Black Friday Shopping Tips: Maximize the Savings + Minimize the Clutter

posted by Aby Garvey on November 27, 2013 2 Comments

Today’s post is sponsored by simplify 101′s annual holiday sale! This is our biggest sale of the year! Now through Tuesday, you can save 30% on every instant download in our organizing store including self-paced classes and our e-books and mini guides. Plus, save 20% on January expert-guided online classes! Stock up now and take advantage of this once-a-year savings opportunity! Use coupon code THANKS during checkout. (Coupon expires Tuesday, December 3 and may not be combined with any other offer.)


Whether you take part in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, or quieter shopping days, keep these tips tucked in your back pocket to ensure you maximize the savings and minimize potential clutter after the shopping is done.

Make a list.

Before you hit the stores, list the items you need in your holiday binder, in your smart phone, or on a simple piece of note paper. The more specific your gift list, the better. Include the exact item, size and color, as well as store location.

Pin, Plan and Plot.

Review sale ads beforehand. If you’re on Pinterest, create a board devoted to sale ads, flyers and deal round-ups that you’re interested in. Once you know where to go for the deals you’re after, plot your course. Be sure to hit the stores with your most important items and best deals first.

Organize your coupons and gift cards.

Use your plan to organize your coupons and gift cards in the order you will use them. This will help you ensure you have all the coupons you need, and will make shopping a notch easier.

Coupon Organizer

Take stock.

Assess if you need items like wrapping paper and boxes. If you don’t, decline offers of these items while you’re shopping.

Pack for your trip.

Take along your reusable shopping bags to minimize clutter when you return home. And remember to charge your phone completely before you leave. You may need it for coupons and quick calls home to ask for advice.

Avoid potential clutter.

Avoid bringing future clutter home with you by sticking to your list. If you see something that isn’t on your list but feels like too good of a deal to pass up, remember that it’s only a deal if it’s something you need, something you know you will use and something you absolutely love. Ask yourself “Do I really need this? When will I use it? Do I really love it?”

What strategies do you use for holiday shopping? Do you brave the stores on Black Friday? I’d love to hear your tips and ideas in the comments. Thanks for sharing!

Happy Thanksgiving and happy holiday shopping!


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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and coaching program

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  • November 30, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    I have madeTWO of your ‘coupon organizer’ books and carry them in my purse all the time. The first one is mainly for coupons and gift cards plus — inside the back cover — your list of things to remember when shopping (like, “where will I put this?”). I also use this book for shopping lists, measurements, color samples, etc. This book has a white/silvery sparkle cover, and I decorated it with a red balloon sticker so that I can easily tell which side is ‘up.’ I don’t use tabs, so this is an important issue.

    The SECOND book is more business oriented. It includes my own business cards, checks (I no longer carry whole check-books, as I don’t write paper checks very often and one or two checks from each account is enough), a credit card linked to a personal line of credit (for emergency use only), membership cards, library cards, and medical info for DF (aged 98). It has a black/silvery sparkle cover, and I use one of my business cards to show which end is up.

    These two books keep excess paper out of my purse, and make it possible for me to find all the important paper and cards instantly. When I’m waiting for something, I browse through them and discard anything obsolete while reminding myself of things I need to do.

    Thanks, Aby, for this wonderful idea — one of so many you’ve shared.

    December 2, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Thanks so much for your comment Frances. I love how you’ve taken this idea and run with it, adapting it to your own needs. Thanks for sharing!! :)