Written by Brooke Wagner

Not all Black Friday sales are created equal. For the last couple of weeks we’ve been reporting on stores opening earlier than ever. For example, Walmart and Toys-R-Us are both opening at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving while Target opens at 9 p.m.

If you love the excitement, camaraderie, and tradition of shopping Black Friday sales in person, then enjoy. However, if the lines and crowds stress you out, I found a few tips.

The one thing most experts agree is worth buying in the store on Black Friday — electronics. In advance, you can search the items on your gift list along with Black Friday and see where to find the best price on the items you want, then plan your trip. Or, pick your favorite stores and follow them on social media for special discounts and sneak peeks.

If you’re looking for clothes, shoes, leather goods, fragrances, etc., Cyber Monday may be more your speed. According to Womansday, many stores don’t want their smaller goods to have to compete against electronics for your attention and money. So they’ll discount them the most on Monday the 26th when they can have the spotlight. The magazine also notes great travel deals on Cyber Monday.

My favorite way to shop Black Friday is online. Starting at midnight (for most stores) great deals roll over, and you can often count on free shipping too. My trick is to fill my shopping cart after all the Thanksgiving Day festivities, and then see which of the items I need get discounted the next morning.

I also have coupon codes for those stores handy, so I can try to stack the savings. Online retail giant Amazon is already showcasing pre-Black Friday deals and Lightning sales on its homepage. You can also expect more stores than ever to offer the same deals on their website as they do in the store. And you never even have to change out of your bunny slippers.

No matter how you spend your Friday, I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving first!

About The Blogger

– In her Brooke’s Bargains blog Brooke Wagner writes about finding bargains and saving money for her family. She calls it one of her favorite hobbies. Blog entries cover everything from the latest steals, deals, and freebies to cheap family activities, saving for college, and what to buy right now. Tweet Brooke your ideas at @BrookeCBS4.


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