Not that many years ago, the words “Black Friday” conjured images of hordes lined up for hours outside malls and big box stores.
Happily, shoppers no longer have to fight such crowds to score a great deal, as most retailers offer in-store and online bargains that begin well before Thanksgiving and last longer than the leftovers.
Here’s our top ten list of what homeowners and homebuyers should look out for as retailers compete for your hard-earned dollars in the days surrounding Thanksgiving.
Pretty much anywhere you can buy a TV will be having deals on TVs. While some of the very best deals happen in February, around the Super Bowl, it can be smart to update your family room now. You’ll get to enjoy the rest of the football season, all the new holiday movies about to drop (including Hallmark Channel’s first Hanukkah-centric movies!), and the Baby Yoda frenzy with The Mandalorian on Disney+ (this deal bundles Disney+ with ESPN+ and Hulu for a great price).
9. Large Appliances
All the major appliance retailers will be offering washers, dryers, dishwashers, stoves, microwaves, and refrigerators at reduced prices. If you need to replace or want to upgrade any of these items, start your search on a deals site like BlackFriday.com to whittle down the options. If you’re renovating, we love the package deals at Home Depot.
Flyhomes Tip: September and October are when new models of large appliances are released and older models are discounted, but Black Friday is still a good time to look. Just spend a bit of time beforehand perusing Consumer Reports, Wirecutter, and other ratings sites to make sure the one you want is great (and not discounted just to clear it out).
New towels are an inexpensive way to update bathrooms and some fantastic deals can be found at this time of year. Top sellers that are woven to reduce mildew include the Quick Dri collection from JC Penney and Dri-Soft Plus from Bed Bath & Beyond. Both lines are offered in a wide range of colors and a six-piece set can be had for between $25 and $30.
Flyhomes Tip: Look for coupon codes to make these prices even better with additional discounts.
7. Window Treatments
Window treatments are a relatively easy way to transform a living space … especially tempting if you’ll be hosting gatherings of friends or family during the festive season. If your home came with cheap vinyl mini-blinds, consider checking out the sales at one of the many online sites that specialize in window coverings, like Blinds.com, SelectBlinds.com, and American Blinds (despite the names, these stores have more than blinds!).
Flyhomes Tip: You’ve heard of “measure twice, cut once.” Do it! Customized window coverings are generally returnable only if defective, so be sure to get your dimensions correct. Many places that sell window treatments give you the option of measuring and installing yourself or using their pros … if you’re not confident, it may be worth using their expertise.
6. Robot Vacuums
Do you hate to sweep? They may not have the sassy personality of Rosie from “The Jetsons,” but a robot vacuum cleaner from Roomba, Roborock, Shark, or another maker can be just the thing to keep the floors of your home extra-clean for the holidays and beyond.
Even if chasing dust bunnies isn’t high on your priority list, a robot vac can be great entertainment for furbabies. Totally a legit reason to buy.
Flyhomes Tip: Black Friday specials include models from several brands that clock in under $200, but people who crave an even more automated cleaning experience should hold out for a self-emptying upgrade.
5. Pressure Cookers
If you’re one of the five or six people who still hasn’t started using an Instant Pot, check out the many models of this ultra-versatile kitchen powerhouse at bargain prices from a wide range of retailers. (We can’t promise they’ll be discounted for Black Friday, but the Force is strong with the new, special-edition Star Wars Instant Pot Duos exclusively at Williams Sonoma.)
If the name brand doesn’t matter to you but you’re interested in a pressure cooker (the modern ones are also called “multicookers”), know that Best Buy has their own Insignia brand 8-quart electric pressure cooker that offers all the bells and whistles, and gets rave reviews. Lots of people rave about the Ninja Foodi, too.
Flyhomes Tip: If you’re not into kitchen trends, we get it. Some of them are destined to be used a few times, then forgotten about in the back of the pantry. But modern multicookers are an exception here. They actually save time and effort without sacrificing in yumminess.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your own sleeping situation or prep a spare bedroom for holiday visitors, mattress deals abound on both traditional and “bed in a box” brands. Department stores will have sales on traditional innerspring models, while online retailers such as these 20 generally feature holiday discounts on their range of boxed offerings.
Don’t forget new pillows (sometimes included with a new mattress) and other bedding, also discounted at this time of year.
Flyhomes Tip: If a new mattress isn’t in the cards, consider upgrading your current sleep surface with a two- or three-inch latex mattress topper. Latex is more costly than memory foam, but most reviewers report that it transformed their old mattress, providing a significantly better, more temperature-regulated sleeping experience.
3. Home Security Systems
They may not be the most fun things to think about, but home security systems are important … and they’ve come a long way in the past few years. If you’ve put off getting one in the past, now’s the time to consider it. This article from SafeHome.org outlines deals on top brands of home security systems from standbys like Brinks and ADT to newer brands like SimpliSafe (50% off any new system as we write this!) and Nest; plus cameras, smart locks, and “other security Black Friday deals.” Amazon’s Ring security system, doorbell cameras, mounted cameras, and smart lights are likely to be discounted now as well.
Flyhomes Tip: Remember to compare the cost of professional monitoring for each brand as you shop these deals, as what you get and what you pay can vary widely. You’ll be able to find this information on each brand’s site. Not all systems require this service, so if you’re comfortable with monitoring yourself via phone alerts sent from your system, look for that option.
2. Smart Thermostats
If your home doesn’t already have one, a smart thermostat makes an excellent, money-saving upgrade. Many models can even learn your preferences to self-adjust without you having to think about it. Google’s Nest Thermostat made a splash first, and in the years since it was introduced a wide range of worthy competitors have hit the market. Look for Black Friday deals on ecobee, Honeywell, and other brands.
Flyhomes Tip: Many electricity companies give a rebate when you install a smart thermostat, thanks to the energy savings (which will also shrink your electricity bill, of course). Be sure to check with yours!
1. Christmas Decorations
We have a controversial opinion here! Lots of people will tell you to wait until after Christmas to get deals on decorations. And that if you can’t wait that long, you should at least wait until right before the big day.
We say: Thanksgiving-adjacent sales are a jolly way to get your home ready to enjoy this year … and not waiting means you’re shopping a bigger selection. (Not saying we aren’t also fans of stocking up for the future when the prices drop even more later!)
We recommend turning to sites that discount frequently for even bigger savings right now. We suspect some of what they have in stock now is leftover from seasons past, but there’s no “latest and greatest” factor to worry about (like there may be for smart home products, electronics, or appliances), so that’s okay. There are many, many seasonal decor sales to choose from! Some favorite sources are Wayfair’s Black Friday Seasonal Decor selection, Overstock’s Christmas Decorations section, and Hayneedle’s various Christmas categories.
Flyhomes Tip: Pre-lit artificial trees are tempting, but adding your own light strings might be safer, in case of bulb failure.
Finally, before making any major Black Friday purchases, consider adding the free Flipp app to your phone. Flipp has weekly local and national ad circulars from more than 2,000 retailers (including supermarkets), and includes a search function that allows you to keep track of deals for specific items, so you’re less likely to miss out on the very best prices.
Shopping on a computer? Take a peek at Wikibuy, the popular web browser extension that automatically compares prices across retailers, tries coupon codes for you, and more.
Also think about signing up for Rakuten (formerly Ebates) or another cash-back site that return some of the money you spend on qualifying purchases.