The 12 things you should absolutely, positively not buy on Black Friday


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There’s a right and wrong way to do Black Friday.

Just because Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year doesn’t mean that you have to buy everything you see. Friday, November 26, is expected to bring incredible deals on electronics, appliances, cookware and other home gadgets, but there are some purchases that you should avoid, some of which may surprise you. Here are the 12 things you should NOT buy during the 2021 Black Friday Sales.

What Not to Buy on Black Friday

1. Airfare

Black Friday is not the best time to book a trip. Airlines may advertise deals during November and December, but they will not compare to the prices found after the new year. For domestic flights, January, September and August are the best months to book, with savings up to as much as 5% on average. For international flights, March is the best month to book, with savings up to as much as 15% on average.

If you’re planning a trip for spring break, November and December might be too early to look. According to the Airlines Reporting Corporation, buying three weeks before a domestic trip is the sweet spot for savings. For more information on airfare, check out the best times to buy flight tickets.

2. Apple Products

Yes, electronics are one of the best items to buy during Black Friday Sales, but shoppers might not find price drops on Apple products. The best time to buy Apple merchandise is during the back-to-school season when Apple typically releases promotions like free AirPods with purchase. If you are in the market for an Apple laptop or tablet right now, we suggest shopping at retailers like Best Buy instead of Apple.

3. Bedding

You can cross bedding off your Black Friday shopping list. As a rule of thumb, gravitate towards bigger purchases on Black Friday, like furniture and home appliances. Something like bedding will be on sale after the first of the year during New Year Sales at stores like JCPenney and Kohl’s. In fact, bedding is one of our favorite post-Christmas purchases. Look for deals on holiday sheets that can be used year-round.

4. Calendars/Planners

Don’t even think about buying a new calendar or planner during the 2021 Black Friday Sales. If you’re in the market for an agenda book, purchase one after the new year. Once 2022 hits, stores like Paper Source and Target will discount their collection of calendars and planners in an effort to get them to sell. Shoppers can browse the clearance sections in the first or second week of January to purchase a planner for less.

5. Diamonds

Mistletoe is in the air, and the demand for diamond rings is high. A large majority of people purchase diamonds during the holiday season, which means retailers don’t have to offer that great of deals. If you want to save on an engagement ring, you’ll find better deals in January and February when Valentine’s Day Sales come into play. If you’re not in a hurry, wait until March when the demand for diamond rings is really low. According to PriceScope, diamonds are roughly 25% more expensive in November than in March.

6. Flooring

All major home improvement projects can wait until after Black Friday, especially if you’re looking to replace your floors. Some of the best deals on flooring will appear in late December and early January at Home DepotLowe’s and other home improvement stores. Besides, with all the holiday parties you plan on hosting this year, you won’t have the time to replace your hardwood floors until after the holiday season.

7. Gym Memberships

Gyms like to pretend like their Black Friday deals are significant, but in reality, individuals can find much better prices on a gym membership in January, February and even March. A large majority of people sign up at their local gym in December and January in anticipation of their new year’s resolutions. As a result, gyms will offer impressive promotions in February and March once they’re not getting as much business.

8. High-End Cameras

High-end cameras are another electronic that you may want to avoid on Black Friday. Shoppers will see discounted prices in November and December, but those prices will continue to reduce even further in January and February. If you can’t wait to make a purchase, look for a Black Friday deal at Best Buy.

9. Holiday Decor

Don’t be fooled by the Black Friday “deals” on holiday decorations. Savvy shoppers know that the best time to stock up on decor is the day after Christmas. On December 26, stores will begin to mark down their collections of Christmas trees, ornaments, stockings and wrapping paper by up to 90%.

10. Mattresses

Despite stores offering Black Friday deals on mattresses in November, shoppers can find much better deals throughout the year. Overall, May is the best time to buy a mattress. New mattress products are usually rolled out in June, which means that retailers will want to clear out their inventory to make room for new models in May. This typically brings discounts of 50% to 60% off brands like Sealy and Tempur-Pedic.

Aside from May, holidays and 3-day weekends are the next best times to find sales on mattresses. Shoppers can expect 10% to 20% off floor mattresses during Presidents Day Weekend, Memorial Day Weekend and other holiday weekends. For more information, check out the best times to buy mattresses.

11. Winter Apparel

To be fair, shoppers can find some apparel deals that are worth purchasing over Black Friday. However, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t tell you how amazing the clothing deals will be after Black Friday. In November, the demand for winter apparel and accessories is still high. Shoppers are shopping for seasonal wardrobes and something to wear to that holiday party. As we get closer to Christmas and into January, the demand for winter fashion decreases, which brings on sales on clothing for men, women and kids. For the ultimate clearance prices, people should shop for winter apparel in February, March and April.

12. Vehicles

Car dealerships like to get in on the Black Friday deals, but the truth is, Black Friday is not a smart time to purchase a new vehicle. Shoppers will find much better deals if they wait until December. Holiday sales mixed with end-of-year discounts will make for some of the best prices on a new or used car.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

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17 shopping hacks every Costco shopper should know

17 shopping hacks every Costco shopper should know

But although you could save money just by doing your regular shopping at Costco, the potential savings don’t end there — and you don’t have to be a member to take advantage of all these shopping tricks.

There are a number of strategies you can use, whether you’re a member or not, to maximize your savings at the popular wholesale club. And if you can stretch your grocery budget further, you’ll be able to thrive between paychecks and achieve your other money goals as well.

Read on for tips on how to pocket more savings every time you go to Costco.

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Kirkland products are often manufactured by well-known brands, which means you can get quality products in different packaging at a lower price. For example, Kirkland coffee varieties are made by Starbucks, and Kirkland Signature Diapers are manufactured by Kimberly-Clark, which makes Huggies brand diapers.

Costco offers competitive prices on gas for members. If you’re located near a Costco gas station, you could save a decent chunk of change just by filling up there. Using the Costco Anywhere Visa to fuel up will also earn you easy cash back.

However, if you’re purchasing the membership only for the purpose of getting cheap gas, do the math to make sure you drive enough to offset the cost of the membership. You shouldn’t assume Costco offers the lowest price in your area, either. Run a search on GasBuddy to see which nearby gas stations can offer you the lowest prices before you decide where to fuel up.

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Looking at Costco price tags can give you clues as to whether a product is an especially good deal. For example, products with prices ending in .97 indicate that the item is on clearance.

If you find a product with a price ending in .89, .79, .69, .59, or .49, this may indicate that the manufacturer is providing a special price to Costco stores, so you may be getting a better deal than you would get elsewhere. It could also mean they’re testing a new product. That said, even if you see these numbers, it’s best to still compare prices to be sure you really are getting a deal.

And if you find a product with a price ending in .88 or .00, it’s probably a manager markdown. It could be that there’s little remaining stock and the manager is trying to make room for other items. Or it could be a returned item or a floor model that the manager is discounting.

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Costco only accepts Visa cards when you’re shopping in-person, but you have a couple of options with a high potential to earn cash back. You can use the Costco Anywhere Visa Card to earn cash back when you shop at Costco, as well as on your purchases at Costco gas stations. It also doubles as your membership card for added convenience. If you don’t want to pay attention to bonus categories, you could simply use a flat-rate unlimited cashback card, such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

Alternatively, if you’re only shopping at Costco online, you can actually use a Mastercard. A great option is the Chase Freedom Flex, which earns bonus cash back on a rotating bonus category each quarter, and that sometimes includes wholesale clubs. You’ll need to pay attention for wholesale clubs to be featured and make sure you activate the bonus category that quarter, but once you do, you’ll earn unparalleled cash back at Costco.

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Costco offers a variety of discounted gift cards you can use to save money at other retailers, and some of the deals are available to non-members. For example, currently you can get a $100 PlayStation or Xbox gift card for only $89.99 or $60 worth of Krispy Kreme gift cards for only $44.99. If you snag one of these deals for a retailer you shop at anyway, it’s essentially like getting free money.

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Even as other stores raise their prices, Costco rotisserie chickens remain $4.99, a deal that attracts new members and gets people into the store on a regular basis. Costco is even willing to lose money on its rotisserie chickens because the retailer realizes how much business the deal attracts. People come for the chicken and end up filling their carts with other items that offset the store’s loss.

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If you’re wondering how to save money on groceries, shopping at Costco isn’t the only answer. In fact, you might find that some products are cheaper elsewhere. Even if you have a Costco membership, you should compare prices for items on your shopping list with other stores in the area.

Basket is an app that lets you compare prices at stores like Costco, Walmart, Publix, Target, Kroger, and even It works by identifying local prices for items on your shopping list, so you can decide where to buy each item. For example, you might find it’s cheaper to get your rotisserie chicken at Costco and make a stop at Walmart for your mashed potato ingredients.


Costco has a generous price adjustment policy. If you buy an item on and the price drops within 30 days, you can request a price adjustment online. If you buy an item in-store and it goes on sale within 30 days, you’ll need to bring your receipt to the membership counter at that Costco warehouse location in order to get a refund for the difference.

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Costco frequently sends promotional offers to members who are email subscribers. Make sure you sign up to get the news and special offers for your local store. You can stack these offers with savings from rebate apps such as Ibotta, which allows you to earn money from your Costco receipt or get cash back when you use a linked credit card. For example, right now you can get $2 to $7 back on most bottles of alcohol from Costco when you shop with Ibotta.

Items marked with an asterisk in the upper right-hand corner of the price tag are going out of stock. Once the limited supply sells out, the item won’t be reordered. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a discount, but you won’t see the price drop any lower if you wait. If it’s an item you have your heart set on, that asterisk is your cue to buy now while you still can.

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You don’t have to be a member to use Costco Optical services, though you’ll get some additional discounts when you order optical products online if you do have a membership card. But if you don’t have vision insurance, Costco could be your best bet for a low price on your annual exam. Prices vary depending where you live but are usually around $70. You can also find great deals on sunglasses and contact lenses at the wholesale club.

Costco has some very appealing deals on liquor, beer, and wine, and you don’t necessarily have to be a member to snag the discounts. In at least a dozen states, local laws preclude wholesale clubs from selling alcohol only to members, so depending on where you live, you may be able to walk into Costco and stock up on inexpensive wine without a membership. Call the store before you go to make sure you’ll have access to alcohol as a non-member.

Costco has a pharmacy that is open to non-members in some states. And you can get some pretty sweet deals on prescriptions if you fill them there. For example, the popular antibiotic azithromycin fills for around $8 at Costco, about half the average price at GoodRx and about a quarter of the retail price.

You might not necessarily get the lowest price at Costco, depending on the prescription you need to fill, what your insurance covers, and what other stores in the area are offering, so check GoodRx for the lowest prices on all your prescriptions.

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As a Costco member, you can get same-day delivery from Costco via Instacart, but you’ll pay additional delivery and service fees. Non-members can order through Instacart as well — making this the only way to access most of Costco’s food inventory as a non-member — but they’ll pay a higher price.

Consumer Reports found that members pay about 31% more for their items delivered than they would in-store, and non-members pay a bit more than that for delivery, but Costco’s program is still a good deal for home delivery — a comparable basket from Amazon Fresh would cost more.


Costco members can get special discounts, in addition to traditional discounts, on car and home insurance with CONNECT by American Family Insurance. There are also exclusive member benefits such as roadside assistance and lifetime renewability for Costco members. Costco members who saved by switching coverage reported an average of more than $600 in savings their first year. That more than offsets the cost of a membership.


Did you know Costco can save you money on travel? Not only can Costco members find airline gift cards at reduced rates, but they can also book vacation packages, hotels, flights, and rental cars directly through Costco for exclusive member discounts. It’s an especially great place to save money rental cars, and there are no cancellation fees. Your rental also includes an additional driver at no cost.

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As you compare prices with other stores, you’ll find that certain items at Costco are offered at particularly low prices. If you stock up on those items whenever you visit Costco, you could save a pretty penny. According to the Krazy Coupon Lady, some deals to watch out for include:

  • Organic spinach
  • Organic maple syrup
  • Organic coconut oil
  • Bulk spices
  • Nutella
  • String cheese
  • Organic peanut butter
  • Almond butter
  • Carter’s baby items
  • Baby formula

Learning how to manage your money better requires a budgeting strategy, but the less strain you put on your budget, the easier it will be. One of the ways you can cut costs is by saving money on your groceries and other shopping.

Whether you purchase a Costco membership to get the numerous benefits or just take advantage of some of the wholesale club’s non-member deals, you can put more money back in your pocket if you take advantage of these Costco hacks.

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