10 Tips for Thanksgiving Savings This Black Friday & Cyber Monday

November 23, 2016 : Allie Freeland

Editor’s Note: Everyone loves a good deal. While H&R Block is in the business of taxes, we know the importance of budgeting and savings. Read this post to learn more tips on Thanksgiving savings this year!

One of the best times of the year to shop at a discount is now – Thanksgiving weekend. The National Retail Federation’s Preliminary Thanksgiving Weekend Survey cites an estimated 135.8 million shoppers – nearly 60% of Americans – plan taking advantage of seasonal shopping deals on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Small Business Saturday/Sunday.

So, what are some of the best ways to shop smart this Thanksgiving weekend? With so many retailers offering discounts, where do you begin?

Here are some trade secrets to maximizing your Cyber Monday and Black Friday savings this weekend:

  1. Start with an inspiration board. Use Pinterest or an online tool to brainstorm, organize, and layout potential holiday gifts.
  2. Research ahead of time. Do pre-work prior to the retail “event” to get the biggest bang for your buck. Do online product research, look up reviews, and find the retailer that offers the best deal. You can even look through traditional advertising – like in the Sunday paper – to see what retailers offering in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving weekend.
  3. Get (h)appy. As you research the best shopping deals, consider using third-party apps like RetailMeNot.com or TGIBlackFriday.com.
  4. Use social media to your advantage. Prior to your shopping experience, follow your favorite retailers on social media. They often promote exclusive deals to followers.
  5. Decide on a budget. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Look at your monthly expenses, debt, and budget the right amount to spend. Prioritize and identify “needs” versus “wants”.
  6. Create a list. Once you’ve identified your list of must-have items and which retailer has the best deal, create a master shopping list. Creating a list offers a visual and allows you to prioritize.
  7. Be an early bird. Retailers typically offer the largest discounts early in the morning and as the day goes on, the discount reduces. This is true for Thanksgiving shopping, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you really are in the market for the best deal get up at the crack of dawn. As you prioritize shopping, buy big-ticket items earlier in the day for the best deal.
  8. Be technically prepared. On Black Friday, shoppers swarm stores by the masses, so set yourself for safety and charge your phone. You don’t want to get caught shopping without being able to communicate. On Cyber Monday, make sure your Wi-fi is ready to go and your computer or tablet is charged!
  9. Cyber Monday or not, you may be able to shop from your pajamas. Nearly 70% of Black Friday deals are available online, reports DealNews.com.
  10. Divide and conquer. Enlist the help of friends and family to conquer holiday shopping. Instead of shopping as a group, delegate one person to each store. Conquer the shopping list for your friends or family at that store and have them reciprocate the favor. You can do the same thing for Cyber Monday. Many retailer websites are not prepared for the spike in website traffic during the holidays, so it helps if you whittle down the web surfing and focus on one site at a time.

Thanksgiving savings abounds – if you play the game right. Follow the above tips to maximize your Black Friday and Cyber Monday savings!

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Allie Freeland

Allie Freeland

Contributing Editor, H&R Block

Allie is the Contributing Editor of the H&R Block blog, Block Talk. She has been a practicing grammar geek since 2007.