UACES Facebook HOLIDAYS: When it comes to Black Friday shopping, plan ahead to get the best deals
skip to main content

HOLIDAYS: When it comes to Black Friday shopping, plan ahead to get the best deals

By Tracy Courage
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Nov. 16, 2023

Fast Facts: 

  • Extension expert offers tips to stretch holiday shopping budget
  • Shoppers advised to research, plan, avoid impulse buys

(579 words)

(With graphic of Black Friday tips )

LITTLE ROCK — Black Friday is right around the corner, but many retailers are already offering “early” or “pre” Black Friday deals leading up to what is considered the busiest shopping day of the year.

Infographic listing shopping tips. Tips include avoid impulse buys, plan ahead and shop online securely.
SHOPPING SMART — Division of Agriculture experts weigh in on the best ways to save money and shop smart this holiday season. (Division of Agriculture graphic.)

Online retailers joined in by offering deals on Black Friday and on the following Monday, Cyber Monday. Some stores even began advertising special holiday prices well before Halloween. According to the National Retail Federation, 31 percent of consumers planned to start their holiday shopping before October; 39 percent start in November, and 9 percent will wait until December to begin shopping.

Consumers who shop the post-Thanksgiving sales can still take advantage of special offers earlier in the month. Laura Hendrix, an Accredited Financial Counselor and an associate professor of personal finance and family resource management with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service, offers these tips to make the most of your money during this year’s holiday season:

  • Decide if it’s really a bargain. You must know the original price to understand if the advertised sale price is a real discount. Make sure it’s a quality product and not just a cheaper product at a cheaper price. Is it something you really want or need? If not, it’s a waste of money no matter what the price.
  • Avoid impulse buys. Advertised sale items are designed to get buyers in the door or on the website. Store displays and pop-up ads are designed to prompt impulse buys, so stick to what’s already on your list.
  • Plan ahead. Make a list of the items you need and set a spending limit. Prepare in advance by checking ads, looking for coupons, comparing prices and loading store apps on your phone. Look for ways to combine discounts, such as a sale item plus coupons.
  • Read the details. Pay close attention to sale items advertised as “door busters, “while supplies last” or “limited supplies.” Some stores don’t offer rainchecks or price matching on Black Friday. Price matching – also called a price match guarantee — refers to a store matching a lower price offered on the same product from another store. Price match if you can, but keep in mind that some stores do not offer price matching on Black Friday.
  • Pace yourself. Know when stores open and where and when the best prices are available. Some stores open on Thanksgiving evening, some at midnight, and others might offer “early bird” specials. If an important item is labeled “while supplies last,” you may want to go to that store first and be in line early. Save some room in your holiday budget for future purchases. Remember, there are still bargains to be had throughout the holiday season.

Shopping securely

“When shopping online, make sure you buy from a reputable retailer with a secure payment system,” Hendrix said. “Look at return and replacement policies. Check shipping costs. The company may offer free shipping. If not, consider if the item is still a bargain after shopping costs are added. Log out of accounts and close browsers after completing financial transactions.”

For more money tips, visit the Extension Money Blog .

To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit Follow us on X and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: Follow us on X at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit Follow us on X at @AgInArk.

About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture's mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. The Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation's historic land grant education system through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.

 The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

# # #

Media Contact: 
Tracy Courage