How to Shop Smart this Black Friday

As frugal of a shopper as I am, I surprisingly don’t get riled up about Black Friday. This is mainly because I’m lazy and impatient. I do not find waiting in long lines desirable unless it’s to get into a concert. However, I do not let my laziness get in the way of getting my deals! Here is my full-proof shopping guide for doing the least amount of work to get all the deals you want (besides shopping online during Cyber Monday).

Do your research.

Research is absolutely critical in conquering Black Friday in general, and even more so when you’re wanting to not waste any time. I cannot emphasize this enough. If you have your eye on one specific item research the heck out of it to find if there are going to be any deals on it or coupons available. Here is what I use:

  • Slickdeals.com. Slickdeals is my holy grail. Slickdeals is basically a search-engine and forum for coupons and good deals. On their front page they offer the top deals of each day, but you can also use their search engine to search for a specific item or store to see if there are any coupons or special deals occurring. Slickdeals is critical during Black Friday and the days leading up to it. People will even post the Black Friday ads and coupon codes.
  • Look for old Black Friday ads. To determine if a store is worth your precious time, always research what their Black Friday sale was the years before if it is too early to tell. Every store’s sales the previous years give a pretty accurate indicator of what they’re going to have on sale again this year.
  • Coupons. Some stores allow you to use online coupons in store. Before you’re heading to a store make sure to research whether there are any coupons that can be applied. I use retailmenot.com and other coupon sites to check.

Become a rewards member and sign up for emails. 

Even though constant emails are annoying, they really do pay off significantly in the discounts you quickly accumulate. During Black Friday and the days leading up to it, stores will often offer early access sales and discounts exclusively for their members. For example, Madewell is currently offering 25% off your entire purchase strictly for Madewell Insiders as an early Black Friday promotion. Stores also often send you an exclusive catalog of what will be on sale early. This will be a huge time-saver. You can easily check in your email what is going to be on sale and whether or not it’s worth your time to physically go in store.

Do not feel the urgency to actually go on Black Friday.

The actual day of Black Friday is going to be pure chaos. I avoid this day unless I absolutely do not have any other time to shop or it’s a time-sensitive sale. Here’s a secret not many people know or remember: when it comes to clothing stores, the deals have a tendency to run all weekend long. For example, Nordstrom Rack’s annual Black Friday sale is typically held all weekend long. So sit back, relax and enjoy some leftovers on Friday while everyone else is stuck in traffic and waiting in lines.