Food, Nutrition, Health, and Safety

As the holidays are quickly approaching, are you starting to plan for your holiday shopping? Black Friday shopping is one of the most popular shopping days/day of the year; but it can also lead to financial strain for some.

Due to COVID-19, Black Friday will look a little different as sale prices have already started hitting in-store and online. The pandemic does not seem to be discouraging Americans from spending this year, this could be due to the popularity of online sales. According to the Small Business Trends, 42% of Americans plan to spend $500 on Black Friday sales.

Sticking to a budget often proves difficult for people when they see flashy advertisements for items they have been wanting for a while. Retailers know that shoppers are prepared to spend during the holiday season and take full advantage of this with great marketing techniques. The best way to be prepared for Black Friday and holiday shopping is to make a plan ahead of time and prepare a budget.

• Start by setting your budget. Have a set amount in mind that you plan to spend. Sometimes this is money that has been set aside each month in anticipating for the holidays; or this might just be what you have left over after paying your bills. Having a total amount, you can spend, will tell you how much you can spend on each gift. This will also help limit the “impulse buying.” Which can bust your budget quickly. Remember just because it is on sale does not mean that you need to buy it.

• List all the people you will need to buy gifts for and what you are planning to buy for them. For each person set the amount from your budget you are able to spend on them.

• Start comparing deals online and in-store. Give yourself plenty of time to make a good decision and find the best price for the gifts on your list. The strategy will help you get the most for your money.

Shopping online vs. in-store—When we are shopping on a budget, sometimes it is hard to avoid all the good deals if we are in the store and can physically touch the items. One way to stick to your budge and enjoy the in-store experience is purchasing with cash only. Shopping with only enough cash to cover the costs of your planned purchase is a good way to stay within your budget. Online shopping is also a great option because you can search for just the items you are wanting to purchase and buy them only.

Don’t forget to look around your community and supporting our local businesses. I have found that what I was looking for I found and usually a better price by shopping our local businesses.

Black Friday shopping is a great way to help your financial budget and purchase gifts at a great price, but it does take some intentional planning and budgeting beforehand.

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