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I am Canadian. I’m currently in London, Ontario. This is what it looks like outside my apartment:

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I would have said #nofilter, but I needed to brighten the photo, otherwise it would just look like a white blur. Also, it’s not that the camera on my phone takes really grainy pictures. It’s still snowing outside. Oh, and there goes another emergency vehicle…

Anyway, us Canadians love Black Friday too, and the US sales have trickled up north. Companies are pre-promoting their sales, the malls open at 7 am, and you can bet that we’re all hiding inside our homes, making lists of things to buy once the sales begin. So if you’re serious about saving money like I am, keep reading. If you’re not serious about saving money…well, wait until the Black Friday hype is over before you step foot into a mall.

1. Embrace the internet.

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I’m kidding. I know we all love the internet, especially when we find a gold mine of cute cat photos. Anyway, what I mean is to embrace online shopping. You have to wait to get your merchandise, and you don’t get to see it in person, but if you’re buying things other than clothing, or you know your size at a particular store, this is your best bet. You avoid all the lines and still get the savings. In fact, a lot of retailers push online shopping (aka have bigger sales online and offer free shipping) to avoid the crazy rush in stores and lower the risk of theft (fewer people = less crowded aisles = less concealment).

2. Start early.

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A lot of retailers will have limited time offers where you get savings on certain products at certain times. These types of sales are often pre-promoted. Research will be done. Lists will be made. And when it comes time to actually start shopping, start as early as you can. If you’re going to the mall, get there as soon as it opens to avoid the worst of the crowds. If the sale is online from 2-4 pm, start at 2 pm. Don’t risk disappointment.

3. Avoid impulse purchases. Seriously.

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Everything is on sale, sure, but you’re still spending money. Don’t buy something just because it’s on sale. In fact, the best way to take advantage of sales is to only buy things that you were already planning to buy at regular price. That’s where the savings kick in. If you fall prey to impulse purchases or you’re “just looking around to see what you missed”, you’re going to pick up extra items, spend more money, and ultimately, your wallet will be sad. Regardless of what you got for $2000, you still spent $2000, you know?

What’s your Black Friday shopping strategy?


Featured Photo courtesy of b@nfy via Flickr (CC-BY-SA-2.0).