Psst: Let's talk about ways to make those deals even better. It can be done! Below I've rounded up a few of my favorite secrets, but you can also click the accompanying video and I'll tell you about them.
Score extra cashback savings
I love cashback services so much, I should probably marry one of them. Don't worry -- I've saved enough money over the years (via cashback, natch) that I can afford a ring.
See, services like BeFrugal, Ebates, Lemoney and TopCashback offer cash rebates from many, if not most, online stores. And on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they usually raise the ante. So 3 percent might become 6 percent, 8 percent might become 12 percent and so on.
The beauty of it is, you get this added savings regardless of whatever sale price you're getting. If Walmart has a hoverboard marked down to, say, $129 ("lowest price ever!") and TopCashback if offering 10 percent cashback at Walmart, you're going to get $12.90 back.
So if something is on sale and you get bonus cashback on top of it, that's like a double-dip win. (The triple-dip, of course, is using your cashback credit card. You still get that savings as well; a cashback service doesn't interfere with it. And for a quadruple-dip, throw a coupon-code into the mix. It's rare, but not impossible.)
Check price histories
Sure, stores claim their BF/CM deals are the very best of the year, but are they really?
You can find out by installing Honey, a free browser plug-in that can show you product price histories at stores like Amazon, Best Buy, Target and Walmart.
Better still, Honey can automatically locate coupon codes for thousands of stores, meaning you might be able to get an even better deal than you thought. (See the aforementioned quadruple-dip scenario.) It even has a cashback component, one that works a little differently from the others: Your rebate percentage is randomized, so for any given store it might be, say, 1 to 10 percent. (I prefer to stick with one of the others, where I know exactly what I'm getting.)
Comparison-shop while you shop
There's another browser add-on that I recommend, and it's called PriceBlink. Like Honey, it can find coupon codes for you while you shop -- but it will also compare prices at other stores. So if you're shopping for, say, a smartwatch at Amazon, PriceBlink will alert you if that same product is available for less elsewhere.
PriceBlink and Honey also have wish list features, meaning if Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren't producing the price you want for a particular item, you can set up an alert and they'll notify you if and when a price drop occurs.
As you've probably guessed by now, these tips and tools aren't specific to Black Friday and Cyber Monday -- you can (and should) use them year-round.
First published on Nov. 25, 2017.
Update, Oct. 22 at 2:26 p.m. PT: Updated for 2018.
: Protect your iPhone XR while showing off its glorious color -- and save money while you do it.