If you’re an avid shopper, a deal-seeker, or a fan of all things frugal, you’re likely looking ahead to Black Friday. After all, Black Friday is the holy grail of shopping holidays, and it’s the time of year you’ll find some great deals.

But when it comes to savvy shopping, you need to know the best tips for beating the crowds and finding deals.

Online vs Brick and Mortar

The first question you need to ask is this: Should you be chasing down retail sales or looking online for the best deals? Well, the answer isn’t exactly black and white, and it largely depends on what you’re shopping for and where you live.

If you live in a very rural area with few retail shops around, you’re definitely going to be better off shopping online, for instance.

On the contrary, if you’re shopping for specific items, such as TVs or video games, you can often find better deals in brick-and-mortar stores. Make sure you check the ad flyers from local stores so you have an idea of where you should be heading to pick up the best deals.

In fact, that brings us to our next tip.

Do Your Research

Don’t dive in blind! When you’re looking into Black Friday shopping, it’s important that you make a plan for your time and money. Aimlessly running into different shops is a good way to accidentally blow past your budget and potentially miss the best deals across town. This is why you need to be prepared.

Research who has the best deals on items you want to shop for. Make a list for yourself, and plot out your plan of attack. What route are you going to take through the city? Which stores are you hitting first? You need to know where you’re going so you’re prepared before Thanksgiving.

Stick to Your Budget

You’ll blow right past the purpose of finding great deals if you manage to spend over your budget. As such, you need to set aside a firm upper limit on your spending for Black Friday. If you’ve got $200 to spend, then get out $200 in cash and don’t touch your bank card.

That way, you’re not tempted to spend more than you normally would in the name of chasing “deals” that are just designed to separate you from your cash.