Surviving Black Friday - Come Out a Winner This Year With the Best Deals Possible

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Strategically plan your Black Friday and Cyber Monday adventures with

"For the biggest savings, Stephanie Nelson, advises, "Look at the retailers’ deals, find an online coupon code, and actually do your shopping through a cash back website."

Over 226 millions shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend last year according to the National Retail Federation, and it’s estimated that 2012 is going to be even bigger. Finding the real bargains versus the hype is the key to successful Black Friday shopping according to Stephanie Nelson, founder of, a free website offering essential holiday shopping tips to its 6 million members.

Big retailers, online marketplaces, and drug stores are all offering significant price cuts for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Online retailers have become very competitive, Nelson says, so watch for the deep discount offers early, even as early as Thanksgiving Day.

Nelson advises to shop online first and stack your savings. "If I'm shopping online, I look at the retailers’ deals, find an online coupon code, and actually do my shopping through a cash back website," says Nelson.

Shoppers should take advantage of cash back offerings. Nelson uses websites that offer shoppers a percentage of savings back, and she also takes advantage of credit cards that offer cash back. She suggests checking to see if your credit card offers more cash back for utilizing their website. By clicking on one of her favorite stores from her credit card company's website, Nelson receives additional savings that typically range from 5 to 10 percent.

Also, always check out the website of your favorite retailer for updates on deals and their Facebook page for special offers.

"I like to focus on drugstores on Black Friday, too," says Nelson, "They have unbelievable sales between November 23 and 25, and you can get all kinds of free things from medication to lotion to personal care items," says Nelson. Just go to to find a list of all the freebies available at CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid.

On Black Friday, Nelson says you can save money and get good deals with this strategic plan:

Plan and Budget - Come up with a holiday gift list and plan. Decide who you need to buy for, what you can afford to spend overall, and divide that among all your gift recipients. Then shop the deals, coupons and savings strategies to stretch the budget. Check the store ads and websites for special "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" deals.

Compare Prices - When you are shopping for a specific item, compare prices online before hitting the stores or shopping online. Prices can vary significantly, and an online retailer may offer free shipping and have no sales tax.

Be Coupon Savvy - Use coupons to drop the price even further:
· Sign up for the email newsletters of favorite retailers and shopping malls to be the first to get special coupons
· Follow a retailer's social networking page (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to get access to special coupons or limited time flash sales
· Go to an online coupon site like to find coupon codes for
discounts and free shipping
· Watch the newspaper ads and catalog mailings for in-store coupons

Buy Gift Cards - Buy discounted or bonus gift cards to give as gifts or to use to shop for gifts .
· Take advantage of bonus gift card offers that many restaurants have at this time of year to
give as gifts (for example, buy $100 worth of gift cards and get a free $20 gift card)
· Redeem cash back rebate dollars from credit card programs for bonus gift card values.
For example, use $20 of your credit card rebate dollars to get a $25 gift card to selected
· If you are using a gift card to shop for gifts, be sure to combine them with coupons if

Get Cash Back for Purchases - If you have a cash back credit card, shop through the credit card website's shopping mall to get extra rebates on your purchases.

For more information on Black Friday Savings, go to

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Nanette Noffsinger
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