Consumer shopping tips for Black Friday

Unemployment is up and consumer confidence is down heading into the holiday shopping season, as so many consumers will be trying to stay on a budget this year. It’s possible to celebrate on a budget, experts say, but it requires some thought and planning.

While the mall may be intimidating to many on a good day, Black Friday is still a great day for savings. And this year it’s not just the crowds of crazy moms recklessly spending and looking for the last Tickle Me Elmo doll, shoppers said they are trying to stick to a budget.

“I just have to embrace my inner ‘recessionista,'” said T’Seday Mitchell, 23, a fourth year civil engineering student from Detroit, Mich. “I plan on buying everyone in my family something they can use like gloves or luggage. The era of roaming around the mall is over. It makes you spend more money.”

According to, one of the most important rules to holiday shopping is making a spending plan and sticking to it.

Jan Brakefield, assistant professor of consumer sciences at the University of Alabama said, “Pay cash. Credit card users typically spend twice as much money as others.”

She also suggests cutting back on the extras like dining out, entertainment, and extra clothing, then spreading that money among holiday purchases.

Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart, a publication from Consumers Union said, “Getting great gifts for your loved ones doesn’t have to cost you your next paycheck,”

Consumers agree and said Internet shopping is convenient and helps them keep money in their pockets.

Dexter Jeffries, 19, a sophomore general studies student from Miami said, “I love sneakers so I shop online and always save money.”

Jeffries said he tries on the shoes at the store and then goes on eBay and bids on them or selects the “buy it now” option.

“That’s how I will be doing a lot of my holiday shopping,” Jeffries said.

Knowing where the sales are can also help plan Black Friday shopping outings and where the best prices are before waiting in the 6 a.m. lines.