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Holiday Shopping Secrets Could Save Time and Money

NBC 5 Consumer Team has details on what to buy when this holiday season

There are 27 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas day. And while there are great bargains Black Friday weekend, other deals may be worth the wait. The NBC 5 Investigates Consumer Team combed through Thanksgiving and Black Friday ads, and we talked to experts to come up with shopping secrets to save you time and money.

The key, according to Dwight Hill, retail expert and partner with McMillan Doolittle LLP, is to know what to buy and when.

Shopping Secret #1: On Black Friday weekend, go for electronics.

"If I were buying the TV I would go for the Black Friday weekend, Cyber Monday period. I think that's usually the best time for people to find those deals," said Hill.

Shopping Secret #2: Best deals on clothing may come later in the shopping season, according to Hill.

“It’s the apparel that starts getting pushed as you get further on into the holiday season,” Hill said.

Shopping Secret #3: But don’t wait too long. Hill said retailers’ inventories are tighter this year than last year. So if you see the perfect sweater, in the perfect size. Buy it, but save the receipt.

”If indeed it goes down further in another few days then work with that retailer on their adjustment policy. Talk to them about that,” Hill said.

Shopping Secret #4: You may not need to leave home on Thanksgiving to get the best deals. According to Adobe’s 2014 Digital Index Online Forecast, online prices will hit rock bottom on Thanksgiving Day, with an average discount of 24 percent. It says online prices are expected to increase the Tuesday after Cyber Monday.

Shopping Secret #5: Use Black Friday and budgeting apps to help you save time and money. That’s important so you don’t spend all year digging out from holiday debt.

“You need to have a plan of not carrying a balance that’s going to go beyond three months,” said Todd Mark, Vice President of Education of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas. “If somebody has not paid off their holiday debt by the end of March following the holidays, it’s going to be with them through the holidays of the next year.”

And remember, when budgeting include not only the gifts you intend to buy, but also, food, travel, decorations, wrapping and shipping. It all adds up and you don’t want over spend.

“Use good strategies when it comes to shopping,” Mark said.

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