Daily Dose of Design: How to Effectively Shop for Black Friday

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

How to Effectively Shop for Black Friday

This whole week is always such a whirlwind, but a FUN and exciting whirlwind! From family time to delicious food and taking the time to slow down, relax and be present - it may seem contradictory to have a day like Black Friday immediately after. However I consider it a part of the weekend, and I know a ton of others do too! It's such a fun and exciting post-turkey-coma day, but it gets really, REALLY overwhelming. Fast. There's a million sales thrown your way, people rushing in and out of stores to get the best deals - and it can be stressful, but if you love to shop it should be really fun. The best part of gift giving is picking out presents for everyone on your list, and seeing that special something in a store and knowing it's perfect for them.

As a marketing grad who loves seeing company strategies, this whole "early Black Friday blowout sale" BS grinds my gears. I don't really know how it benefits stores, but nevertheless the sales have begun to creep in. I still save the sales and shopping for Friday - maybe I just don't like change? Haha! But really, I can't be the only one who hates how it starts earlier and earlier each year right?? I think it should be kept to Friday and Cyber Week! Let Thanksgiving have it's moment, sheesh.
Anyway, I like to consider myself a seasoned Black Friday shopper at this point -- I've been going for years, and I just get so much joy out of it! ;) I've tried going at midnight, going at 2 AM, 4 AM, all day Friday... and these tips get me through year after year, and are so important when it comes to conquering Black Friday:

1. Have a budget and stick to it

I always make an Excel spreadsheet and I have all of the people I know I'll be buying for on it, plus any ideas I may have and if there's a price point I want to stay in with each persons gift(s). Then once I buy, I add in the things I've bought and it's the perfect way to visually see what's what (I promise I'm not AS organized as it seems, I try to be... but it's by the Grace of God I have and use this sheet LOL). With all of the crazy deals going on though, it's SO hard to not impulsively buy ALL of the things. But if you have a list, know what you're going for and then leave some of the budget you created to get a few of those "impulse buys" for yourself (let's be honest, it's bound to happen anyway!) and you won't feel guilty at the end of the day.

2. Take time to hydrate and eat

Ok these seem rather obvious, but with the craziness that is Black Friday it's pretty easy to forget to drink water AND stop for food! The malls/stores get SO hot so always have water with you, and take the time to eat at some point! Especially if you go early Friday morning, it'll be much needed fuel! #shopping101

3. Put together a map of your shopping stops

This is especially helpful if you're making multiple stops throughout the day! To prevent you from driving around like a maniac, make a map of the order you'll go to each stop in - I usually go to the mall, Target and if there's time/stamina left I try and brave some of the outlets... But you don't want to be driving around in circles, so decide what comes first in terms of sale times and driving around.

4. Do lots of research!

While nearly every single store IS having some sort of sale, the more you prepare and research each store's savings, the more you will save! Some sales will last all day - some till 5 PM, noon, etc. Know what's what, see if there's any exclusions of the sales and know if there's any additional savings you can take.

5. Sign up for Ebates

I've talked about just how amazing Ebates is before, but for real - it is SUCH a game changer! You basically are getting an extra percentage off of your purchase because you make cash back on all eligible purchases. If you're not already, SIGN UP here and you'll get an automatic $10, and I will too! It's such a great tool and although it's mainly for online purchases, you can link your cards into the Ebates app (it's totally safe!) to any stores that have in-store cash back options and earn even then. This is my biggest tool for Black Friday and all of Cyber Week really, because you'll end up making a LOT back - it makes you feel better about whatever you spend! ;)

6. Check your email and the sales online throughout the day

Whether you're shopping in-store or staying in and shopping from your couch (you're the smart ones here, ha!) check your favorite sites that are having sales consistently. Every couple of hours check in, or check your email if you're on their list - some stores will extend sales, or even give a larger discount or a sale on something different. Always worth checking!

7. Download Black Friday app(s)

Black Friday Shopping and Shopular are two of my favorites - Black Friday shopping gives a few of all of the ads fro major stores, and Shopular is tailored to fit your wants and needs. When you download it, it prompts you to pick your "favorite stores" and once doing so, you'll get a list of any and all sales all of the stores you checked off are having. It's actually helpful for year round too!

Do you shop Black Friday? What's the best deal you've ever gotten?!


  1. Black Friday is one of the most stressful days of year. Going in with a game-plan makes it so much easier. Ordering online is a life-saver especially with simple purchase order formats. I didn't know Black Friday apps were a thing, that's amazing!

  2. I didn't know they had apps for Black Friday shopping - that's super neat and helpful to know. I don't really ever go Black Friday shopping - I enjoy Cyber Monday! But, I am going to one store this year. Though, it's discounted regularly, so hopefully it won't be too crowded. I hate crowds!

  3. I had no idea about the black Friday apps, ha ha but of course! Great tips and I hope you are doing well! I so agree about letting Thanksgiving pass and get done before the frenzy starts!


  4. I don't dare brave the insanity but these are great tips!

  5. I think I have only gone out on Black Friday once quite a few years ago. Maybe if I had apps and a plan, I would enjoy it more!

  6. These are great tips! I will definitely be sure to make a list/map for all my stops.

  7. Didn't know about those apps. Definitely going to download them. Happy shopping!

    Amanda || www.fortheloveofglitter.com

  8. I love this guide! I never think about the apps. That’s very helpful!

  9. Budgeting and research are two very important parts of shopping and shopping well. Great tips.

  10. I love Ebates! I need to remember to use it this year.

  11. I love the idea of putting together a map -- I never thought of that!
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

  12. I think that the map idea is amazing. It could definitely help a stressful day become a little less stressful.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. All of these tips are so important. Especially staying hydrated and doing research!


  14. These are awesome! I didn’t know there were apps for it. I’ve actually done my shopping already this year, so I get to relax for Black Friday and put up my Christmas trees!

  15. These tips are so great! Black Friday is like a test. You definitely have to study for it.

    xx Tatyanna

  16. These tips are perfect! We didn't really do Black Friday shopping. Crowds are too much for me. We just went to Kohls and Menards.

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