Black Friday Shopping Tips: Making the Most of Your Time and Money

U.S. consumers will spend an average of $967.13 each during the holiday shopping season this year

Black Friday Shopping Tips: Making the Most of Your Time and Money
Image: Pexels
November 20, 2017

Black Friday is right around the corner, and shoppers across the country are gearing up to get out and officially kick off the 2017 holiday shopping season!

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), an estimated 69 percent of Americans—approximately 164 million people—plan to shop during the long Thanksgiving weekend this year. The numbers include Cyber Monday in addition to Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Small Business Saturday and Sunday.

Consumers ready to spend big this year

According to the NRF's 2017 Holiday Consumer Spending Survey, U.S. consumers say they will spend an average of $967.13 this year during the holiday shopping season. That's up 3.4 percent from the $935.58 consumers said they would spend when surveyed at the same time last year.

With many retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day and many others opening at midnight on Thursday night/Friday morning, the North Carolina Consumers Council (NCCC) wants to help ensure that shoppers are prepared to have a safe and productive Black Friday!

Black Friday Shopping Tips

Do your research. Have a game plan. Prior to the big day, plan out where you want to go and what you plan to buy instead of wandering around from one store to another hoping to find a deal.

Just because something is on 'sale' on Black Friday doesn't mean that it's a great deal. In fact, some stores' regular sale prices are better than Black Friday prices elsewhere. Making price comparisons at several different stores will help make certain you are getting the best deal possible, whether it is on Black Friday or afterwards.

Scope the stores out ahead of time. After planning out which stores you plan to visit on Black Friday, scope the stores out ahead of time. Make note of the store's layout and pay particular attention to where the items are that you plan to purchase. This will help you get in and out more quickly and avoid as much of the chaos as possible.

Don't forget about shopping online/Cyber Monday. Don't assume that you have to brave the crowds on Black Friday to get great deals on your holiday gifts. Many retailers offer the very same deals online as they do in store. On Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday, many retailers offer some of their best deals online. The best part, you can shop from the comfort of your own home and shipping is often free.

Don't spend money that you don't have. One of the biggest mistakes people make on Black Friday and throughout the holiday season is spending money that they simply don't have. Before you begin your holiday shopping, determine how much money you can realistically afford to spend and plan out a budget. Using a pre-paid debit card is a great way to make sure you stick to your budget once you hit the stores.

Don't get caught up in the hype. A lot of people make a big deal about Black Friday. For some people, it may be a tradition. For others, it may seem like a necessity. In fact, great deals on holiday gifts can be found throughout the season. With a little patience and smart shopping, you can avoid the madness and still find a great gift for everyone on your list!

Have a safe and happy holiday season!