Black Friday Deals: How to Make the Most Out of the Biggest Shopping Day of the Year

The biggest sales day of the year is just around the corner – Black Friday! This post is a guide to help you get the most out of the big day and help you score big on the Black Friday deals you need.


Black Friday Deals

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Black Friday is right around the corner!

I have to admit – I used to look forward to this day all year. I loved everything about it!

Every year, my mom and I would get up early Thanksgiving morning and grab the newspaper just so we could get the ads. Then we’d text each other about the best deals while we were cooking. After a big Thanksgiving dinner with family, we’d gather around the table pouring through the ads and making lists.

When the big day finally arrived, I’d get out of bed at 4 am and head to my mom’s house, with my bag full of ads and lists. We’d rush around to hit Doorbuster sales before they were over, usually around 12 or 1 pm.

Sometimes we wouldn’t even get home until 6 pm! We literally shopped ‘til we dropped!

Things have changed a lot since “Black Friday deals” now start as early as October. We still go shopping, but it’s more just for the tradition and having a girl’s day out than scoring the best deals. I still look forward to it, though, simply because I love having that time with my mom.

So how do we make the most of the biggest shopping day and take advantage of the best Black Friday deals? Keep reading for tips and tricks on how to save, what to look out for, and how to stay sane while shopping!

crazy shoppers

When is Black Friday?

Black Friday always falls on the day after Thanksgiving (in the US). This year it’s on November 26, 2021. Sales typically continue into Cyber Monday, which is November 29, 2021.

Should I be worried about shipping delays this year?

Probably. Due to an expected surge in online orders this year, shipping may be delayed. Plan ahead and shop early to make sure your deliveries arrive in time for the holidays.

black Friday tips

7 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Black Friday

Scoring the best Black Friday deals means starting early, whether you’re shopping for yourself or others. You may see product shortages and longer delivery times this year, so it’s best to plan ahead. Here are my best tips for getting the most out of Black Friday and helping you find the best deals.

1. Check the ads and apps.

Before you head out shopping for those awesome Black Friday deals, be sure to check the ads first. Blackfriday.com has a list of ad scans and other big sales events that are updated regularly. Also, consider downloading the apps from your favorite retailers. Some apps send out push notifications as soon as a sale hits. And some apps will show you exactly where an item is located in the store. Sign up for your favorite retailers’ email lists to get early notifications of the best Black Friday deals and maybe even score some coupons.

Checking the ads early will help you save time and keep your day organized and stress-free.

2. Do your research early.

Prices for the 2021 holiday season are much higher due to inflation and higher demand. Before purchasing those must-have items, research the original prices first. That way it will be easier for you to spot a significant markdown as opposed to a small discount made to look like a big sale.

Also, research the return and exchange policies for each retailer you plan to shop at. Make sure you know the answer to these 5 questions before making a purchase:

  1. What types of items can be returned?
  2. What is the time limit for returns?
  3. Will you need to have a receipt or not?
  4. Can you return the items for cash or will you be given a gift card or store credit?
  5. If you shop online, can you return the item to a physical store, or will it need to be shipped?

If the store’s return policies are too strict, it may be best to consider shopping elsewhere.

3. Look for early-bird discounts.

You don’t have to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to score the best Black Friday deals. Many retailers have already started offering early-bird discounts. Starting early also gives you a better chance of getting your items delivered on time, especially with shortages and higher-than-expected demand this year.

Early Holiday Deals:

4. Plan out your shopping day.

Planning out your shopping day ahead of time saves time and stress. Go through the ads and make lists of which items you plan to purchase in each store you’ll be shopping at. Some stores have doorbuster deals that end at a certain time, so plan to shop those stores first. If you are looking for the season’s hottest item, plan to make that your first purchase since those items usually sell out quickly. Also plan to wait in line for a while for those items. Make sure you also plan time for a breakfast and/or lunch break so you can sit down and rest and regroup.

5. Come prepared.

Check the stores you plan to shop at to see if they offer price matching. Price matching is when the store lowers its marked price to match a competitor’s price. Typically you’ll need proof of the competitor’s price, such as a print ad or a screenshot of the competitor’s price. Keep in mind that the products must be the exact same to get the same price, including size, model, and color. Target has a Holiday Price Match Guarantee, where they will match the price if it goes lower at Target before December 24.

6. Ask for gift receipts.

Gift receipts usually include a description of the items so it’s easier for the recipient to return or exchange an item if they need to.

7. Set a budget.

Set a budget and make a list ahead of time, then keep an eye on your balancing as you’re shopping. Be careful about overspending with credit cards during the holiday season. High credit card balances may take longer to pay off, which means you’ll end up paying more in interest. Significant markdowns and Black Friday deals may tempt you into impulse buying, but keep in mind that spending money that you didn’t plan on spending isn’t really “saving”.

Do you enjoy shopping on Black Friday? Will you be going out this year or shopping online in your PJs? What are your best tips for getting the best Black Friday deals?

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Thank you for sharing!

20 thoughts on “Black Friday Deals: How to Make the Most Out of the Biggest Shopping Day of the Year”

  1. Michelle, it’s so great to hear from you! Thanks so much for sharing this. It is so helpful. I am aiming to get most of the Christmas shopping done early. (OK So I know “early” is relative. I know someone who stocks up for Christmas all year. LOL)

    1. Thank you! It’s been super busy around here so I don’t have much time for writing these days. I’m so glad you found this helpful! I’ve already started shopping, but I still have a lot more to go. I wish I could be one of those people who shop all year so I don’t have to worry about it at the end of the year! Haha!

  2. I hadn’t seen a post from you in a while and was getting a little nervous, hoping you were okay.

    We are nervous about the delays this year but my kids will understand. We don’t have any big items to buy this year. My daughter is happy with clay or paint or paper most years and isn’t interested in many toys this year. My son just wants sweatpants, lol.

    1. It’s been so busy between trying to get the new house finished plus still renovating the old one. There’s just not enough time in the day! I don’t have any big items to get, either, so I don’t have to worry about that stress at least. Lol! I’m with your son on that one!!

  3. I am so happy to hear from you! I was getting a bit worried for you. October was a crazy busy month for us so I missed some of your October posts.
    I am so happy that you get a Mom and Daughter Girls Day out on Black Friday. How fun for you. My kids will be with us this year so who knows we may do a little Black Friday Shopping all together.
    Happy Thanksgiving Michelle! So glad to hear from you!

    1. Aww, thank you! It’s been super busy between trying to get the new house finished and the old house renovated as well. There’s no stopping! lol! I’m happy to hear your kids will be with you guys this year. I hope you get to go out and make the best of it!

  4. You always have such awesome and helpful tips!! I definitely need to remember #7 lol!! Thankfully I started shopping early this year so I only have a few more gifts left!! So glad you and your mum are keeping the tradition of getting together on Black Friday!! Ps glad to have you back, my friend!! But totally get your a busy lady! Missed you!!

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you find them helpful. That’s awesome that you started early! I did too but I still have more shopping to do and for some reason it’s making me feel behind. I keep telling myself that it’s not even December yet. Haha! I’ll be catching up on your posts soon! I’ve missed your recipes! ❤️

  5. So happy to see you posting, and these are great tips. Planning out your shopping day and being prepared are my favorite tips. You’re so right, black Friday has already started, I’ve seen announcements all over for early bird shopping.
    When I read your yearly ritual with your mom, it made me remember how my mom loved going to the mall around the holiday season, we went every year just to window shop and have lunch, I miss spending that time with her.
    Happy weekend xoxo

  6. Awesome to see a post from you!! Never feel guilty for taking a little break…oh that might have been a reminder for myself!!😂😉

    Great list!! I used to do the in-store shopping early on Black Friday but you are right it has changed and now the thrill of it (for me) just isn’t the same..combine that with my kids getting older and over the toy age and it’s now just best if I stick to cyber Monday for deals on clothes and athletics. Sad to outgrow the toy age but gotta embrace this season of their lives with the same joy!! Happy Thanksgiving to you sweet lady!!

    1. I know what you mean! I loved getting to the stores early to grab those toy deals. I miss that age! Clothes now are terrible, especially for girls. Everywhere I look for clothes it’s just crop tops. 🙄 No thank you. I hope you have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!! 🤗

  7. I usually avoid busy shopping areas on Black Friday, but this year I have already made the most of a few early deals. It can be so tempting to buy things I don’t really need though, so I definitely agree it’s a good idea to plan your shopping in advance.

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