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If you’re going to get up before sunrise—or, heck, hop in a doorbuster line the night before—you might as well iron out your Black Friday shopping strategy ahead of time. That’s why we rounded up the best day-after-Thanksgiving shopping tips from actual insiders, with a single goal in mind: To help you get the most bang for your Black Friday (and, for that matter, Cyber Monday) buck.

RELATED: 5 Things to Buy on Black Friday (and 5 Things to Skip)

woman online shopping

Prep Your Cart the Night Before

You’ve made your list, checked it twice…and by the time you get online, everything you want is already sold out. Try this trick: The night before Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) load your online shopping cart with the merch you plan to buy, and leave the tabs open. Then, the second the clock strikes midnight (or after you’ve had your a.m. cup of joe), open up your laptop again and click “buy.” Thanks to cookies, the items in your cart should stay intact, but with Black Friday savings now ready to be applied. Just beware of sites that put an expiration timer on your cart, as this hack won't work (*sigh*). 

woman shopping nordstrom bag

Map Out (and Save) an Itinerary

The Dyson vac that’s slated to be half off? Check. The Samsung Frame TV that’s been on your list since 2018? Check. If you know the exact doorbusters you’re after, it’s all about mapping them out so you don’t waste any unnecessary time between purchases. The “My Maps” feature in Google Maps allows you to do just that: Create a map, measure distance, add stopping points (like coffee or bathroom breaks) and save it to your phone, so you can create a solid game plan—and stick to it.

woman texting

Use Social Media to Score Last-Minute Savings

When it comes to day-of deals, the best way to stay up to speed is to subscribe to a brand’s newsletter, Instagram account or Facebook page, where they tend to announce savings opportunities first. In fact, while you wait in line on Black Friday, do a quick Google search to make sure you got the best Black Friday deal. Just plug in “brand name” and “promo code” and all the savings opps should pop right up. (And if you do find a discount better than the one being offered by the retailer you’re shopping, ask about price matching.)

woman cash in wallet

Set—and Actually Stick To—a Budget

The thrill of the chase—and the hordes of elbow-throwing strangers—can get the best of all of us. So, in addition to making a shopping list ahead of time, try to nail down a budget and actually stick to it. Because tapping into that inner willpower is one of the best ways to save. (FYI, retailers bank on shoppers spending beyond the Black Friday deal, per The Washington Post.)

RELATED: The 9 Best Instant Pot Black Friday Sales We’re Crossing Our Fingers For

Additional reporting by Brianna Lapolla. 

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