School is out for the week, we’re gearing up for Thanksgiving festivities, and, even if you haven’t already started, I’m sure you’ve at least thought about Christmas shopping.  As a kid I can remember circling my wish list items in the ads that came in the mail and my mom strategizing when where and how she was going to get the items.  She was willing to be out at all hours of the night to score us a tickle me Elmo doll.  She’s the real MVP.

Things are a little different now.  Now you can shop online, there’s apps on your phone to compare prices and you can even start shopping on Thanksgiving.  So this year, if you haven’t already thought of how you’re going to get the most bang for you buck, I wanted to give you some tips to save you money and time before you hit the pavement on Black Friday.

1. Have your list ready before Black Friday

Knowing who you’re shopping for, what they want, where you can find it and how much your budget is before you start shopping online or in store can save you big.  If you go into a store with the mindset of “make a beeline for what they want, grab it and move on to the next store” you’ll avoid impulse buys and save yourself tons of time.

Using tracking sheets like these really help!  I got these ones from Live Beautifully on Less.

Keeping track of who you’ve already ordered things for and how much you’ve spent so far will ensure you don’t spend too much on one person and blow your whole budget.  I would also consider adding next to each person’s name the store you’re going to buy their gift from after you’ve researched pricing so you can strategize your shopping trips.

2. Consider buying discounted gift cards before you shop

Places like and allow people to sell gift cards they don’t want at a discounted price so if you’re already planning to shop at a particular store see if you can score a gift card from there for a slight discount to save you money.

3. Check all the ads early

I can’t stress enough how important it is to know what your’e looking for, check prices well in advance and then create a plan for where you’re shopping and when so you can get the best deal.  Most major retailers already have their Black Friday and even some Cyber Monday sales up on their websites so start planning today so you’re not stressing on Thanksgiving.

4. Download the stores apps to see if there’s any additional offers you don’t see in the ad

I always used Target’s app when I shop there and check their cartwheel offers to see what additional savings I can find on things I’m already planning to buy.  The key is you have to use it on things that are on your list or you’ll start overspending.

5. Don’t buy something just to buy something

Am I the only one that has been guilty of this in the past?  I mean it’s Black Friday and you’re out there with the crowds and you see a waffle iron on sale for $5!  You decide you have to get your husband something so waffle iron it is!  You get such a rush from getting such a good deal that you forget he doesn’t even like waffles.  A sale is only a good deal if you’re getting it because the person you’re giving it to truly wants what you’re getting.  My kids have way to many things they don’t play with because I got a good deal on something instead of it being something they actually loved.  Don’t fall into the trap!

Did you score some good deals this year?  Share with me!  I want to hear what you got! Happy deal getting!

<3 Krista


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