The smartest shoppers know that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the time to get the best deals. For parents, it's also a key time to shop for everything your children need. With these Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping strategies, you'll be ready to score those once-a-year deals that make shopping for the whole family just a little more manageable.
Save even more time and money this holiday shopping season with these 10 comprehensive shopping strategies. Be sure to zero in on our pro tips that offer you an extra edge while shopping.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's easy to get pulled into the wonder of the bigger-than-life bargains and forget exactly what you need to buy for everyone this holiday season.
Go shopping prepared with a list of everyone you need to shop for and their top requests. It will be easier to keep track of what you've already bought.
Pro Tip: Use a list-making app to keep everything neatly organized on your devices. Many apps allow you to share your lists with others. This will be helpful to avoid family members accidentally purchasing duplicate items for your children this holiday season.
Many top retailers offer some deals in person on Black Friday, while others are only available online during Cyber Monday. Sometimes stores offer early discounts to email subscribers or mailing list recipients.
Research the stores you plan to visit in person or online ahead of time. This way, you can zero in on the best bargains at the best time.
You also want to research the prices of all the hot items in advance. This way you'll know if you're actually getting a deal and not just being sucked in by the advertising.
Pro Tip: Use Google's Shopping feature to check an item's prices at multiple stores quickly. You'll soon know where to find the best prices for all the essentials for your little one.
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Whether you plan to shop at the stores in-person or conquer your shopping list online, it's always a good idea to have a plan of attack. You want to snag all the top items you hope to purchase for your child before they sell out.
Plan where you want to shop and when you need to get there to take advantage of the best deals. If you're shopping in-person and wish to visit multiple stores, plan your route so that you avoid as much holiday shopping traffic as possible.
Pro Tip: When shopping online for deals during Cyber Monday, make sure you're aware of how long hot ticket items can sit in your virtual cart before you check out.
With the increasing popularity of online shopping, many top retailers will only hold items in your cart for a short time.
In addition to your carefully planned and researched list, there are a few other must-have shopping items.
Many Black Friday shoppers love to carry reusable bags with them as they shop. They use these bags instead of a cart, helping to resist impulse buys. Carts can also be hard to maneuver, and you don't want anything slowing you down.
Before you head out to shop, you may also want to grab a few discounted gift cards. Shoppers clubs like Costco or Sam's Club offer great savings on gift cards to popular retailers. You can also find websites that offer discounted gift cards as well.
Pro Tip: What you wear to shop on Black Friday matters. It seems silly, but if you wear red to shop at Target, don't be surprised when dozens of shoppers ask for your help. Dress comfortably and avoid looking like a store employee.
If you have a friend or partner you hope to conquer the holiday shopping with, see if you can divide the shopping tasks in advance. That way, you get everything you need with minimal stress.
Often having a shopping buddy helps keep you focused. They might also be a great sounding board when you need to evaluate a potential purchase.
Another key strategy is to leave your children at home. This is often easier said than done. But it saves you lots of time and energy. It will also be easier to keep those holiday purchases a surprise.
Pro Tip: If possible, shop with a friend who has children around the same age(s) as yours. This way, your lists may look similar, and you can focus on finding the same great deals.
If your goal is to get a few popular items that may sell out, you'll want to get in line early. Missing out on some sleep will keep you from missing out on the best deals.
However, there is another lesser-known strategy that you may prefer.
Because stores want to keep shoppers lining up all day long, they often offer later shopper deals. Check ads to find out when stores will discount items.
With this strategy, you can sleep in and still score some fantastic bargains.
The same goes for Cyber Monday sales. Start online early at the stores you know will have sales you don't want to miss. But don't sleep on the later deals that might be an even better bargain.
Pro Tip: Watch those door-busters. They are designed to draw customers in early. However, often these products are limited to less than 100 items at each store. This means only the earliest shoppers in line can expect to score the deal.
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Before you even begin shopping, check out your favorite online parenting groups to see who has spotted the best local deals on hot items.
Even while you're waiting in line, you can get great tips from other shoppers on where to find the best bargains. Be sure to strike up a conversation while waiting, especially if you spot a fellow parent making similar purchases.
Pro Tip: Many social media groups are specifically devoted to finding the best holiday season shopping deals. Some are even specifically geared toward parents.
If you're interested in discovering all the best deals but don't want to do the legwork yourself, these groups might be perfect for you. Do a little search on Facebook to find out more.
Even before Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, you can learn everything you want to know via a retailer's marketing campaigns. In addition to the mailed advertisements and commercials, you can find deals via social media.
During the holidays, retailers promote through social media and offer exclusive deals to their subscribers. Follow any Twitter or Facebook accounts for your favorite retailers. Not only will you receive great deals, but they will often target the advertising to your tastes.
This can cut down on the clutter from other retailers that don't interest you. Every busy parent knows the importance of time-saving in today's hectic world.
Pro Tip: Often, these stores offer everything you need to know on their website or via email as well, so sign up to receive alerts now. (You can always unsubscribe later!)
Most Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers hope to accomplish their holiday shopping. However, you can find great deals on products to use year-round.
Pick up clothing in larger sizes for your fast-growing little one. Grab diapers in the next few sizes up. You may even plan ahead and buy toys or games that will appeal to them later in the year as they grow developmentally.
Think ahead to the future as you do your holiday shopping now, and you may snag some great long-term deals.
Pro Tip: With so many great products for your little one available, it can be overwhelming. Try shopping for products that will grow with your child. Cribs that convert into toddler beds and car seats that transition into booster seats are a great start.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals get the most publicity, but they're not always the best time to find rock-bottom prices. Not everything advertised as a deal is a steal in reality.
If there's an item you want to purchase but you'll willing to wait for the best deals, try shopping closer to Christmas. Often as the holiday season approaches, retailers will offer additional sales to help offload their stock.
Don't be so dazzled by the advertisement that you forget to check the original prices. You want to know if a discount is a deal or just a scam.
Pro Tip: Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are more than a weekend. There is a whole holiday season of sales to take advantage of. You won't find discounts on everything, so don't get sucked into the whirlwind of retail advertising this holiday season.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are both known for their great deals and high-pressure shopping.
If you plan ahead, you'll be ready to grab all those must-have deals. If not, you may find yourself spending entirely too much time and money fighting the crowds.
These smart shopping strategies will help you make the most of your shopping experience so that when the holidays arrive, everyone has a smile on their face.