6 Ways to Beat the Pants Off Black Friday Prices

What's Hot

2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

Sure, you'll find great prices on Black Friday. But you can sleep in, beat the crowds, and still find plenty of ways to save.

As you’re lining up like cattle and preparing to elbow your way to a bargain this Friday, keep this in mind: No matter how good the deal, you could have done better.

While Black Friday will almost certainly offer some great “doorbusters,” there are simple ways to beat sale prices all year round…

1. Buy used

Buying things that are pre-owned is a simple way to save up to 90 percent any time. While there are obviously gifts that don’t lend themselves to this idea, there are plenty that do. Places like garage sales and thrift shops and sites like Craigslist and eBay offer just about anything you can think of at prices a fraction of new.

Fight the crowds on Black Friday and you might buy a $500 TV for $250. Sleep in, scope out Craigslist, and you might find a $1,000 TV for $150. Better yet, check out Freecycle and you might find one for nothing.

2. Give what you already have

When I was about 14, my mother suggested I fix up an old bicycle that was sitting around collecting dust and give it to someone less fortunate. (It was a very cool bike: a Mattel Stallion)

With a little funding from my mom, I put on new tires, new hand grips, did a lot of polishing and basically made it look new. I’ll never forget the look on the face of the recipient, a kid from the projects I’d never met.

What do you have lying around that could be restored and given as a gift? Giving something you already have will reduce your clutter and provide a gift for a price no Black Friday sale can touch.

3. Re-gift

There’s nothing wrong with giving someone a gift you’ve received – even the Emily Post Institute says so. Just be sure you don’t space out and give it to the same person who gave it to you.

Give something you didn’t pay for and you’ve beaten the pants off Black Friday prices because you got a 100 percent discount.

4. Make it yourself

If you’re handy and have the time, there are tons of gifts you can make yourself for a fraction of the cost of store-bought.

Handmade gifts are not only less expensive, they’re unique and more memorable. Two of the best gifts I’ve gotten in recent memory were a sculpture and a framed custom print, both from artist friends. The labor of love far outweighs even the priciest stuff snagged cheap on Black Friday.

Even if you’re all thumbs, there are things you can make. This post from About.com lists 100. Do a search and you’ll find plenty more.

5. Give yourself

Even if you don’t have the time or ability to make gifts, you’re already in possession of something everyone can use: you. Whether it’s babysitting, cooking a meal, cleaning the house, or preparing a picnic, giving yourself costs nothing but time, and will likely be greatly appreciated.

Memories are much more valuable than the stuff you’ll find on Black Friday. Figure out how to create some, make a personal gift certificate, and you can cross one present off your list without spending a dime.

6. Get $25 free on Small Business Saturday

If you have an American Express credit card and register to take advantage of their Small Business Saturday promotion, you’ll get a $25 statement credit for a single in-store purchase of $25 or more at a participating small business. Buy something that costs $25, and it’s essentially 100 percent off – free.  See any big box stores offering that kind of deal on Black Friday? And it’s a whole lot less hassle.

Enrollment began yesterday, and it’s limited. So if you’ve got an American Express card, do it now.

Bottom line? While this post was partially tongue-in-cheek – obviously there are bargains to be found on Black Friday – that single day isn’t shopping nirvana. Substitute a little imagination for your money, and you can beat the best Black Friday deals anytime.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: What You Should Do — and Not Do — When Meeting a New Dog

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 2,043 more deals!