Thanksgiving week isn’t only a time for eating turkey and visiting with family; it’s also a prime occasion for bargain shopping. Typically, parent group leaders use Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) as opportunities to line up for bargains like discounted holiday gifts, tech for classrooms, and more.

In 2020 Black Friday shopping, like everything else, isn’t exactly typical. Many stores have already announced they’ll be closed on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, so check out this list of retailers before you venture out. And the sales aren’t just happening on Black Friday itself. Some retailers are offering the same, if not better, deals online—starting now and throughout November. Below we have links and sites where you can start looking for deals now.

This Black Friday season you'll also find enhanced same-day curbside and in-store pickup to prevent large numbers of in-store shoppers. But, if you can’t imagine not taking your traditional Black Friday shopping trip, expect retailers to enforce precautions for shoppers, including requiring them line up in single file outside stores and limiting the number of shoppers in stores at one time.

Holiday shop all done? Thank your volunteers so they’ll be ready to help next year

Items You Can Really Save On

  • Kindles for bingo nights

  • Heavy-duty items for events: folding tables and chairs, slow cookers, etc.

  • Items to enhance STEM learning like Lego and magnet toys

  • Toiletries and hygiene items to donate to shelters

  • School supplies—disinfectant and sanitizer along with traditional classroom items (pencils, notebooks, etc.)

  • Prizes for upcoming events

  • Board games for classrooms or after-school programs

  • Sports equipment for playground carts or field day

  • Items for do-it-yourself holiday shops

  • Holiday gifts for a teacher (and for later in the year)

  • Remaining Halloween and fall-theme clearance items for fall carnivals

  • Prizes—even some big-ticket items like iPads—for basket raffles

  • Preapproved equipment for the school (computer, iPads, TV)

  • Toys and other items to donate for a collection, children’s hospital, or a “giving tree” at the school

  • Children’s clothing items (socks, undershirts, underwear, etc.) for the school nurse to keep for emergencies

Tips for Black Friday Shopping

Be patient: As tempting as it might be to do all of your shopping at once, you can save money by shopping around, comparing prices, and waiting for deals.

Team up: Consider meeting with your group in person on Zoom to collaborate on what items make sense to look for and buy on Black Friday. Get a list together and assign items to different shoppers. (Teaming up also means you can purchase more of items that have a limit.)

Think ahead: Even if school’s not in person now, it will be—so think long-term vs. only items you think schools and classrooms need immediately.

Don’t try to wing it: Search the web and make a plan. Some sites to check out for great deals:

Tom's Guide

This page includes a list of daily Black Friday quick links to stores with deals on iPads, toys, clothing, and much more. There’s also an extensive list of tech deals on laptops, gaming, and other electronics.

CNET

CNET lists deals and steep discounts happening now and coming soon at retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart.

BlackFriday.com

The Black Friday site and app offer a comprehensive list of clickable store ads and deal alerts from clothing and pet items to school supplies. It lists individual stores’ Thanksgiving and Black Friday hours, and you can enter your email to get daily deals.

Slickdeals

This site and app offer eclectic year-round deals on a huge range of gifts and products, and for Black Friday feature a section for specific deals and news. https://slickdeals.net/

You can also check out our sister site, TeacherLists.com, for links to lots of other Black Friday deals, including bargains for teachers.

Originally posted in 2017 and updated regularly