Let’s be real – Black Friday is not my jam. Cold, crowds and the crack of dawn? No thanks.
But that doesn’t mean that, if you do it right, you can’t save a lot of money on Black Friday. Especially in New York City.
So, if you’ve got your coat ready and your alarm clock set, more power to you.
Here are some tips on how to survive (and save!) on Black Friday in NYC.
The key to surviving Black Friday in NYC with your savings account intact is to budget for it.
Pick the maximum amount you want to spend, and once you’ve hit that amount, head home.
It’s hard to make a clear decision when you’re exhausted, overwhelmed and facing a “limited quantity” situation. So make some spending goals beforehand to stay on track.
If you have a tendency to get swipe happy, withdraw your Black Friday spending allowance in cash ahead of time so you’re forced to stop spending when you run out.
Another useful trick is to make a list of all the things you want to buy, then calculate how much money you’ll save if you get the best Black Friday discounts.
It might be worth braving the hordes for $500 worth of savings. But $50? Might as well just sleep in.
If you do decide to hit the stores, keep these smart shopping strategies in mind to maximize your Black Friday savings…
Harsh truth alert: the Black Friday “sale” price isn’t always the “best” price.
If you know the manufacturer, model number or any other identifying information of the items on your wish list, you’ll be better prepared to find the “true” best prices.
In addition to scouring your local paper and inbox for emails with coupon codes, check the social media accounts of your favorite retailers for Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials.
If you’re like me and can’t remember the last time you picked up an actual newspaper, download a mobile app like Flipp that digitizes circular ads from hundreds of retailers to find the best deals, or check the latest promo codes at Coupon Follow to see which deals are trending!
Related Reading: Couponing Like a New Yorker
Black Friday in New York City is unlike anywhere else in the country. There are so many people packed together in such small spaces, going absolutely crazy for $40 (or less!) in savings.
But one of the special things about New York is how many amazing local stores we have. From Brooklyn to the East Village, all the way up to where I live in Harlem, there are local stores on Black Friday selling stuff you won’t find anywhere else (including the internet!).
You can visit some of the best of the best by checking out the the Union Square, Columbus Circle and Bryant Park holiday markets. And don’t forget to take part in Small Business Saturday after you’ve gotten your fill of the big-box-shops on Friday.
If getting in on the Black Friday craziness suburban style is your thing, you don’t have to go too far for the full experience.
If you have a friend with a car, buy them an early morning breakfast and head to one of the many malls in Long Island or drive north to the outlets in Woodbury.
Note: If you don’t have a friend with a car, it might be time to jump on Tindr and find a well-transported new love interest. Totally kidding – kind of.
If you’re anything like me, there is no discount on earth that would make you get out of bed the morning after Thanksgiving.
Lululemon’s entire line could be 99% off and I’d still be curled up under the covers, sound asleep. The only thing I’ll stand in line for is rush Broadway tickets and even then, it better be a pretty amazing show, (ahem, Hamilton).
So, before you get out your map and start making your Christmas list, remember that it’s totally okay if you want to stay home and skip out on Black Friday altogether.
After all, Cyber Monday is only a few days later and can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own couch. You can still cash in on deals and get cash back on your purchases by shopping through online portals like Ebates.
When you access your favorite retail websites through Ebates, you’ll typically score between 1 and 5 percent cash back on each purchase. Combine that with the day’s coupons and free shipping deals to stack your savings!
Oh yeah, in NYC, Black Friday Barhopping is a thing. So maybe I will venture out of my apartment after all.