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Woman in a Santa hat doing her Black Friday shopping online

So many things have been different this year, and now we can add Black Friday shopping to the list. Much of the country is expected to experience a continued surge of new coronavirus infections over the coming weeks. This is why health experts strongly recommend folks opt-out of traditional Black Friday shopping in packed, poorly ventilated stores and do their shopping online instead. If you’re worried that means giving up finding bargains, never fear. Here are the tips to help you save money while doing your Black Friday shopping online.     Woman in a Santa hat doing her Black Friday shopping online

Plan a Budget for Each Person

Before you start browsing, determine a clear budget for everyone on your gift list — and stick to it by avoiding unnecessary extras or accessories. These seemingly small purchases can result in spending more than you intended.

Use Discounted Gift Cards

Sites like Card Cash and Raise feature discounted gift cards from many retailers, including Target and Amazon. If you can find a high-value card with even a small discount, you can save some cash on your holiday purchases.

Look for Coupon Codes

The internet is full of promo codes offering everything from discounts to free shipping, free samples, or gifts-with-purchase. Search sites like Groupon, RetailMeNot, and Honey to uncover savings. You’ll save even more if you can find something on sale and stack on additional savings using a promo code.

Install a Cash-Back Browser Extension

Internet browser extensions like Rakuten and Ibotta enable you to earn a small percentage of cash back at many popular retailers. Usually, you’ll get a quarterly payout in the form of a gift card, check, or PayPal deposit, depending on the service. Remember to click the extension and shop through their link to get credit for the purchase.

Use a Cash-Back Credit Card

If you already have a credit card that offers rewards, such as cash back or gift cards, you can use these perks to buy gifts. Just be sure you have a plan to pay off those purchases before interest begins to accrue. You don’t want to be dealing with a holiday debt hangover in 2021.

Be Mindful of Security

Now is not the time to let your guard down when it comes to online security. Be sure you’re shopping on retailers’ secure websites and pay with a credit card rather than a debit card. That way, if something goes wrong, you’re only liable for a maximum of $50 in unauthorized charges, and you won’t compromise your bank account information.

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