Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research may determine where and how companies appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Published: Nov 20, 2023 7 min read
Photo-illustration of a shopping bag, with its handle forming a smile.
Olive Burd / Money; Shutterstock

'Tis the season to splurge on holiday decorations, gifts and the occasional present for yourself.

The National Retail Federation estimates that spending will "reach record levels" in November and December, with a growth rate on par with pre-pandemic years. And although the Black Friday ads are flashy and inflation is on the downswing, you should still be careful not to get caught up in the hype machine. Not all sales are created equal; not all deals are "worth it."

To keep your spending in check, we put together a short guide with advice from Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews; Vitaly Pecharsky, head of deals at Slickdeals; and Joanie Demer, co-founder of The Krazy Coupon Lady.

Black Friday deals: What sales are worth it?

Here are four key steps that'll help you sniff out a good deal.

Do your homework