Is Black Friday Shopping Really Worth It? Change These 7 Habits to Save More Money

Black Friday, Woman holding many shopping bags while walking in the shopping mall background.
ipopba / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Black Friday began as a one-day event but became a weeks-long holiday tempting consumers with a myriad of ads and deals. However, with inflation at a four-decade high and Americans being financially hit in every corner of their life, now may be the time to proceed with caution.

Find: Costco Black Friday Deals You Shouldn’t Pass Up
Discover: If Your Credit Score Is Under 740, Make These 4 Moves Now

Holiday spending is expected to be healthy even with inflationary challenges, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), but that’s not a reason to overspend.

“The holiday shopping season kicked off earlier this year – a growing trend in recent years – as shoppers are concerned about inflation and availability of products,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a press release.

“Retailers are responding to that demand, as we saw several major scheduled buying events in October. While this may result in some sales being pulled forward, we expect to see continued deals and promotions throughout the remaining months.”

With consumers being bombarded by an avalanche of deals, experts reveal some tips to navigate the temptations to overspend.

Make Your Money Work for You

Stick to a Budget

As noted, the slew of deals can be hypnotizing, so have a clear plan before you step foot out the door. For example, set up a clear budget and stick to it. While bringing a set amount of cash with you can help achieve that goal, “the cash-only method also overlooks store card discounts or credit card cash back, which can really add up!,” Hip2Save recommends, adding that instead, you could use a debit card with a set amount of money available and work with store cards and credit cards as you see fit.

Don’t Buy Something Because It’s A “Deal”

Hip2Save notes that some retailers can increase the price to make savings seem more significant. So do your homework and compare.

“Black Friday offerings are typically watered-down versions and lack some of the features that give high-quality products their value,” according to Hip2Save.

Make a Plan

DealNews notes that the most important thing you can do to get great deals on Black Friday is to make a plan in advance.

Make Your Money Work for You

“If you go into the store dazzled by the promotional signs — whether online or in person — you’re likely to jump on sales that aren’t very good and overspend as a result,” according to DealNews, adding that ideally, you should start planning in October.

Don’t Forget Price Matching and Free Shipping

Just because a store usually offers these extras, it doesn’t mean that they will for Black Friday sales, or if they do, that they will not limit them, Deal News notes. Be sure to review the price matching policies before shopping, and review the shipping costs as well, as they tend to add up fairly quickly,

Don’t Use A Cart!

This is a simple, yet effective trick. First, if you stick to a shopping bag you’ll be able to navigate crowded aisles easier and faster — hence spending less time, and perhaps less money, in the store. And obviously, with a bag, “you won’t be tempted to throw in random non-sale items or other things that aren’t on the list,” Hip2Save notes.

Know Which Retailer Tricks to Avoid

National Debt Relief recommends being aware of some “tricks” certain retailers might use. These include promoting false savings, advertising older or lower quality items. They can also include using bait-and switch-tactics- “a sales tactic in which retailers attempt to lure potential buyers in by offering limited quantities of a product at a shockingly low price. Once the product sells out, the retailer will offer a more expensive model so they can make a larger profit,” according to National Debt Relief. Or using product positioning a tactic used “to tempt buyers with additional impulse purchases. For example, they might place big-ticket items far away from the front door in hopes shoppers will purchase other items of interest while making their way to the back. Another example is placing items people might impulsively buy at check-out lines. “

Make Your Money Work for You

Take Our Poll: Do You Tip for Service?

Don’t Forget Cyber Monday

According to DealNews, Cyber Monday, which also started as a once a one-day event, is running longer too.

“The sales on and around Cyber Monday can be just as good as — or better than — those on Black Friday,” according to DealNews. “That means you shouldn’t feel pressured to buy on Black Friday if you don’t find the deal you want; there are more sales to come. Be sure to keep your eyes open during the week after Black Friday, as well.”

More From GOBankingRates

Share This Article:

Make Your Money Work for You

About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
Learn More