Ah, Black Friday. Who can resist the lure of thousands of insane specials on all those goodies you’ve been eyeballing? We don’t blame you. And the real beauty of it is that it coincides perfectly with your bsmart cashback payout – cash that can be spent at any number of our partners who will be running incredible Black Friday sales.

It’s an impressive list: Pick n Pay, Boardmans, Woolworths, Ackermans, Edgars, Incredible Connection, Clicks, CNA, Pep, Jet, Game, Shoprite and many more will have sales on the day. If that’s not enough, Makro is even taking it one step further with BLACK5DAY – 5 days of explosive deals from 21-25 November.

Now that you’re flush with cash and rearing to go, it’s worth pausing for a moment to remember that, with all things Black Friday, it certainly pays to have a plan. Read on for our essential guide to getting the most from this frenetic annual shopping spree.

1. Prepare and predict

First off, it pays to know that things can get pretty hectic, so plan ahead and decide what items you’ll be buying before braving the crowds. By having a shopping list you’ll avoid the temptation to spend money on things you don’t really need. Impulse buys can lead to stress and guilt, and are never good for your bank balance. Budgeting is essential. Know how much money you have available and try not to overspend, no matter how tempting the offer.

2. Check if the deals are available online

This one’s a no-brainer. With all the stories of shoppers furiously clamouring to get their hands on that last TV, or those must-have shoes, a great deal of stress can be avoided by looking for the offer online. Many partners also have online-exclusive deals, so be sure to check their websites and shop to your heart’s content from the comfort of your couch. Take a look here for a wide selection of Black Friday catalogues and start making your list today.

3. Approach the day methodically

Wear comfortable clothing, especially shoes. A pair of sneakers can be a life-saver for your feet after a marathon shopping spree. And if you’re shopping with a friend, make sure they can keep up with you.

The early bird catches the discount, so check what times the stores are opening (some open really early on Black Friday) and get there before you miss out. If you’re feeling particularly brave, and there’s an offer you simply cannot do without, you might even want to arrive while it’s still dark and camp outside till the store opens. Just be sure to keep warm, take a few snacks, and stay safe.

If there’s more than one store on your itinerary, it may help to draw a map of where you want to go, and in what order. Target the store with the most important items on your list first, and make a beeline for those things as soon as the doors open. Without a clear plan of attack, things could get needlessly stressful.

4. Take everything you need

Retail therapy can be quite a workout, so, apart from comfy clothing, you’d be wise to take a bottle of water and a healthy snack along with you. Maybe even work a quick restaurant break into your plan so that you’ll have the sustenance you need to make the most of the day. And don’t forget your wallet. It may sound like a silly suggestion, but you’d be amazed at how often we forget the obvious things in the heat of the moment.

5. Above all, stay sane

Nobody wants to end up in an online video about crazy shoppers, so the best piece of advice we can give you is to keep a level head. After all, it’s just a sale, and there will be other sales. A quick reality check every now and then can make the difference between a frantic experience and a pleasantly rewarding one.

At bsmart, we put the power back in the hands of our members, by paying out cashback bonuses every year. You can spend your cashback bonus any way you want to, at over 10 000 stores nationwide.

We also encourage each member to spend smart and save smart – to live smart. To learn more contact us or click here to sign up directly through our website.

Disclaimer: bsmart does not provide financial advice. The above article is for information purposes only, to share current economic and financial topics and trends. Please consult a suitable and qualified financial services provider if you require financial advice.