Consumer Reports: Black Friday shopping tips

We're about a week out from Black Friday and a lot of people are starting their holiday shopping already. But don't hit the stores before you do some research first.

It's that time of year when we are making our lists and checking them twice and who doesn't love saving money on holiday shopping?

Consumer Reports has some holiday shopping tips to get you through Black Friday and beyond.

So many presents to buy and so little time! Holiday shopping can be time consuming and costly.

But buyer beware! You might end up overpaying with so-so prices wrapped up to look like fantastic bargains. That's where Consumer Reports comes in, because only rookies head out unprepared.

"Do your homework," said Consumer Reports money Editor Octavio Blanco. "There's lots of websites out there that can help you figure out what is on sale and when. Things like Black Friday.com, even Consumer Reports. We can tell you updates on what stores are having sales."

And these days, you don't have to go store-by-store to look for deals! Instead, you can use websites and apps to help you comparison shop!

"Apps like Shopzilla, Google Shopping, PriceGrabber...these are all sites in which you can see what prices are being offered in the store and compare it with prices in other stores," Blanco said.

And don't forget to get social!

"If you like a particular brand or a particular retailer, make sure that you are following them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram," Blanco said. "These are all channels in which they are going to be advertising their latest sales."

Finally, create a budget-and stick to it. Yes, this sounds simple. But big sales and doorbuster specials, are designed to get you into the store or shopping online so they can sell you all those other items you weren't intending to buy!!

Consumer Reports says if you find an online deal, put it into your basket immediately.

You typically have 15 minutes to check out so you can compare prices elsewhere before you complete your purchase.

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