NEW YORK - 115 million of us will be shopping online and in line at stores, during the full contact sport which has become Black Friday. But before you step foot inside a store or mall, we have some sage advice to help you survive and save.
"It's so chaotic. You don't really pay attention. You just want to get in and get out," said Andrea Woroch, a consumer spending expert who has some survival tips to save your sanity and your wallet.
Her top tip, map out your plan of attack and even print out an online store or mall map.
"This way you can plan out your shopping route.so you can get in and get out quickly," says Woroch.
She suggests bringing a buddy on Black Friday to tag team it.
"(It'll) help you divide and conquer your shopping list and someone can even wait on line," said Woroch.
Before you leave home, load up ads and coupons on your phone. Andrea's inside tip: capture screen grabs so if the mall's wi-fi is spotty, .you'll already have the bar code right in your photo gallery.
"This way you have everything ready to go. So you're not fumbling around on your phone and miss out on a better deal," says Woroch.
Andrea also uses apps to let her fingers do the price comparing.
"I'll use the shop savvy app," says Andrea. "Because it lets me know any other retailers are selling that item and how much they're selling it for."
And once you have the proof you can request a price match at the register. Andrea also suggests joining clubs. Just make sure the membership fees are worth it..
"Here at Kmart, joining the "Shop your Way program" it's free. But if you go to a warehouse club.there is a fee. Compare those costs with what the potential savings are," says Andrea
Also sales clerks will be pushing new store credit cards. Don't be tempted to sign up unless you're a regular customer at that store.
"First of all, it will ding your credit score," warns Woroch. "Plus, they (the credit cards) have fees.and people want to spend more in that initial trip to benefit from that additional discount."
Andrea's best tip to avoid blowing your budget? Leave the plastic at home. "Shop with cash so you don't get tempted to overspend and buy on impulse," says Woroch.
And one last bonus tip, get on social media and start liking or signing up for price alerts. By tomorrow you may get a discount right to your feed.
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