Already thinking ahead to the upcoming Christmas season? If so, then it is also likely that you have been thinking about shopping! With the Black Friday Sales also fast approaching, this can be a great way to kick off your holiday shopping spree.
With that being said, if you are trying to keep your finances in order and don’t want to develop bad credit, it is even more beneficial that you look for methods of saving as much as possible.
Here are 5 ways to save on Black Friday Sales, this year.
1. Do your Research
Number one on your list of ways to save on sales this Black Friday is to begin by doing your research. Whether or not your plan is to venture across the border and shop the U.S. sales in person – you will want to look into the stores, the products you are interested in and compare pricing.
In the event you arrive at a particular retail location and you can’t find the product you are looking for – or you find you do not like the price – it is also a good idea to research some ‘back up’ locations and – even some ‘back-up’ products for that matter.
Researching and planning your route ahead of time is a good method of also preparing for your shopping adventures, as this can allow you to shop with as much efficiency as possible, while also aiming to avoid unwanted driving and in turn gas expenditures.
In the end, being prepared in terms of researching and comparing multiple stores, their products, and their pricing, not only can you reduce you stress and frustration – you can also look to save on both time and money.
2. Prepare a Budget
Following on the heels of researching, another preparatory step you can take to get ready to save is to devise a shopping budget. It is true that any good budget begins with knowing where you stand financially. For example, you can set a budget of $500, but do you actually have that amount to spend?
When designing your budget it is critical that you take into account your incoming money, as well as your expenses. Additionally, you may also want to think ahead to any larger payments or expenses you may have during the next few months, so that you don’t spend any essential money you need down the line. If this is the case, be sure to place some money into your savings and do not factor it into your budget limit. Instead, base your budget solely on the available money you can spare.
Once you have identified how much you can reasonably spend towards your Black Friday budget, you can then make a list of the specific items you want to buy. Making a list of these items beforehand is also very important as it will help you to avoid impulse buying – aka overspending!
Again, you can have some backup items on your list as ‘alternatives’, however you will want to be sure to include the prices (and tax) in your budget so that you have a comprehensive view of how much everything will cost overall. When all is said and done, budgeting is one of the first steps you can take to ensure you save money and do not exceed your spending limits this American holiday weekend.
3. Use Loyalty and Rebate Cards
A third method of saving money this Black Friday is to take advantage of any rebate or loyalty cards you might have. For example, Shoppers Drug Mart, Scene, Plum, to mention a few, offer frequent shoppers the opportunity to earn points that can be used towards other purchases.
Think about it, if you have been saving some points for a while now, what better way to use them to save on some of your larger holiday purchases. Other rebate cards such as credit cards, Air Miles, and AeroPlan may also be cards that can enable you to save on some items while also benefiting from the sales this Black Friday.
4. Shop Online Sales
Another way you can look to save this Black Friday season is to opt to make all, if not some of your purchases online. Some sales in fact, may only be effective if you are making purchases of the online variety and in store sales may not apply.
With that being said, you still want to do your research and make sure you are actually saving less. Keep in mind that shipping costs and international purchases may mean more additional costs as well. However, you may luck out and find some great sales on some items you have been waiting for.
Not only is this shopping performed from the comfort of your own home, the amount you may save on gas and other travel expenses may well be worth it in the end.
5. Shop the Canadian Sales
A final method of saving on your annual Black Friday shopping is to choose to stick close to home and shop the Canadian sales in your area. Again, not only will you save on gas and travel costs, there are also so many local sales you can take part. In order to keep consumers shopping in Canada, over the last few years – Black Friday sales have also become a North American trend, as oppose to only an American one.
Furthermore, with the current status of the Canadian dollar, it may also be just at cost effect to remain in your own neck of the woods. While some sales in the states may prove worthy of an over the border commute, many may not. Even in the event you do see that savings can be had of at least a hundred dollars or more, for example – once again remember to factor in travel costs, including fuel, meals, and in some cases parking too.
In the end, you may end up spending roughly around $100 or more for these costs alone – so the savings may not be enough to make it worth shopping there. Instead it may make more sense to shop the Canadian Black Friday sales and save more in the process.
Ultimately, if your goal is to save money, yet still take advantage of the annual sales event that is Black Friday, there are effective ways that can allow you to save more and not exceed your budget. As our American friends celebrate their nation’s Thanksgiving weekend, give your own credit score something to be thankful for.