How to Hack Black Friday and Keep Holiday Shopping Stress-Free

Here's how to save your sanity on the biggest shopping day of the year.

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November 12, 2019
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Photo by: Burak Karademir/Getty Images

Burak Karademir/Getty Images

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Black Friday — and Cyber Week in general — is basically its own holiday at this point. Slashed prices and doorbuster sales have turned holiday shopping into a sport, and people have actually sustained serious injuries trying to get their hands on a fancy television. But if you've seen or experienced the chaos of the day after Thanksgiving, know that it doesn't have to be that way this year. You can really, truly have a pleasant shopping experience on Black Friday... with a few small tweaks.

After covering sales all year long, we've learned some key tricks along the way. Here are our tips for snagging the best deals of the year, stress-free.

Make a List of Priority Products.

On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, make a list of the items you absolutely want to buy during Black Friday and Cyber Week sales. This should include big-ticket items like Instant Pots, air fryers, smart products and large appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators. More expensive items tend to have steeper discounts, which means they sell out faster.

Don't Wait for a Better Deal.

We've watched prices on Instant Pots, air fryers and more fluctuate all year long and these products will be their lowest prices ever on Black Friday and during Cyber Week. Last year we saw the Instant Pot on sale for less than $50 across various retailers. We haven't seen a lower price since, and we're feeling hopeful that the $49.95 price tag will reappear this year.

Shop Online.

Many retailers have doorbusters and in-store deals, which makes it even more tempting to impulse buy. Shopping online from the comfort of your couch not only gives you the ability to sleep in, but it also lets you take control of your cart without having to do as much work to get to the products you really want.

Use Wish Lists.

Retailers like Amazon, Macy's, Nordstrom and others make it easy to sign in and build out wish lists for every occassion. Before Thanksgiving, build out a Cyber Week wish list and check it when you want to start shopping for a one-stop resource that lets you keep track of what's on sale and worth adding to your cart (in your preferred size and color) in a matter of seconds.

Start Early.

The 2019 calendar squeezes in only three shopping weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. That's one week less than usual. Give yourself a break the Friday after Thanksgiving by starting your shopping before Turkey Day. We know, it might feel like you're rushing through the biggest food holiday of the year, but retailers like Walmart have already started rolling out their Black Friday sales, so there's no time like the present (Ha!) to shop.

Stick To Your Budget.

In other words, know your financial limit. It's really easy to get caught up in all the steep discounts during Cyber Week, but if it's a product that's not a priority for you, and not something you can see yourself using immediately, it's probably not worth buying. Give yourself a budget for how much you're willing to spend during Cyber Week and Black Friday, then sign off once you hit that number!

Follow Along With Us.

Not sure where to start when it comes to picking out products? We've got you covered. The whole month of November we'll be rolling out the best pre-Black Friday sales at various retailers and Amazon. And starting Monday, November 25, we'll be updating you with the best Black Friday and Cyber Week deals daily.

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