Save Your Wallet (And Sanity!) By Avoiding These 11 Common Black Friday Shopping Mistakes

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With so much buzz circulating around Black Friday 2021, be sure to brush up on your shopping strategy and avoid making these mistakes!

man wearing mask and Christmas hat pushing cart at Kohl's

Can you believe that Black Friday is almost here!?

Even though we’re still in the late days of summer, it’s a good idea to start thinking about your holiday shopping game plan.

If you intend to brave the stores on Black Friday, it’s important to have a shopping strategy so that you can spend less time standing in lines and score better deals for everyone on your gift list.

Check out these 11 common Black Friday shopping mistakes to avoid at ALL costs!


1. DON’T wear uncomfortable clothes.

A woman in her living room pointing to her slippers

Yes, that dress and those heels were adorable during your Thanksgiving get-together, but no one is checking your outfit come Black Friday. Instead, swap out your party attire for cute and comfy leisurewear staples like leggings and comfortable sneakers if you’re braving the stores this year. Be mindful of layers if you plan to try on clothes (if that’s even allowed given COVID-19 regulations), though Black Friday’s not the ideal day to spend time in fitting rooms anyway.


2. DON’T go without a Black Friday shopping plan.

Black Friday Comparison Cheat Sheet 2019

Before you step foot out the door, make sure you’ve got a game plan. Start by checking out our Black Friday Price Comparison Cheat Sheet once Black Friday ad scans start to be released. This will help you figure out what deals you’ve gotta have and what stores you’ll want to hit up. Also, write down the store hours for each retailer that you’re planning to hit up.

Then list out the Black Friday deals with their price under the specific store, noting if it’s available elsewhere in case inventory runs out. Lastly, make a list of non-deal items to keep an eye out for if you plan on getting all of your holiday shopping covered in one fell swoop. Map out the most efficient route and get all your bases covered!

My Hip teammate, Jessica, also made a great point about having a plan:

“You should really have a game plan with store hours so you know which stores to hit up first and whether or not they provide wristbands, etc. for certain products or if you will be standing in a long line.” – Jessica

As she said, some stores give out wristbands for larger items (especially televisions), so be sure to take possibilities like that into consideration!

Be sure to bookmark our Black Friday price comparison cheat sheet for 2021–coming as soon as the ads start releasing!


3. DON’T rely on a coffee shop.

woman holding a large cup of coffee

Don’t leave the house without eating breakfast and drinking coffee (if you’re a caffeine addict 😉)! Every other shopper venturing out on Black Friday will likely be visiting a coffee shop, too. All this does is create a long wait to get your energy fix and cuts into your shopping time.

Not to mention, you may find many coffee shops to be closed!

On the bright side, you can buy some extra stocking stuffers with that coffee money you saved. Oh, and remember to pack lots of snacks for later as shopping burns lots of calories! 🤗

Hip Tip: If you just can’t live without Starbucks or end up taking a shopping break there, be sure to check out how you can score free unlimited refills with any beverage purchase!


4. DON’T forget to make a Black Friday spending plan.

budgeting section on hip2save app

A spending plan is an absolute necessity!

Some people like to bring a set amount of cash to keep spending under control. But if you carry too much cash, you might just be more susceptible to thieves…or just losing it! On the other hand, if you don’t bring enough, you could miss out on the Black Friday deals that you really wanted to purchase.

The cash-only method also overlooks store card discounts or credit card cash back, which can really add up! An alternative would be to use a debit card with a set amount of money available and work in store cards and credit cards as you see fit. Stick to your game plan to avoid overspending.

Hip Tip: Did you know that our free Hip2Save App has an envelope budget system built right into the app? Just toggle to the Budget section on the app and start categorizing your envelopes with their intended amount (you can even include one for holiday gifts!)

Then, when you pull from each envelope (in real life), add your transaction amount and date to the desired envelope to keep a running balance of each budget. It’s so easy!


5. DON’T bring the kids Black Friday shopping with you!

kids playing on devices

Kids + high-stress environment = well… you do the math. 😜

Plus, they usually don’t care about the sales and will get bored (and tired) going from store to store.

If you can find a sitter or sweet talk your loved ones to watch over the kiddos while you’re cruising the aisles, your sanity will thank you later. Plus, if your kids are like mine, they’d rather stay at home in their cozy jammies anyway!


6. DON’T be rude.

man scanning target circle app on phone

This should go without saying, but trying to complain to a store associate to get your way will get you nowhere. Most are not working because they love the throngs of excited shoppers 😂; they’re probably the newer employees who don’t have the seniority to request the day off.

Make their morning (and yours!) better with kindness and a smile. ❤️

They might even open another register or check the backroom stock if you’re nice enough! Check out this sweet tip from Hip2Save reader Cara!

“I always make little candy baggies for employees on Black Friday. All my leftover Halloween candy gets put in little ziplock bags and handed out when they help me. They probably need the sugar and it’s a nice way to say thank you!!” – Cara

Hip Tip: If you’re wanting to make a friend or stranger smile on Black Friday, consider these random acts of kindness you can do with your family!


7. DON’T buy because of “the deal.”

Collin fighting over Black Friday deals

Retailers can bump up the original price to make savings seem more significant. For big-ticket items, like TVs and computers, do your research to make sure it’s right for you.

The models promoted with huge discounts may appear as top-rated products, but if you check the model numbers they’re not the same. Black Friday offerings are typically watered-down versions and lack some of the features that give high-quality products their value.


8. DON’T rush your Thanksgiving just to score Black Friday sales.

Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and side dished on the table

This time of year is about being around the ones you love, so why would you want to rush that? Make sure your plans include enjoying your Thanksgiving dinner AND dessert, along with plenty of rest. No doorbuster deal is worth missing out on precious moments shared with your loved ones. ❤️

Hip Tip: Be sure to check back and see which stores are closed on Thanksgiving this year!


9. DON’T use a cart if you don’t need one!

man in green sweater and elf hat with black face mask pointing at a red target shopping cart full of toys

My Hip teammate, Amber, suggested this tip!

“Never get a cart if you could manage without. You’ll likely have to walk through narrow spaces of people and Black Friday deals and it will slow you down.” – Amber

If larger items aren’t a part of your plan or you just need to scoop up one or two things, consider cruising the aisles without a bulky shopping cart. You’ll be able to slip past others easily and cut down on shopping time and stress. Plus, if you don’t have a cart, you’re less likely to be tempted to throw in random non-sale items or other things that aren’t on the list. 🙌

Here’s a helpful tip from Hip2Save reader, Jess:

“My favorite tip ever… BRING CLOTH BAGS or giant IKEA bags because stores often run out of carts and this is the best way to carry things around!” – Jess


10. DON’T go Black Friday shopping alone!

man and woman outside of store

Got a friend or family member who’s also looking to hunt down all the best Black Friday sales?

Instead of going it alone, bring ’em with you!

Not only do you get some moral support (Black Friday can be stressful, after all!), but there are also some other practical benefits that come along with having a shopping buddy.

Here’s what my Hip teammates are saying about bringing a partner or two:

“I would say don’t shop alone, especially for the bigger stores because once you get in line by yourself, you’re stuck. If you have a buddy, they can run and grab something while you wait in line, and then you can do the same for them!” – Chelsey


“For sure go in a group and have a game plan so you can divide and conquer everyone’s lists. I would always have a friend get in line while I shopped then we would switch off!” – Angela


11. DON’T forget to check the updated Covid-19 regulations.

man wearing mask

While it’s too early to be sure of each specific store’s Covid-19 policies during Black Friday, it’s a good idea to stay on top of the CDC updates.

We may see more retailers choose to change their Black Friday hours, update their mask policies, limit their store capacity, or even opt-out of opening altogether, so it’s a great idea to incorporate the CDC updates into your shopping game plan.


person shopping online with laptop and credit card in hand

…and if you want to avoid the craziness all together, just stay home and shop online on Black Friday and on Cyber Monday! We’ve got some tips to help you decide.

No matter how you go about your holiday shopping, remember to smile 😊, make memories, and score the right buys that work for you, your loved ones AND your budget!


We’re staying on top of all the best Black Friday sales so you don’t have to!


Brandi has an Associate's Degree and 5+ years of experience writing and creating online content for local businesses.


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