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iStock 89180461 SMALL CroppedThe biggest shopping days of the year are almost upon us...are you ready?

While there are tons and tons of fantastic deals already being announced and shared on social media, some of the year's biggest actual shopping days - Black Friday and Cyber Monday/Cyber Week - are coming up fast.

Whether you are venturing out to the brick and mortar stores or shopping via your laptop or smartphone, there are certain tricks you need to look out for and elements to consider in order to make you get the maximum value out of the holiday shopping season.

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Collect And Cross-reference.

Type A lovers of spreadsheets might have the upper hand here, but really anyone planning some serious shopping during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend can benefit from doing a little organization in advance. Collect the sales flyers and ads, analyze the deals and discounts, and then...

Make A Strategic List.

There's so much out to see, assess, and potentially purchase that it's imperative to organize yourself and have a strategy before you start spending. May we suggest creating your list around the people you have to buy gifts for (don't forget yourself!) and then inputting the gifts you have to buy, perhaps color-coded by store if you're really organized. 

Check That List Twice.

Before you click to order or get in that check-out line, that is. Review your list for that particular store and make sure everything is accounted for, or that anything you didn't include is missing for a good reason! 

Use The Buddy System.

It's always good to ask a trusted friend for a second eye on anything you're unsure about, even if it is on deep, deep discount. Which leads us to the next point...

When In Doubt, Save It For Later.

Although the flash sale "buy it now" nature of everything might create some serious FOMO when you're shopping on Black Friday or during Cyber Week, tell the shopping devil on your shoulder to chill out and wait until after the holidays if there is something you're on the fence about. And who knows, maybe you'll get that coveted item as a present yourself or it'll be marked down even more after the holidays are over!

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