harder to stick to what you wanted from the beginning. It’s really easy to get caught in the excitement and overspend so try to decide ahead of time how much you want your shopping spree to cost and try to fight the urge to pick up anything that would push you over that budget, no matter how good the sale may seem. 

Most importantly, have fun. Take advantage of the once-a-year deals and try to make the most of them. Black Friday is a time to get all you may need and want for a much lower price. It’s also a great way to purchase those much wanted Christmas gifts early and have it hurt your wallet a little less. Use that to your benefit and have some safe shopping this Black Friday.