The rush to get all your holiday shopping done is underway.
The kick-off to the biggest shopping event of the year in the USA is Black Friday.
Years ago it was something Canadians only experienced on the news, but now Black Friday sales are happening north of the border too – giving Canadians the opportunity to save money during this shopping extravaganza.
So how can we navigate this opportunity to save money?
Shop at the big box stores.
Hit the department and big name stores first. They have the ability to offer the deepest discounts. The added bonus is that in many cases, you can return the item later if you find a better deal later or somewhere else. That’s a guarantee smaller stores may not be able to offer.
Sign up for subscriptions.
Subscriptions boxes for things like weekly grocery delivery or clothing will likely be on sale.
If you have been thinking about getting these everyday items delivered to your door, check to see if the company you want to buy from is offering a one day sale. Also, this is a good time to renew your gym membership or negotiate your cable bill.
WATCH: Black Friday shopping underway in Toronto
Hold off on Christmas décor.
When it comes to buying a Christmas tree, this isn’t the time.
A report from the mobile payment company “Square” says the cheapest time to get a real tree is a week before Christmas. At that time, the average cost of a real tree is $34. Go a step further and wait until Dec. 23 when holiday décor is on the deepest discount.
WATCH: It was a free-for-all shopping frenzy in a Myrtle Beach, SC Walmart with shoppers grabbing boxed televisions.
Black Friday is not just one day, it’s a week-long event. In many cases, the sales start the week of Black Friday. There is also cyber Monday where shoppers can take advantage of deals online. Don’t feel the urge to buy it all in one day.
Keep on track
Finally, make a budget, write up an exhaustive list of things you need. Not just presents for your family and friends, but food and drink for holiday parties, tickets for train and air travel. See if you can get any of those items cheaper during the next few days.
Most importantly, stick to your plan to avoid those big credit card bills after the holidays and remember, it’s not a deal unless you need it.
WATCH: Macy’s opens its doors to early Black Friday shoppers