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Black Friday can be overwhelming, yet it’s the perfect time of year to buy so many things. Our team of deal hunters knows all the best Black Friday shopping strategies, so all you need is your smartphone to find out what to buy and what to skip.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel trying to sort out the hot deals from the total duds — we’ve got your back.
Download the KCL app and bookmark KCL’s Black Friday Deals page to stay in the know, and (fingers crossed!) you can avoid all the Black Friday chaos. And use these Black Friday tips to save all the money this season.
Text BLACKFRIDAY to 52799 and receive real-time text alerts when Black Friday deals go live.
1. When an item is over 60% off for Black Friday, buy multiples for your gift closet.
Most stores offer something close to 50% off all items in their regular Black Friday sales.
Keep your calculator handy and run the numbers whenever you see a sale that strikes you as pretty good.
If you’re saving 60% or more, consider buying a few of the items and stashing them away for future wedding and baby shower gifts or birthday presents throughout the year. As an example, here’s a common price for Carter’s sleepers at Kohl’s. This is the price from 2021:
2. Shop Costco’s holiday toys as soon as they show up.
Costco jump-starts Black Friday in October with holiday toy deals to get us all in the Christmas mood. Our best tip is to start Black Friday shopping sooner rather than later. Because you know Costco — once it’s gone, it’s often gone for good.
Here’s a peek at the top Costco holiday toy deals from 2021. Watch for great prices on Lego, LOL Surprise, Squishmallows, and Nintendo Switch bundles. In 2021, these were the items that stood out. We expect to see a repeat in 2022.
3. Ship to an Amazon Locker if you’re out of town for Thanksgiving.
If you’re heading out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday, you can still do all your Black Friday shopping online. Just ship your items to a nearby Amazon Locker once you find a convenient location. Select “Ship to Amazon Locker” at checkout.
Your packages will be secure for up to three calendar days, and the best part? It’s a free service for Prime Members.
Learn more about Amazon Hub Lockers and how they work.
4. Can’t find your size on Black Friday? Buy apparel in any size and return it a week later.
When it comes to shopping for Black Friday clothing deals, don’t bother looking for the correct size for longer than four seconds. Instead, grab the exact item in the wrong size, then return it to the store after the Black Friday rush to pick up the correct size.
Just use caution with clearance clothing — if you grab an item that’s final sale, you won’t be able to do it! And this Black Friday shopping tip works best if inventory is strong.
5. Do all your shopping for discounted gift cards ahead of time.
You know you’ll probably shop at Kohl’s, Walmart, and Target this Black Friday (at the very least). So snag your discounted gift cards right now from Raise, Gift Card Granny, or Card Bear before everyone else gets the same idea.
These websites sell gift cards for less than their face value, making them worth more than you paid for them. For example, you might pay $23 for a $25 gift card.
6. Shop for Black Friday deals at Target even before the actual day.
Most stores suspend any regular price-match guarantee during the week of Black Friday, but not Target.
In 2021, from Oct. 10 onward, any item you purchased from Target qualified for a price adjustment if the Target price dropped before or on Dec. 24. What’s that mean for this year? You could get Black Friday prices at Target before Black Friday even starts. Just show a Target cashier the better price on an exact item.
7. Go ahead and stack your Black Friday coupons at Bath & Body Works.
Bath & Body Works is another Black Friday rebel — normally stores don’t accept coupons on Black Friday, but Bath & Body Works does! Bath & Body Works coupons don’t have any blackout dates, so if you’ve got a valid coupon, you can use it for Black Friday shopping.
Learn everything you need to know about Bath & Body Works Black Friday.
8. Don’t do your Black Friday shopping at Target without a RedCard.
Target RedCard connects to your checking account, so it’s not a credit card.
You’ll save 5% on every single purchase, plus get free shipping all year long. This is one of the best Target Black Friday shopping strategies out there.
9. Use Kohl’s Cash to buy items that weren’t on sale during Black Friday week.
Make your own sale using Kohl’s Cash!
I do this when an item I have on my Black Friday shopping list wasn’t as deeply discounted at Kohl’s as I’d hoped.
Year after year, Kohl’s has offered $15 in Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent during Black Friday week, plus Kohl’s Rewards.
Earn Kohl’s Cash during Black Friday by buying items on your list that are included in Kohl’s Black Friday ad. And then buy the rest of the items on your list beginning the Sunday after Black Friday when you can spend your Kohl’s Cash.
Learn more ways to shop smarter during Kohl’s Black Friday.
10. Stay home for Black Friday if the same in-store deals are available online.
Thanks to the pandemic, most stores offer their Black Friday deals online and in the store. So if stores like Kohl’s, Target, Walmart, Macy’s, or JCPenney are on your list (and they should be!), just shop online.
You’ll have to go into the store for deals at drugstores and most home improvement stores. And of course, you’ll probably have to brave the crowds for Costco deals. But we’ve come a long way in the world of Black Friday shopping. Standing in line is a rare occurrence now.
11. Never, ever pay for Black Friday shipping.
First, there are a lot of stores that always offer free shipping.
Additionally, many stores offer a free store pickup (or curbside) option. If you can’t meet the minimum spend for that store (usually between $25 and $75, depending on the retailer), pick up your items yourself instead of forking over the money for shipping!
12. Shop the Walmart early Black Friday deals in the weeks leading up to the sale.
Be prepared to shop Walmart online or in store for great deals in the weeks leading up to Black Friday, especially for deals like these that we saw in 2021:
Top Walmart Black Friday Event 1 Deals:
- TCL 55″ 4K Smart TV with Roku $228 (regularly $443.31)
- Samsung 11.6″ Chromebook 4 $87 (regularly $299)
- onn. 2.0 Bluetooth 32″ Soundbar $29, regular price
Top Walmart Black Friday Event 2 Deals:
- HP Intel Core i3 Laptop $279 (regularly $399)
- Barbie Dream Camper $60 (regularly $99.99)
- Apple Airpods with Charging Case $89 (regularly $129)
Top Walmart Black Friday Event 3 Deals:
- Up to $750 in Gift Cards on select Apple & Samsung Phones
- Xbox Series S Console $299, regular price
See all the best Walmart Black Friday deals.
13. Eat lunch at restaurants where you can get a discounted gift card (or even better, a free bonus gift card!).
Face it — if you’re out Black Friday shopping all day, you’ll get hungry, and since you’re tired, you’ll be more likely to pay big money for an easy lunch. (Or is that just me?!)
I’m not saying to skip eating out! I’m just saying choose a restaurant where you can get a free gift card deal when you buy a gift card. Use the first gift card to pay for your lunch, then save the bonus gift card for another meal during the holidays.
Or watch for gift card deals at drugstores like CVS during Black Friday. For example, in 2021, CVS offered $15 in ExtraBucks when you bought a $75 gift card to Chili’s. That’s like getting a $75 gift card for $60.
14. Make your Black Friday shopping list based on last year’s trends.
When you know what to look for at stores with great Black Friday deals, you’re not wasting your precious time researching or comparing prices.
We’ve done all the research for you so that you can shop these stores smarter on Black Friday:
- Walmart Black Friday shopping tips
- Target Black Friday shopping tips
- Amazon Black Friday shopping tips
- Macy’s Black Friday shopping tips
- Kohl’s Black Friday shopping tips
- JCPenney Black Friday shopping tips
15. Don’t underestimate the power of a mail-in rebate.
Especially when it comes to small kitchen appliances, like slow cookers, griddles, and toasters that you can get from Kohl’s, Macy’s, JCPenney, and other stores. You can often find these items for just a couple dollars each after you apply a rebate.
Rebate amounts vary depending on how expensive the item is, but expect to see rebates ranging from $5 to $150 back.
16. Buy an air fryer or an Instant Pot on Black Friday.
Black Friday is the best time to buy these popular kitchen items.
And sure, maybe you’ve lived this long without one of them, but don’t you think you deserve one, especially when you can get it for up to 50% off?
Instant Pots were 40% off on Amazon in 2021, and air fryers were up to 50% off at JCPenney when you combined the sale price with a $15 Bonus Reward deal.
17. Always check CamelCamelCamel before you go on an Amazon Black Friday shopping spree.
Amazon makes it so easy for you to overspend with just one click. Word to the wise — don’t assume everything Amazon sells is the lowest price on that item.
Sites like CamelCamelCamel can track Amazon price histories. Before you buy something, double-check these sites to see if the price you’re looking at is a good deal.
And then channel all the self-control and walk away if it’s overpriced!
18. One of the best Black Friday tips is to shop at home improvement and drugstores.
Last year, we saw a 6.5-foot pre-lit Christmas tree at Home Depot for a mere $39.98 (regularly $49.98) and buy one, get one free DeWalt power tools with a value of up to $199.
Lowe’s had 1-quart poinsettias for $1.50 each and 65% off artificial trees. Drugstores like CVS and Walgreens are a hotbed of deals on stocking stuffers like BOGO toys, candy, and $9 Yankee candles. Learn how to shop drugstores on Black Friday.
19. Join free store loyalty programs well before Black Friday deals start.
There are some store loyalty programs that are totally worth your time.
If you sign up now, you can start accruing points that’ll translate into free money to spend during Black Friday.
Here’s the list: