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November 15, 2018 4 min read

The four days following the Thanksgiving holiday have become a celebrated holiday where we look forward to finding the best deal on items from our shopping list.  According to Wikipedia, Black Friday is an informal name for the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States. This day has been regarded as the beginning of the country's Christmas shopping season since 1952.  The term "Black Friday" did not become widely recognized or used until the early 2000s.

Black Friday has since evolved into something much bigger! What was once known as "the busiest shopping DAY of the year" has now expanded to 5 days full of great deals! Sales now starting on Thanksgiving Day and extending to "Cyber Monday," have businesses offering sales all weekend long.

We have discussed our favorite ways to prep for this shopping frenzy and decided to share our secrets with you! We hope that this list of Black Friday Cyber Monday shopping tips will help give you the start that you need to find the best deals while retaining your sanity.

Research Deals

cell phone with calculator app open

Most stores put out their Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) sale announcements far in advance! This is a great help so you know where to go first to find the best deals for the items on your shopping list. Black is a great resource to find the items on your "Shopping Wish List" that are on sale!

Make Lists

person texting on cell phone

Having your wish list is a must when BFCM shopping! This way you can keep track of who has asked for what and be sure to mark what stores offer the best deal for each item. 

When making your list of items to buy, list them first by store and then by order of importance. This will put the most desired items at the top of your list so you can focus on finding them first!

Be sure to have backup items on your shopping list. You aren't the only shopper, so be prepared for an item on your list to be out of stock.  Having a backup item on your list can ensure that you still find a great deal on a gift for that person for Christmas!

If you are like most people and keep everything on your phone, be sure to check here for different holiday shopping apps available!


Plan Your Route

person looking at map for directions

Some stores only offer good deals during a specific block of time. Be sure to figure out what stores you need to visit first and what time they open.  Deciding on the order you want to visit each store will help you get the most value for your shopping time.

Clean Out Your Car

toy bus with Christmas lights in background

If you are a mom of kids, most likely you have "stuff" in your car that needs to be cleaned out.  Be sure to make time in advance to clean out your car. You want your trunk and back seats open and ready to put all your BFCM treasures in the car!

Do You Have Your Shopping Buddy?group of women laughing while standing in line

Have you decided who you will be shopping with?  Are you going with a friend, family member, or significant other?  Be sure to schedule when you are leaving, who is driving, and where you are meeting in advance.  Shopping with a buddy is a must when BFCM shopping. Not only is it more fun to shop with a bestie, but it can be helpful too! Take advantage of shopping in numbers by working together to divide and conquer!

Prepare for Long Linesfour women in yoga pants and tennis shoes leaning against a wall

If you are camping out before a store opens or will be waiting in line to get in the store you may need to plan accordingly:

  • Wear comfy clothes
  • Dress appropriately for the weather
  • Wear sturdy shoes
  • Bring nourishment
  • Stay hydrated

Have a budget and stay in budgetpiles of change and a calculator

Just because items are on sale does not mean you need to buy them!! This would be the time to stick to your shopping lists so that you do not go over budget. Avoid falling into the trap of buying things you don’t need or want just because they’re on sale. If you know you are the kind of person that struggles with saying no, set aside a small amount of your budget beforehand for a single impulse buy. This will make it easier to say no to things you don't need and wait for an even better impulse buy!

An excellent article by Lauren Greutman gives excellent tips on how to stay in your budget:

  • Create your list of people you need to buy for
  • Look at your income and your outgoing expenses for the month
  • Look for ways to increase your budget
  • Using this amount, set your Black Friday budget
  • Using your budget, allocate a dollar amount for each person on your list
  • Take the dollar amount for each person and write down some gift ideas that fall into that budget
  • Start browsing store ads for gift ideas that fall into your budget
  • Make a shopping list and shop online

Online Shopping

person looking at laptop on desk searching for black Friday sales

One of the biggest things in retail now is online shopping! This fad has expanded to be a big part of Black Friday and is now known as Cyber Monday. A huge complaint about Black Friday has always been the long lines, crowds, and not making it in time for the doorbuster sales.

Now, thanks to online shopping, you can shop in the comfort of your own home!  No waiting in lines, no crowds, and you can even shop in your pajamas if you want. Here are a few suggestions to make your online BFCM shopping a better experience.

  • Bookmark your favorite sites
  • Be sure to check each store's return policies
  • Look up the store's shipping policies/fees
  • Follow stores on social media
  • Does the store have additional discount codes that you need to have to receive the discounts?  Be sure to keep track of the emails, social media and the website themselves, that have the discount codes listed
  • Visit coupon sites like (,, to research additional codes to use
  • Be sure to keep your personal information safe!


shopping bag and gift

With all of the deals that can be found and all the shopping that will be done, be sure to remember to continue to find joy in the season. 

Happy Shopping!!