Hardcore deal-hunters will hit the shops in droves on Thanksgiving evening and into the wee hours of Black Friday morning with their sights set on scoring the hottest deals offered by retailers across the US. Here's a look at some do's --and don'ts-- to help seasonal shoppers save the most cash, provided by both experts and everyday savvy shoppers from around the nation.

Skip the store credit cards

Store-specific cards can be appealing, especially when they offer up tempting one-time percentage-off deals, but it's best to steer clear of their allure, according to consumer and money-saving expert Andrea Woroch.

Interest rates on such cards are often high, and they rarely offer high-yield rewards programs.

Stick with greenbacks

Cash is where it's at. If possible, shop with physical money, especially if you struggle with sticking to a budget. Doing so virtually eliminates the chance that you'll be able to overspend, and that's crucial when faced with aisles brimming with tantalizing, deeply discounted products.

Get app-happy

Use a price comparison app or tool to be absolutely certain that you're getting the best deal possible.

Just note that some stores will not match Black Friday prices. Woroch recommends ShopSavvy for comparison shopping, and Coupon Sherpa for mobile coupons. If you're Target devotee, make sure you've downloaded and are using Cartwheel for extra savings beyond advertised sale prices. Also be sure to check out apps like Shopkick that will give points for simply walking into stores and scanning items. Points can be redeemed for gifts cards to various stores.

Northern California resident Amy Montgomery suggests taking advantage of savings opportunities like Lego's VIP rewards program, which offer points for purchases. Once enough points are accrued, they can be traded for money off your purchase. Sometimes, retailers offer special point-earning opportunities on Black Friday, so keeps your eyes open for extra chances to save.

Make a list, check it twice, and stick to it

Many Black Friday shoppers scour sale ads and have a game plan before they head out the door to stand in line, but beware of budget-busting impulse buys. Think before you take an extra item to the register, and consider a few questions: do I need this? Is it replacing another gift that I was planning to buy? Is this really worth the expense?

Better yet, do as New Jersey shopper Deb Dera does and create a spreadsheet that includes all of your gift recipients to keep yourself organized on Black Friday and every shopping day of the year. "I make notes if I have ideas or see a gift I might want to pick up, and then I cross off throughout the year as I get things and shove them in my closet," she explained.

Create a teachable moment

It's best to keep the kids at home during peak shopping hours, but after the crowds have thinned, Black Friday shopping can be a great learning experience for young ones. Show them how to comparison shop using ShopSavvy and let them scan items for Shopkick. It's a great way to foster financial responsibility.

Be kind

Black Friday crowds can be brutal and with limited quantities of the most sought-after items on the shelves, patience can run thin. An ounce of patience in a busy store is worth a pound of shopping gold.

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