There was a time that I lived for it Black Friday shopping. I’d take a late evening nap on Thanksgiving so that I could get up at 11pm to be at the outlets near where I lived by 12am to scoop up the best deals. While I've traded Black Friday shopping for spending more time with my family, I did learn some tricks from all the years I did go out and thought you might be interested in case you're thinking of putting together a game plan and hitting the stores running this Black Friday.

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    Search For "Deal Finder" Websites and Apps

    Deal finder websites and apps help big time by compiling all of the best Black Friday deals in one location, letting you search for the best deal on whatever item you’re looking for. Deal finder sites also allow you to search by item, store, category, location and even date of availability. I found these apps and websites to be an invaluable tool if you're looking to plan your Black Friday schedule in advance.

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    Monitor Social Media

    Knowing what deals are available before everyone else isn't just awesome, but can help with your plan of attack for Black Friday shopping. One of the best ways to get a head start is to create an email address just for stores and then set up email alerts for leaked Black Friday ads. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of creating an email address just for stores, you can also set up a Google email alert to filter out ad leaks.

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    Download store apps

    A lot of stores, including most big-box retailers and even some smaller shops, have their own store apps, and you’ll want to download a few of them before Black Friday. This will help you find stores close to you and you'll also want to download them because some of these stores offer savings and coupons you can redeem directly through the app. Don’t want apps clogging up space on your phone? Download them for Black Friday shopping and then after you’ve picked up your deals, delete the apps!

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    Monitor Social Media

    Who doesn't love to brag about a good deal, right?  Watch Facebook and Twitter for your friends to post the great deals they’ve picked up during their Black Friday shopping and then swoop in and snag some of those deals for yourself.

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    Take the Ad with You

    Carrying around a bunch of store ads might now seem awesome, but here's the thing- some stores are willing to match the price of a competitor as long as you have a valid copy of the ad. Not all retailers will do this, but you won't know if you don't ask.

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