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Black friday strategies for family gifts

With Black Friday right around the corner, millions of people from across the country are planning their post Turkey Day holiday shopping. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), consumers spent more than $57 billion on Black Friday last year, up from the $52 billion in 2012. This number is expected to grow even higher this year, as the country's financial market improves and retailers compete with another to acquire your holiday bucks.

Save Cash For Cyber Monday

It's easy to blow through your holiday budget when you're confronted with such amazing deals on Black Friday. With Cyber Monday still on the horizon, though, you'll want to keep some cash on hand for when other deals pop up. Allocate a certain amount of your holiday shopping budget for Black Friday – and avoid going over this limit during your shopping spree.

Don't Wait Until Friday

If you really want to catch some of the best deals this holiday season, don't wait until Black Friday. Traditionally, this has been the prime time when retailers let loose their biggest savings of the year. However, many retailers are now offering better deals on Thanksgiving day. So after you feast on turkey and dressing, team up with some of your family members to hit the local retail stores in your area. In addition to getting some once-in-a-year deals, you can also walk off some of that hearty Thanksgiving day food.

View Ads Online Before Shopping

Blindly visiting retail stores without any knowledge of their sales and promotions is a recipe for disaster on Black Friday. The heavily trafficked parking lots and congested aisles will make browsing difficult (and time-consuming). Therefore, it's recommended that you get online to research the different deals being offered by retailers in your area. Most retailers release their Black Friday ads several weeks in advance to give consumers ample time to make preparations.

Read The Fine Print

The allure of buying a new video game console at a $150 discount is often enough to pull consumers away from their Thanksgiving dinners. But the problem is that many stores have a very limited supply of certain advertised products, so there's no guarantee you'll be able to get one even if you arrive on the day of the deal. During last year's Black Friday, for instance, Walmart advertised an Xbox 360 console for $99, but most stores only had 10 of them. The bottom line is that you need to read the fine print before heading out in search of a "hot buy."

Use Your Smartphone

If you aren't using your smartphone on Black Friday, you're missing out on one of the easiest ways to save money. Nearly every smartphone can read barcodes via the camera. Assuming your mobile device has this feature, download Pricegrabber from Google Play or iTunes and scan the barcodes of products you wish to purchase. This ingenious app will immediately perform a price check, revealing whether or not the same product is available at a lower price.


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