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Black Friday is almost like Christmas coming a month early for someone who loves to Christmas shop AND save money. I love shopping, but I hate to pay full price for anything this time of year. Everything is always on sale somewhere. It can just take some time to organize and make the most of the Black Friday savings.
This one is huge for Black Friday and a must for any big shopping trip. Start by making a list of the people you shop for and then possible gift ideas. I always do this in pencil, and when I make a purchase I write it in pen. That way I keep track of what I already have, and what I’m still looking for. When the Black Friday ads start rolling out you can simply mark where you see your items on sale.
Ditch your cart!
Please do not go into Wal Mart, fill a cart and then ditch it in a random aisle. Believe me, as a former employee, that is just rude, but if you’re shopping online I fully support it. Sometimes, by leaving an item in your cart, the company will email you with a coupon for free shipping or a discount in price. Of course, you do run the risk of an item selling out, so use your own judgement on how long to wait.
This also comes in handy the days leading up to Black Friday, because your cart will already be waiting for you to checkout at lower prices. Sites can run slower on the big day so it is nice not having to search for each item you want.
Get an Ebates Account!
Sign up for Ebates!! I have been using Ebates for a couple of years now, and I love it!!! It doesn’t cost you a thing, and they even give you $10 when you make your first purchase. Almost all the stores I shop at offer Ebates savings, so I always get something back. Many stores will soon be offering double cash back too. That’s where big cash back comes into play!
Save even more if you sign up for the Ebates Credit Card. I don’t encourage credit card debt, but I do have one of these. I’m using it for Christmas shopping and just transferring money out of my Christmas savings account to pay for it each month. The credit card gets you additional 3% cash back on ebates purchases and 1% anywhere Visa is accepted.
You can sign up for Ebates with this link. Trust me, you’ll love it!
Get more cash back!
Ebates is great, but why stop there? If you’re a Target shopper, sign up for the Redcard (debit or credit) to save 5% on every purchase. Also download the Cartwheel App on your phone. There is a lot of savings to be found there on any and all items in the store. This time of you they will offer up to 50% a select toy each day too. This year, Target is offering Redcard holders exclusive early access to Black Friday deals too!
Ibotta is another must for your phone, and it isn’t just for groceries anymore. More and more stores are joining in the fun and offering cash back on things like electronics, clothing, even some restaurants. Check this app before you shop for anything. I earned over $11 (20%) back on my daughter’s bedding set I bought at Wal Mart last weekend by buying it through the Ibotta app on my phone. That was better than the 2% at Ebates. You can join Ibotta here and you’ll get a $10 welcome bonus! (just use this referral code: arhrw)
I’m sure many of you already have Amazon Prime. If you don’t you can sign up for a free 30 day trial and if you choose to keep it, it’s just $10 a month. If you purchase a year’s subscription through the Ibotta app, you can get a $20 Amazon gift card from Ibotta. See how everything stacks together to add up the cash in your pocket? Nice isn’t it?
If you don’t have Amazon Prime, here is what you can enjoy: Free 2-day shipping on millions of items, watch popular movies and tv shows, stream ad-free music, enjoy unlimited reading on any device of books, magazines and more. You can also sign up for subscriptions on items like diapers or cleaning supplies to save even more.
They also do what they call Lightening Deals. These are only available to Prime members and last for a short time with big price cuts on a huge variety of items. This one takes some time to find all the deals and stay on top of it, but you can get some really awesome deals.
Add on to your browser
My favorite add on is Ebates (of course)! You can add the extension onto your browser, and then each time you browse an Ebates partnered site you will get a pop up to activate cash back. If you don’t have this extension you simply have to go to Ebates website to shop through the store’s website. I don’t know how many times I would forget to shop through Ebates before I added that handy little button.
Recently, I have added two other extensions. I heard about both of them from the Today Show so I thought I’d give them a shot. I haven’t had huge success with either, but I also haven’t fully gotten into the shopping mode just yet. The first one is is called Honey. This extension is suppose to find all the available discount codes for you. Again, I haven’t had much luck with this one, but if it doesn’t find you a code you can earn a percentage back in coins and trade those in for a gift card.
The other one is called Invisible Hand. This one does all the work for you to find the lowest price on the item you are shopping for. For example, you are shopping for a bored game at Target, but Wal-Mart is $3.00 cheaper. The Invisible Hand will list the cheaper prices at the top of your screen and you can click right to that bored game at Wal Mart. To me, this isn’t much different than my usually way of searching Google and seeing all the prices. Again, I haven’t used this enough to really see if there is benefit.
Plan that Trip!
Now that you’ve got all the tips you need, you can can start your list! Here’s some more help. Check out this list of estimated release dates for Black Friday Ads. You can check out all the available Black Friday ads here. I also follow them on Facebook to stay up to date when ads release.
Remember these are just an estimated release date for 2017. Retailers seem to be releasing them earlier and earlier every year!
Ace Hardware – Available Now
Barnes & Noble – 11/21
Bass Pro Shop – 11/21
Bed Bath & Beyond – 11/22
Best Buy – Available Now
BJ’s Wholesale Club – Available Now
Cabella’s – 11/13
CVS – Available now
Dell Home – Available Now
Dick’s Sporting Goods – 11/13
Dollar General – 11/20
Gamestop – 11/20
HP Computers – Available Now
JC Penny – Available Now
Jo-Ann Fabric – 11/20
Kmart – Available Now
Kohl’s – Available Now
Lowes – 11/20
Macy’s – Available Now
Michael’s – 11/22
Office Depot – Available Now
Overstock. com – 11/22
Petsmart – 11/21
Sears – Available Now
Staples – Available Now
Target – Available Now
Toys “R” Us – 11/17
Walgreens – 11/16
Wal Mart – Available Now
I hope this helps you take some stress out of you Holiday shopping. I wish you all good luck on finding all the best deals!