The BEST Black Friday Shopping Tips!

Nov 24, 2021 | Budgeting Tips, Holidays, How To Save Money

If you and your family are totally into Black Friday, then I’ve got some of the best Black Friday shopping tips for you! Some of these tips might be a little… unexpected!

Woman with Black Friday shopping bags, from Fun Cheap or Free

Black Friday shopping. Does that send tingles of excitement up your spine or make you cringe to hear it? Before the Black Friday craziness begins, I wanted to give you a few tips on how you can prepare for your shopping on the big, crazy day.

*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

I also have a few words of advice that I think you all should hear before you make too many plans to do your Black Friday shopping! So get cozy and get ready for some great tips from yours truly.


…to save you money!

Freebs! This is THE biggest tip I can give you – pretend that Black Friday doesn’t exist! Wait…what?! It's hard to see Thanksgiving being completely overshadowed by the hype of Black Friday shopping. I know that I'm a frugal living blogger. I should be all over Black Friday deals like Jordan on Costco cake. But this year I just can't. I can't! I feel a pit in my stomach every year about Black Friday. 

The secret about Black Friday is that, sure, there might be some great deals out there. Killer deals, even. But most of the hype is used to get you to buy stuff that you probably don't need. You most likely didn't plan to buy it in the first place, but got excited about it and feel like you need to buy it because it's a “one-time, hurry and buy this before it's gone, limited quantity, don't waste time!” deal.


Woman with her granddaughter on a couch, from Fun Cheap or Free

Rather than leaving your family to go join the crowds, or being on your phone all day to catch the best deals, just say no! Stay home, unplug, and enjoy your family. Especially if you have traveled to be with family or have family over.

Be thankful for what you have and enjoy the ones that you love the most! I can promise that spending that quality time together is more important than saving a little bit of money on things you probably don’t need, anyways.


Okay, so I’ve shared how I feel about Black Friday shopping! I understand that not everybody wants to sit out on Black Friday. For some of you, it’s a family tradition where certain people always get together and enjoy doing some shopping. For others, there actually are some Black Friday deals that you’ve been saving for and need. I’ve had friends who needed a new tv and took advantage of a great Black Friday deal, saving over $400 on it!

Black Friday shopping isn’t my jam, but I can totally see how it is for others. So, are you ready for some GREAT tips that will help you make the most out of your Black Friday shopping?! Follow these tips and I can promise that you’ll be successful while making sure you don’t over-spend on unnecessary things.


Throughout the season, start noticing the junk mail, commercials, billboards, and signs at the mall. Sometimes stores will mark UP the prices on their product, so they can then slash it 50% or more for Black Friday.

Also, research any online deals. Most stores do Black Friday deals online that day, but some will wait until Cyber Monday, so check out those deals as well.


Before you even start watching the commercials or reading the ads, ask yourself “what do I need for gifts this year?” “Who do I need gifts for?” “What would we need or want as a family?” Try to make these decisions (or at least have a general idea) BEFORE the ads suck you in.

And think through the entire year of gifts, not just Christmas! Birthdays. Showers. Weddings. Anniversaries. Look beyond Christmas when deciding your needs. (We have some great gift-giving hacks, so be sure to check those out!)


Holiday budget envelopes on a counter, from Fun Cheap or Free

Just trust me on this one. Once you’re in the store, with the adrenaline and 4 hours-worth of caffeine buzzing through you, you'll probably get caught up in the thrill of it all. You'll see a crowd gathered around an item, and you'll suddenly be willing to sell your first-born child to get to the center and grab as many of that item as you can before they are gone.

No, I'm not actually kidding. Bring cash if you need to, but stay firm and plan ahead using your holiday budget envelopes. Again, if you don't have a defined need for it, don't buy it! No bargain is worth overspending.


This is hard, because you might like one item at one store, and another item at another store. But odds are, those hot items will go FAST so you will most likely end up with nothing if you try to run from store to store. Pick the store that overall has the best deals (for what you need), or has the one item that you can't live without. Once you pick the store, sign up for their email list, “Like” them on Facebook or Instagram, download their app, etc. This will let you stay up to date and get bonus coupons and deals.

Also, be sure to use Shopkick when you're shopping! You'll get kicks just for walking into most stores, which add up and allow you to redeem gift cards once you reach a certain amount. Use THIS Shopkick link to sign up and download the app. You'll get $5 when you use the code FCF and take your first action in 7 days!


The doorbuster items are the heavily advertised, almost too-good-to-be-true, items that draw a crowd to that store. They’re always amazingly good deals. BUT there are usually very limited quantities of those items. They go fast. You have to stand in line all night long to get them, and when they're gone, they’re gone.

Then what? Does the store have good enough deals on the rest of their products to make it worth going if the doorbusters are gone by the time you get there? All things to think about. Also, don't limit yourself to the big-box stores. You can also find deals (and smaller crowds) at craft stores, office supply stores, appliance stores, etc.


If you're going to forge the Black Friday shopping madness at all, go big or go home. Be the first one in line. Sleep on the sidewalk if you need to. Enlist a group of friends or family (see the next point). Don't think you'll be able to meander into the store at 8 am, freshly showered and fully rested, and be able to walk out with a doorbuster product.

Bring chairs, blankets, games, and food to help you endure through the night. Run like MAD when those stores open to get to the products you came for. Play nice, but make it count!


Group of friends Black Friday shopping, from Fun Cheap or Free

Going with a partner in crime helps! Enlist a spouse, friend, or family member to brave the crowd with you. Make a strategic game plan between the two of you based on the items you both need, write them down in a notebook, then divide and conquer!

Define quantities and products, and have a “plan B” in place in case one of you gets to an item that is already gone. Be sure to have a meeting place set so you don't have to rely on your phones. You most likely won't hear them in the store, and your battery might die during the night if you're on the curb without an outlet to plug it into (I know this from experience).


This is a big one! Here’s an example to help you understand what I’m talking about. A vacuum might be marked down to just $19.99 – a great deal for a vacuum, right? In reality, it might only be worth $35 at full price. Whereas a $250 vacuum might be marked down to $99.99. It's a much higher price tag, but a MUCH greater value you're getting. Avoid being what I call “sticker-blinded” and don't buy things just because the price is cheap.


It's the holidays for heaven's sake, people! So please be nice. But…expect that others won't be, and prepare yourself for it ahead of time. The poor store workers have been up all night, dealing with unruly crowds and stress. Everyone is cold, tired, cranky, and hopped up on Red Bull.

No $5 DVD is worth knocking someone in the shin, so just take a breath and stay chill. If you don't get what you came for, who cares! Have a great time. Decide that whatever the outcome, you are going to have fun and enjoy yourself. Yes, YOU are what will make it an enjoyable, and unforgettable experience! YOLO!


Woman using laptop, from Fun Cheap or Free

It wouldn't be 2020 if you couldn't do ALL of your Black Friday shopping online, right?! If going out and fighting the crowds isn't your thang (or isn't possible for you), then stay at home and do all of your shopping from the comfort of your own home. Just remember to stick to your budget and only buy the items that you actually need. Don't get caught up in the thrill of the savings online!

While you're shopping online, don't forget to use Rakuten to earn cashback while you shop! It's free to sign up and if you use our link, you'll get $10 once you spend your first $25. I'm talking F-R-E-E money for doing your shopping like you were already going to do in the first place!

Image with text that reads "Black Friday shopping tips," from Fun Cheap or Free

Make your Black Friday shopping about more than just the deals and see what a difference it can make! Do you have any tips that work well for you and your family? Share them with us in the comments!

Looking for more ideas?

Happy hunting (or staying home)!

Jordan Page Signature from Fun Cheap or Free


  1. Karen

    Gah why have I never used this?????? Question for you ~ so instead of going directly to the shopping site I just go to Ebates and then find my store? Thanks

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Yes exactly!!! I know, right? I only discovered this this year, and it’s killing me that I missed so many opportunities for cash back.

  2. Troya

    Are the coupons for real? Have u used them?

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Yes!! All the time!!

  3. Portia Tebandeke

    I’ve had trouble using the ebates button from the store website and often get frustrated and just give up. What browser do you recommend using?


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