Shop like a pro on Black Friday

We've all heard the phrase work smarter, not harder and this holiday season is no different.

It’s the most wonderful — and most financially challenging — time of the year. Black Friday sales kick off the holiday shopping season the day after Thanksgiving and this year the elves at Baton Rouge Telco want you to shop smarter, not harder.

Check out our eight top money-saving tips below to make sure you get all the best holiday deals from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.

Get Ready for Black Friday Deals, Baton Rouge

For many of us, Black Friday shopping is as essential to Thanksgiving weekend as turkey and football (go Tigers!), and a big part of our holiday routine. Get your Black Friday 2023 edition off to the right start by planning carefully. 

1. Pick Your Opening

Searching for early Black Friday deals at your favorite Baton Rouge shopping destination can become overwhelming unless you plan ahead and decide where you want to be and when.

The Mall of Louisiana and many of its stores will open for early sales at 9 a.m. on Black Friday. Some larger independent retailers at the mall may open much earlier. 

Similarly, many individual stores at Perkins Rowe may unlock their doors well ahead of the mall’s official opening time at 10 a.m. on November 24, so be sure to check ahead to make sure you are at the front of the line. 

2. Make a List and Check It Twice

Shopping for the holidays without a list is like grocery shopping while hungry. Bad move, fam! List the items you are after and the product category they are in so you can pick up multiple gifts at once. Have a backup option in case the ideal item is already gone.

Pro tip: Bring a shopping buddy to help. Everybody needs a wingman… or, (let’s be real) wingwoman.

3. Learn the Deals, Understand the Deals, Become the Deals

Sometimes, a great Black Friday deal might not be a deal at all. Do your research a few days before and check the prices of the items you want so you will know when you are saving money or when you might be paying too much. 

Pro tip:  Go to to find the best Black Friday deals, discounts, and coupons at all the biggest stores.

4. Early Bird

Keep a sharp eye out for early pricing deals. Many stores already offer major discounts in the week leading up to Black Friday. Beat the post-Thanksgiving madness and load up on deals before the crowds even get there.

Pro tip: Some stores may be willing to honor advertised prices or discounts ahead of time if you can’t make it to the store on the day. It never hurts to ask.

5. Happy Returns

Okay, hopefully not many, but at least some of your gifts are likely to end up as returns. Make things easier for yourself or the person returning the gift by always requesting a gift receipt (which omits the price) that you can enclose with the gift. 

Gift receipts can usually be generated at any point of sale, but busy clerks often forget to offer this option, even when selling items that are gifts.

Pro tip: Some retailers offer more generous return policies to loyalty program members. You might qualify for a longer return period or more flexibility when returning without a receipt. 

6. Your Phone is Your Digital Doorbuster 

Your phone might be the most useful thing you put in your bag the Friday after Thanksgiving. Follow your favorite stores on social media for special offers and late-breaking deals and always compare prices online before a big purchase. 

Pro tip: Look out for special deals and discounts offered through big retailer's online apps only. It’s worth signing up for extra savings that less savvy (or connected) shoppers might miss!

7. Matchy-Matchy

Many stores will match deals offered by other retailers to avoid losing a sale. Be sure to know the lowest price for an item even if you prefer to use a different store. You might save yourself a few dollars or an extra trip.

 Pro tip: Use the Amazon app to check the price online. Tap the camera icon next to the search bar to quickly scan and compare prices.

8. Curbside Smarts

If you know what you want ahead of time and time is not of the essence, curbside pickup can help you navigate the Black Friday madness from the comfort of your car. 

Schedule pickups at each of your favorite merchants as you go. You may wait a little longer, but you’ll miss the mayhem in the malls.

Budget and Spend Smarter with Baton Rouge Telco

The holidays are all about family and generosity, but all the excitement over Black Friday deals and discounts can actually end up costing you more unless you have a plan.

At Baton Rouge Telco, we’re here to help you save so you and your family can thrive in the future. That’s why our #1 smart shopping tip is to start by deciding exactly how you want to budget for holiday gifts this year.

With this number in mind, it’s easier to figure out how much you would like to spend on each gift and where you are likely to get the best deals for each item.

We’re here to help you plan for holiday spending and your longer-term future with free online classes as well as free personalized counseling for our members through Greenpath Financial Wellness. We also offer a full range of personal financial products to help you manage, save, and spend your money better. 

Click below to learn about our financial education resources.

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