It seems like every year we're talking about how Black Friday shopping starts earlier and earlier. Of course, this year is such a different beast with COVID-19 sending things into a tailspin. It's actually pretty nice to know that some big retailers are remaining closed on Thanksgiving this year so employees can spend the day with their families. The pandemic has also made for more opportunities to save with places like Walmart having multiple Black Friday events. Today is actually the day that Walmart was supposed to start online deals with TV's, computers, tablets, movies, music and more. You might want to get on it!

I was at Best Buy a couple weeks ago and ended up buying a laptop. I didn't even realize until I was almost done paying at the register - but the guy was mentioning how it was a good deal and $150 cheaper with the Black Friday pricing......and this was before Halloween!

This Black Friday Facebook page is a pretty handy one to keep bookmarked. It keeps track of all the Black Friday deals at a ton of different retailers. You can scroll through and check out the different offers. It's kind of nice to have all the deals in one place and not have to search them out by each individual store. As you see in the Cabela's example below, they provide the link to the Black Friday savings.

I'm the worst when it comes to holiday shopping. Every year comes down to the wire and I tell myself that I'll get out in front of it next year. That never happens and the cycle repeats itself. Don't look now but if you haven't started your shopping - you have about six weeks until Christmas.

If this time of the year makes you carry around a paper bag so you can have it on standby just in case you need to breathe into it - I think we've all been there and can relate. To help make your shopping a little less stressful, the folks at Perk Spot put together a couple things to keep in mind to help save time and money this year. Their suggestions are listed below.


Stick to Your Budget and Gift List
As the holidays begin, make a separate budget dedicated to the upcoming holiday expenses so you can keep track of how you’re spending. Once you know how much you have to spend on gifts, which tend to be the most popular category for Black Friday shoppers, make a list of those who you’re shopping for and the gifts you plan to buy. Refer to both your list and budget often as you shop and try to only make purchases from your already established list! It can be tempting to capitalize on a great sale or doorbuster, but spontaneous buys can add up. If you do choose to make an unexpected purchase, try to balance your list out by crossing off a similarly priced item for that person so you can still keep your budget on track.

Start Early
Given the unexpected events of 2020, it should come as no surprise that holiday shopping will be a bit different this year as well. In fact, experts are predicting that shopping will begin earlier than ever! That being said, there’s a good chance sales trends will follow this lead and begin early, so keep an eye out for great deals on the many items on your gift list before Black Friday. Plus, if you’re shopping online, buying early gives stores much more time to process and deliver your order so you don’t have to worry about making any last-minute gift purchases. As an extra tip, be sure to carefully inspect stores’ return policies, which may be different than years past, in case you need to make returns before or after the holidays.

Compare Prices
After you’ve made your gift list, start doing your research so you can guarantee you’re finding the best bang for your buck. Check out current prices for the items you’re searching for and consider what you’ve spent in the past on similar items. Once you’ve found a gift you’re looking for at a price you’re happy with, don’t hesitate to purchase! Waiting for steeper discounts can often be fruitless and frustrating and may even lead to the item being sold out or not available by the date you need it.

The holiday season is just around the corner! Get started and make the most of your holiday and Black Friday shopping this year with these helpful tips that will keep your finances, helping you save time and money when it matters most!

Be Social
Often, the best way to learn about a great discount or deal can be through your social channels: both social media and fellow discount-loving friends and family (not to mention your Discount Program!). If there are certain brands you’re eyeing, follow their social media, as this is one of the most popular ways for brands to alert shoppers of a good deal! Additionally, reach out to fellow coworkers or friends to see what deals they’re shopping this year and share your own great finds in return.