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Save Money with Our Best 2018 Black Friday Shopping Tips

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Black Friday shopping tips

Can you believe the holidays are almost here?

If you’re planning to hit the stores this Black Friday 2018, read on for our best shopping tips to help you save money, time, and even your sanity! 🙌🏻

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is one of the biggest shopping days of the year… and it’s just weeks away! For many, the thrill of scoring an incredible deal is enough motivation to wake up at 3 AM to go shopping. But for others, the plethora of in-store deals can be overwhelming that you’d rather spend your time shopping online.

1. Plan. Plan. PLAN.

Same money with our best Black Friday Shopping Tips for 2018 – Black Friday planning sheets

Create a plan and stick with it! If you’ve shopped on Black Friday before, you KNOW you’ve got to have a game plan before you head out. It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness and make some impulse purchases you might regret – or even forget all the items you came for in the first place. 🙄


Soon, we’ll be sharing our official 2018 Black Friday Price Sheet with thousands of price comparisons on electronics, appliances, toys, and more to make it easy for you to plan your shopping trip. Until then, be sure to bookmark this page as we will be updating it with all the necessary details as more Black Friday ads are released. Note that this document is View Only.

We’ll also have a printable version that you’ll be able to print out and take with you while shopping if you’re wanting to check prices, highlight items you’re interested, or just plan ahead. Stay tuned!

2. Start with a budget.

Same money with our best Black Friday Shopping Tips for 2018 –Collin holding cash

This is arguably the most important factor in holiday shopping. It’s important to be responsible with your spending, so create a budget NOW and hold to it. It’s too easy to find a “great deal” (or fourteen 😉 ) and before you know it, your cart is brimming with impulse buys.

Another idea before heading out? Write down the names of everyone you’re shopping for as well as the amount you plan to spend per person. Then, stick to that list while you’re out shopping, and pay with CASH ONLY to guarantee you don’t overspend.

3. View the complete list of Black Friday ads.

Same money with our best Black Friday Shopping Tips for 2018 – Black Friday ad scans

Black Friday ad leaks are already starting to roll in. Check out all of the Black Friday Ads HERE for the most up-to-date ad scans, and check out Hip2Save’s list of store opening times and match-ups here. Decide which items are your must-haves first and then make a prioritized list of those stores that you want to shop, including their Black Friday opening times AND locations.

To prevent store-hopping, compare specific items at each store. Some items might be priced similar or even lower, but they may not be on the front page of the ad.

4. Know the store policies.

Same money with our best Black Friday Shopping Tips for 2018 – Walmart Customer Service

Familiarize yourself with each store’s price matching and/or coupon policy. Keep in mind that many stores create different price-matching policies specifically for Black Friday, so check before heading out. Price matching could save you a trip or two, but you’ll still need to know if they’ll honor it.

Here are a few store policy/price match pages:

5. Shop with a friend.

If you need multiple, limited, or doorbuster items, consider enlisting a shopping partner or two. Then you can split up and snag all of the limited items faster. Plus, it’s way more fun to shop with friends! 😊

HIP TIP: Carpooling is a great idea, BUT you need to factor in cargo space. If you all walk in and buy an HDTV or a play kitchen for your kiddos, make sure you have room for everything!

6. Be prepared to wait in line.

Black Friday 2018 Walmart deals

Black Friday lines are always pretty brutal, both outside the store AND at the checkout line. Wear comfy shoes and whatever outdoor gear you’ll need if you’ll be waiting outside. Also, consider leaving the kiddos at home or bring toys or other items to keep them entertained if they tag along with you.

Hip Tip: Some stores offer freebies to the first __ customers in line. If you’re planning to get up early anyway, aim to be one of the first 100 customers in line for a possible freebie.

7. Fuel up before heading out.

Same money with our best Black Friday Shopping Tips for 2018 – Collin with Coffee Mug

That means both your car AND your body! Bring water (or coffee! ☕️) and snacks if you’ll be out for a long time. You don’t want to waste precious shopping time stopping to get gas or food.

Hip Tip: Be friendly to other customers and store associates, too. One Hip2Save reader always takes candy with her when she shops and hands it out to those working on Black Friday! 😍

8. Score lots of freebies at the drugstores.

Same money with our best Black Friday Shopping Tips for 2018 – Black Friday freebies at the drugstores

CVS, Walgreens, and Rite-Aid have some of the very best Black Friday sales and freebies! They also typically have unbeatable gift card deals, as well as stocking stuffers, gift wrapping supplies, and holiday decor. Warehouse stores like Sam’s Club and Costco are also great options!

Also, if a Black Friday sale item is out of stock, be sure to get a raincheck if your store allows!

9. Snag discounted gift cards before Black Friday.

Same money with our best Black Friday Shopping Tips for 2018 – gift cards

Score discounted and bargain gift cards at sites like and eBay for stores you’re planning to shop anyway. This is a super easy way to save BIG, so plan ahead and buy them before heading out.

10. Get in the loop.

Most stores have special offers and early shopping deals for loyalty reward members and email subscribers. Check your inbox the week leading up to Thanksgiving as you might find a better than Black Friday deal. Don’t forget to follow your favorite stores on Facebook and Twitter AND sign up for text alerts! They often post secret deals on social media or leave hints about items that will be on sale.

Hip Tip: If you plan to sign up for email newsletters in hopes of receiving a coupon, be sure to sign up at least TWO weeks before Black Friday so you’ll receive your coupons in time.

11. Make sure your cell phone is ready.

Same money with our best Black Friday Shopping Tips for 2018 – Collin Signing Up for Hot Deals

Your phone will be your best shopping partner on Black Friday. Make sure it has a full battery and bring a portable charger in case your battery runs low! You should also download a price comparison app or two (and make sure it has a scanner). Also, load up on rewards apps like THESE.

Hip Tip: Get frustrated when you miss out on time-sensitive hot deals and freebies? Sign up for Hip2Save’s NEW HOT text messages to save money and get alerted when a hot deal pops up!

12. Know that not ALL doorbusters are good deals.

Same money with our best Black Friday Shopping Tips for 2018 – Black Friday doorbuster Christmas tree deals

Comparing prices before heading out will give you a great idea for price points. Also, doorbuster items often sell for below a retailer’s costs just to lure in customers, but they are often non-brand-name models, sometimes created specifically for Black Friday with lower specs than a standard manufacturer’s line. It’s important to make sure that your “bargain item” has everything you want.

Not sure where to go? In the past, these stores have offered some of the best deals for the following categories, with JCPenney, Macy’s, and Kohl’s offering the highest percentage of in-store savings:

Also, if the items you’re looking for are not on the shelf or display, check the front of the store where other shoppers may have left items they weren’t sure about before checking out. Or, check with your cashier or a manager to see if someone happened to change their mind at the register and left the item you were looking for there – and they haven’t had time to put it back yet.

13. Keep your receipts!

jcpenney shopping tips — shopping receipt with 10% off discount at bottom

After the adrenaline rush is over, you may realize that you got caught up in the Black Friday craziness and purchased items that you don’t really want or need. If you have the receipt handy, you MAY be able to return the item(s) and get a full refund, so hang onto them.

Or, instead of dealing with the Black Friday craziness, maybe…

Same money with our best Black Friday Shopping Tips for 2018 – Collin shopping online Black Friday deals

…don’t bother heading into the madness at all!

Frankly, most retailers have started posting the same deals online on Thanksgiving Day, INCLUDING doorbusters! I can usually get 90% of my shopping done before Black Friday even comes around, and most of the other 10% can be finished on Small Business Saturday (at local shops) or Cyber Monday!

You can’t beat shopping in your pajamas! 🛋

Pre-Black Friday Pro Tip: Get your grocery shopping done BEFORE Thanksgiving. If you think Target is a madhouse anyway, just imagine trying to buy groceries during the busy holiday season.

And DON’T wear a red shirt when shopping at Target unless you want questions from strangers asking where they can find everything on their shopping list! 😂

Join The Discussion

Comments 38

  1. Heather

    This makes me LOVE H2S that much more!! Any way to ease my anxiety, I’m so grateful for y’all!!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Aww, thanks a ton for the kind comment, Heather! We sure are grateful to have YOU as a valued reader! ❤️

  2. Holly

    So fun! For your next post, show us a tutorial for how you made that cute bun in picture 11!?

    • Pao

      I was thinking the same!!

  3. Julia

    Finished up the last of the Christmas shopping with the recent Vera Bradley deals. Thank you H2S!

    • Amber (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Woohoo! You’re welcome! That’s SO awesome, Julia! I have only just begun!

  4. patricia

    Hi Collin! I was thinking it may be a good idea if you have a post about updating,unistall/installing hip2save app. Up until a few days ago I did not know there was a newer version and after I commented on your post on October 15 and saw your response I was visiting hip2save less and less since the app was soooooo slow Nd not wirking properly and then so many others commented on the same object. So there us probably still a lot of people out there who have slow app issues. And since there is more and more deals now ,if you and your group can think of ways to email or post about installibg new app so more people can take advantage of your amazing deals and posts 💞💞💞

    • Amber (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for your suggestion, Patricia! We have that planned to post soon! Stay tuned! 😉

    • Kimberly Davidson

      Patricia, thank you for posting this! I could not get the app to work and was getting super frustrated so I stopped visiting the site as often as I usually do. I have uninstalled and reinstalled the app. Hoping it helps.

      • patricia

        Hope this helps. When i posted my comment a few days ago,Collin said to uninstall and install and it is a totally new app and it is super fast.

    • Pia

      Thank you so much. I just uninstalled/reinstalled and my app is working so much faster now.

      • Collin (Mrs. HIP)

        Yay!! So happy to hear that! 🙌

        • Yess

          I uninstalled reinstalled and the app is still not working when I click on a deal. I am looking at this through the email. Hopefully you guys can take another look at the app.
          Thank you!

          • patricia

            Email them your phone model and maybe picture of how the app is openning.

          • Amber (Hip2Save Sidekick)

            Hmm, Be sure to check for an update OR try installing again. It should be working better for you now. Be sure to send us an email if not! Thanks so much!

  5. Kate

    What are the best price comparison apps that have scanners? I don’t currently use one. Thanks!

  6. Tara E

    Bring a big shopping bag to carry stuff in to avoid a shopping cart. Makes it much faster and easier to get around.

    • Amber (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yes! Great idea! Thanks for the tip!

  7. Robyn

    I love shopping online I get up at 11:55pm and start shopping by 12am then 2 hours later back to sleep

    • Amber (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      For sure! I have had a fun time shopping Black Friday from home too! It’s cozy, no crowds and often some of the same in store deals are online as well! SCORE!

  8. Samantha

    CVS has become one of the only places my mom and I will brave going to on BF. There’s never a line and the deals are insane. We start with one purchase, earn Extra bucks and then keep rolling the extra bucks over to make more purchases and earn more extra bucks. It’s awesome. I’ll never try to go to a big retailer again, it’s not worth the stress and hassle. The rest of my shopping will be done online

    • Rachel

      Samantha—you used the rewards within the same day?! Do you remember if the gift cards were on sale?

      • Samantha

        I didn’t purchase any gift cards so I can’t speak to that, but yes I could use the Extra Bucks immediately after purchase. Do for instance they had a lot of deals last year that were free after extra bucks (I.e. buy a lipstick for $5 get $5 EBs back) so after the first initial purchase I kept using extra bucks to buy other items that earned more extra bucks so I left with a lot of items and paid very little out of pocket

        • Rachel

          Way cool!!! Thank you!!!

  9. Abby

    HERES MY TIP 🙂 There’s an Emmy Award winning consumer reporter here in Dallas named Steve Noviello, he did a story on Black Friday a few years back comparing Black Friday ads over consecutive years. He found that certain stores run the same ad as they did in previous years. I found the story on YouTube, search –> Save Me Steve: Black Friday Deals….Again

  10. Susan Crawford

    I was at Home Depot today and they had the Crock Pot version of Instant pot 6 qt for $69.99 on clearance.

    • Amber (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh cool! Thanks for sharing your find with us! We’ll have to keep a lookout for clearance in our stores too!

  11. Michelle

    Honestly I’m kinda close to be done Christmas shopping but my 16 year old and friends really o e going and I’m kinda the “ring leader” of the whole bf day… I’m sure I can find a few things hoping for some freebies… My husband usually wants a million items from Menards but they don’t open till Friday morning… I just wish they would all go back to actually starting the sales on Friday at say midnight…

  12. Cherilmt

    I did all my black Friday shopping online last year, it was mostly clothes and shoes, no electronics until Monday! I will never go out in the craziness during crazy hours again!!

    • riss

      That’s what I do, too. Buy a little something here and there throughout the year if there’s a good deal. Whatever I’m missing, I’d buy it online during the week of BF. I don’t want to deal with the craziness of BF. I haven’t been in the store on BF for probably 10 years now. Except last year, I went to CVS 😙. Maybe that wasn’t counted, as there were only a handful of people when I went.

  13. Sara

    Also don’t wear a lanyard like I do. I can be in Target or Walmart wearing a purple shirt, and I still get asked for help. No one pays attention to the color of my shirt. They see the lanyard and stop thinking.

  14. Katrina

    Lol Sara …one time I was at macys and I was folding some sweaters I was looking at and some older lady walks up to me and starts talking to me for like 5 minutes about a situation she had with a employee and I was like sorry but I dont work here , she was like I’m so sorry I seen you folding the sweater and though u worked here , and she kept taking to me 🙀🙉

  15. Kay Bowman

    Very good tip about not wearing a red shirt at Target. I frequently went to Target after work in a red shirt and got approached many times by shoppers. Also the big coupon binder in the basket seat seems to send the message that I am an employee.

  16. connie daigle

    thanks for all the work you do for us!! makes it so easy!! was reading this post and it talked about walmart price matching items… they do not do that at any stores i go to anymore. wisconsin, minn.,, or michigan.. just wondering if thats a regional thing or all over now.? they told me it was a policy for all stores.. thanks.

  17. LittleBird

    What are the best price comparison apps with scanners? (reposting Kate’s question) Thank you!

  18. debra

    I think its going be great place to shop. thank you

  19. Catalina

    on the excel sheet, how did you find the details on Dell Home & Home Office?, I go to their page and dont see anything listed. Chatted with their representatives and they said deals were no released yet.

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