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What to buy and skip on Black Friday

Alyssa Pry
Personal Finance Reporter

If you’re planning to get a head start on holiday shopping, Black Friday is a great opportunity to snag exclusive deals and deep discounts. But you need to have a strategy, says Kimberly Palmer, a personal finance expert from NerdWallet

“To be a smart shopper on Black Friday, you want to know what you’re looking for going in, where exactly you’re going to find it, and what prices to expect,” Palmer says. If you’re setting yourself a budget, here are 7 ways to save cash for the holidays

While it’s easy to assume everything will be on sale, that’s not always the case, Palmer says.  Here’s what to buy and skip when you head out on your post-Thanksgiving spree.

BUY: Previous generation Apple products

Palmer says retailers often offer discounts on Apple products, especially if you’re flexible on what you’re looking for: previous generations of products will offer the deepest price cuts. Additionally, retailers may offer free gift cards with purchase. Here are other tech deals you can expect on Black Friday. 

If you want to cash-in on your old products before purchasing something new, tech reporter Dan Howley shares his top places to trade in your tech.

BUY: Games and electronics

Black Friday always delivers on electronics deals like TVs and gaming systems. You’ll most likely be able to get a deep discount on these items, but make sure you’re getting what you pay for.  

“Sometimes stores actually offer stripped-down versions of all these electronics,” Palmer says. “If you’re looking for something specific, you want to make sure you’re not just getting a cheaper version of what you thought.”

BUY: Appliances

If you’re looking to spruce up your kitchen or laundry room, appliances are great items to purchase. According to NerdWallet, retailers like J.C. Penney and Best Buy offered up to 40% off appliances last year. Smaller appliances like vacuum cleaners, blenders and coffee makers will also be discounted, Palmer says. Here are 4 other low-cost ways you can update your kitchen

SKIP: Toys

While it’s tempting to stock up on holiday gifts in advance, Palmer says you can get a better discount on toys closer to Christmas, when prices will drop up to 50% up until Christmas Day.

However, if you have your sights set on one of the season’s must-have toys, you may want to purchase it anyway in case inventory runs out, Palmer says.

SKIP: Bedding

Bedding typically goes on deep discount in January, during so-called White Sales. You can expect up to 70% off bedding, so use your holiday gift cards to purchase a fresh set of sheets.

SKIP: Winter clothes

Palmer says the best time to buy winter clothes is actually in the spring, when retailers are hoping to clean out their racks to make way for new inventory. If you have some flexibility and can wait on a new winter coat, head to the stores as winter is ending.

This story was originally published on November 13, 2018.