How to score Black Friday-worthy deals this year

Black Friday: the unofficial holiday when retail promotions peak, and the winter holiday shopping season kicks off. Americans across the country scour the Web or wake up before dawn to beat the crowds and score bargains on their most wanted products. But deals don’t only have to happen on one day designated by the stores. With the hype of Black Friday on the horizon, here are four out-of-the-box ideas for landing the best deals all year long.

* Anticipate the season before it arrives. When purchasing seasonal items like clothes, prices tend to be higher right before the seasons change. Avoid this by purchasing items like your winter coat or that grill you’ve been eyeing for summer barbecues a couple of seasons early — you’ll likely be able to get a great deal and beat peak season costs.

* Be an informed shopper. Many people often find themselves without something they need then sprint to the nearest store to purchase it without a second thought. This sense of urgency tends to cause consumers to overpay for goods. Doing even a few minutes of Internet research beforehand allows you find the closest, cheapest location that stocks exactly what you need.

* Subscribe to email lists for tailored deals. Many companies offer deals to those who opt in to receive regular communication from them. You can score major savings (even ahead of other shoppers) at your favorite shopping spots if you opt in to receive an email newsletter here and there. Choose your favorite brands and sign up for their mailing list — sometimes you can even get exclusive deals but only if you’re on the list.

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