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Black Friday 101: When To Spend And How To Save

A recent survey reveals that while 65 per cent of Canadians think Black Friday is a great way to score a deal, only 28 per cent plan to shop that day.
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black friday placard with red...
black friday placard with red...

Here come the holidays, bringing with it expenses related to parties, decorations, gifts and more! To keep costs down, Americans have long known that Black Friday is a great opportunity to save during the holiday shopping season. However, a recent survey by reveals that while 65 per cent of Canadians think Black Friday is a great way to score a deal, only 28 per cent plan to shop that day. To make the most of Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, be sure to follow my top savvy tips and avoid the holiday bill hangover.

1. Make a list and check it twice

With over half the country confused as to where to find the best deals this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, create a plan of attack. Make a list of your must-have gifts, then head to to search for deals from retailers like Amazon and Best Buy. Many have already started leaking deals and promoting Black Friday sales ahead of the occasion. If you are hunting for clothes or electronics be sure you know when to shop. Last year, the best day for deals on clothing was two days before Black Friday, and the deepest discount on electronics was on Cyber Monday.

2. Join the Club

If you're not a club or loyalty member at the stores you love, November is the best month to join. This way you will be receiving friendly reminders and be on top of all sales. Signing up in November will ensure you get a sneak peek at Black Friday deals and maybe even early access to sales. One tip I use is to set up a separate email account for all your newsletters to keep your work and shopping separate.

3. The Four Gift Rule

With so many great deals, it can be easy to go overboard. The four gift rule is a great strategy for the kids or even spouse on your list, especially if you tend to over-gift, and overspend. Here's how it works; plan to buy only four gifts falling under the following categories:

  1. Something they're wishing for
  2. Something they need
  3. Something they can wear
  4. Something to read

Limiting the list not only keeps your budget in check, but saves you time as well.

4. Get a Shipping Strategy

Shopping on Cyber Monday is not only a great way to get deals, but you can also save the hassle of transporting family gifts. If you'll be traveling to grandma's house for the holidays, why not ship gifts directly there? You can save money by avoiding the extra charges for checked luggage that many airlines charge or overstuffing your car. As a bonus, many sites offer free gift wrapping.

5. Understand Holiday Return Policies

Give a gift, not a headache. Often stores adjust their return policies during the holidays, so make sure you read the details of the return policy carefully before you buy. At some stores, the return window shrinks from 30 days to 15 days on Black Friday favourites like electronics.