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10 Hacks To Have The Best Black Friday Ever

10 Hacks To Have The Best Black Friday Ever

The biggest shopping day of the year is just around the corner, and while many people have visions of turkey and stuffing dancing in their heads, you can be getting ready for some truly great deals. With only a few days to go until the big day, check out the Black Friday hacks below to make sure that you’re armed and ready to go. All of these hacks cover ways that you can keep more money in your pocket and avoid the exhaustion and stress that often accompanies shopping with crowds full of people. Enjoy!

1. Do Your Research

It’s impossible to be in 5 places at once, so you’ll need to prioritize. Do you want to get a great deal on a TV or were you hoping to score a power tool on sale for that upcoming bathroom renovation? Either way, you should read through all of the catalogs for the major stores that carry the product that you want. This will help you to be in the right place at the right time.

2. Get Some Team Spirit

I said you couldn’t be in 5 places at once, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get together with friends and family members to split up and go to different stores. You can send your spouse to purchase a new dining room table while you head over to get the bike your kid has been asking for.  That way you can get everything on your list all at great prices.

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3. Go To Bed Early

There’s no glory in shopping while bleary eyed and exhausted. Instead of staying up late and waking up early to get in line, try going to bed at a reasonable hour. This would work especially well if your family has your Thanksgiving meal in the late afternoon. That way you can go to bed as early as 8 or 9p.m.

4. Be Efficient

It might sound overboard, but when you have hundreds of people shopping at the same store as you, you have to shop efficiently. This includes going to the store ahead of time and finding out what aisle your product is in. That way, you won’t have to worry about spending needless time searching when you could be headed home to enjoy your new gadget.

5. Use Social Media

Many shoppers and stores will be using social media to share coupon codes and deals. Make sure you are subscribed to your favorite stores so you are aware of any coupons that can be scanned in using your phone.

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6. Shop Local

It’s tempting to shop at places that are big box stores with glossy ads. However, if you know there’s a local home improvement store or an electronic store, call them the day before Black Friday and ask if their deal is going to be any better than the ones advertised at bigger stores. That way, you can support local businesses and get great deals at the same time.

7. Pack Snacks

I know I sound like a mom saying this, but packing snacks is the best hack I can give you. Seriously, you could be waiting to check out for over an hour at some of the bigger department stores, so keep your energy up by bringing a handful of peanuts or popcorn to enjoy.

8. Be A Night Owl Instead of an Early Bird

The early bird may get the worm, but if you love staying up late, that could actually be to your advantage. Many stores will start their deals at midnight, so you can easily shop from midnight until 2AM and then sleep in the next day.

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9. Read The Fine Print

Many stores will advertise a price, but it might only be valid for a certain period of time or certain part of the day. To avoid disappointment, read the fine print. Also, bring your ads with you so that you can prove a certain price. This is also beneficial because many stores offer a price guarantee. If you can bring in a competitor’s ad, you can often get what you want for even less.

10. Stick to the List

Sales can be addicting like something shiny to a goldfish. We can go in planning to only buy one thing and then get caught up in the excitement of great deals and buy more than we can afford. To ensure that you don’t overspend, have a friend or family member keep you accountable. Even better, only bring the exact amount of cash that you will need to buy a particular product.

With this list of hacks, you should be well on your way to actually enjoying your Black Friday shopping excursions without the exhaustion or the regret experienced by many customers. Good luck and have fun!

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Featured photo credit:  Photo of pretty happy woman via Shutterstock

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Catherine Alford

Catherine is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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