We all know that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the most celebrated shopping days of the year, but you might forget these sales don’t always have to be about Christmas purchases. Big post-Thanksgiving deals can translate into deep kitchen design discounts as well. But to get the best deals, you should do a little homework before you shop. We checked in with a few industry insiders to get their best tips on how to ride the Black Friday and Cyber Monday wave to great kitchen savings.
1. Keep your eyes open for pre-sales.
Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday are synonymous with the days following Thanksgiving, according to Overstock.com's Kevin Ivers, “You can actually find terrific cyber deals as early as Thanksgiving Day.” Sabrina Soto, HGTV host and Target style expert, agrees. “Check online, as many stores advertise discounts ahead of time. Also, follow your favorite shops on Twitter. Target posts its daily deals online, and allows you to register to be the first to know about Black Friday deals.”
2. Determine your style goals.
When searching for your kitchen’s central focal points—whether it’s tiles for a backsplash, sleek countertops or a beautiful faucet—Ivers suggests determining your bottom line in both style and price before shopping so you can avoid making rash purchases. “You’ll find a variety of choices out there,” he notes. “By pinpointing the style and material beforehand, you can go for the savings without forfeiting the aesthetic or quality you want.”
3. Work with a virtual room designer.
Jaclyn Pardini, spokesperson for Lowe’s, suggests playing around on the retailer’s virtual room designer before you start shopping to get an idea of what you want. “You can set room dimensions and build folders/wish lists of products that inspire you," she explains. "After you've selected a design, an in-store design expert can help guide you to our kitchen appliances and cabinets that will fit.” Lumber Liquidators also offers a free online room designer, which allows you to visualize your kitchen floor before laying a single board. Upload a photo of your kitchen to mix and match flooring options with different wall, cabinet and trim colors.
4. Don’t leave home without your smartphone.
“Many phone apps allow you to scan the barcode of the item you’re looking at and show you where the item is available at the lowest price," Soto says. "Often, stores will match that amount.” Present your findings and ask if the store has a price-matching policy; if they don't, apps like ShopSavvy and RedLaser will give you directions to the nearest store with a lower price or a link to buy the item online.
5. Shop online.
Sean Murphy, DIY specialist for Build.com, suggests skipping Black Friday altogehter and shopping from the comfort of your home. Not only will it save you the anguish of crowds, you’ll likely find better deals. “Because online retailers don’t have the markups that brick-and-mortar retailers do,” he says, “online shopping is often more affordable, especially with free shipping offers, and can provide more product selection with easy comparison shopping.”
6. Stock up on tools, too.
Black Friday is an ideal time to buy materials at cut-rate deals, but if you're planning on tackling part or all of your kitchen remodel yourself, it’s also an opportune time to stock up on the tools you’ll need to get the job done. Lumber Liquidators, for example, is planning to offer 25 to 85 percent off on its professional-grade tools, from installation starter kits to floor nailers.
7. Load up on last year's models.
These banner shopping days also see plenty of markdowns on kitchenware and smaller appliances. “The trick is to look into older models of the specific items you’re looking for," advises Soto. It’s a win-win: The retailer makes room for new merchandise, and you leave the store with a new appliance, plus a lot more cash in your pocket.
8. Be flexible on materials.
Sometimes the item you have your heart set on won't go on sale, so Ivers recommends being open to new ideas. For example, don't rule out laminate or vinyl flooring options. Or, if you have your heart set on hardwood, you might consider narrower planks or different grades. “Generally, the narrower the plank, the lower the cost,” says a Lumber Liquidators spokesperson. Being willing to update your wish list as needed will increase your chances of scoring mega-deals.
9. Carefully consider your illumination plan.
One of the best ways to save money on kitchen lighting is to map out what you need before you start shopping. “Make a sketch of your kitchen space, including food prep counter areas and sink areas, and where you have existing lights," suggests Manja Swanson, chief creative officer for Lamps Plus. "If you’re happy with the illumination, it’s just a case of shopping for new fixtures. If not, mark the areas where you need more light.” With a lighting plan in place, you’ll know exactly which deals to pounce on.