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About Stephanie Nelson

Founder of - over 2 million members belong to her free grocery deals website

Featured in the media, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Today, and Good Morning America, The New York Times, Ladies' Home Journal and The Seattle Times

Worked in sales and marketing with both Procter & Gamble and Marriott Hotels

Degree in Finance


Stephanie Nelson on Surviving Black Friday

By The 700 Club

Appearance Date: November 23, 2010 On Black Friday, "Coupon Mom" Stephanie Nelson says you can save money and get good deals. She gives five tips for holiday shopping:

Plan and Budget

Come up with a holiday gift list and plan. Decide who you need to buy for, what you can afford to spend overall, and divide that among all your gift recipients. Then shop the deals, coupons and savings strategies to stretch the budget. Check the store ads and websites for special "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" deals.

Compare Prices

When you are shopping for a specific item, compare prices online for the item before hitting the stores or shopping online. Prices can vary significantly, and an online retailer may offer free shipping and have no sales tax.

Be Coupon Savvy

Use coupons to drop the price even further:

  • Sign up for the email newsletters of favorite retailers and shopping malls to be the first to get special coupons
  • Follow a retailer's social networking page (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to get access to special coupons or limited-time flash sales
  • Go to an online coupon site like to find coupon codes for discounts and free shipping
  • Watch the newspaper ads and catalog mailings for in-store coupons

Buy Gift Cards

Buy discounted or bonus gift cards to give as gifts or to use to shop for gifts .

  • Go to sites like to buy gift cards for less than face value
  • Take advantage of bonus gift card offers that many restaurants offer at this time of year to give as gifts (for example, buy $100 worth of gift cards and get a free $20 gift card)
  • Redeem cash back rebate dollars from credit card programs for bonus gift card values. For example, use $20 of your credit card rebate dollars to get a $25 gift card to selected retailers.
  • If you are using a gift card to shop for gifts, be sure to combine them with coupons if available

Get Cash Back for Purchases

If you are shopping online, start by going through a cash back site like that gives you a percentage of the sale price as a rebate in a college savings plan. If you are not saving for college, you can also redeem your rebate account in cash. Or if you have a cash back credit card, shop through the credit card website's shopping mall to get extra rebates on your purchases.

Watch Out For These:

  • Be sure to compare prices, either before you shop or in-store with a price comparison app on your phone. Prices can vary widely, and if you are in a store and another store has a lower price, that store's manager may match the other store's price rather than lose your business.
  • Don't buy extended warranties on electronics. Most electronics' failure rates within a two-year period are five percent or less, making an extended warranty a very expensive form of insurance.
  • Check prices and find bargains online on Thanksgiving Day. Although more retailers are opening up on Thanksgiving Day instead of waiting for Black Friday, other retailers like Kohl's are committed to giving their employees Thanksgiving Day off to be with their families. However, Kohl's has said that they plan to offer very competitive deals online on Thanksgiving Day, which I'm sure other retailers will be doing too.
  • Don't get caught up in the frenzy of Black Friday and overbuy, which would negate any possible savings. Keep in mind that many retailers are likely to offer clearance prices as the holiday gets closer.

Free Fachsheet
Your Guide to Savvy Holiday Shopping

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