NEW YORK — Serious deal-seekers are already planning their Thanksgiving weekend shopping, and experts believe that once again the holiday itself may offer better deals than Black Friday the day afterward.

Amid the clutter of deals clamoring for attention, smart shoppers can come out ahead.

“Start researching and planning,” says Benjamin Glaser, features editor with DealNews.com, a deal comparison website.

Here are four ways to get the most out of Black Friday weekend – and beyond.

STUDY UP

Make a list of what you plan to buy, research what those items usually sell for at full price and on sale, and figure out how much you want to spend.

Also check out store fliers from previous years online, since many retailers repeat the same deals at the same price.

Make sure to note at what times different stores plan to start their Black Friday deals – both online and at the store.

LOOK AT THE WHOLE SEASON

Retailers have been starting to spread their offers out, with some starting well before Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Earlier this month, Wal-Mart and Amazon.com both kicked off holiday deals on thousands of items.

Still, there’s a good chance you can get a better deal on Thanksgiving for certain items. DealNews.com says 38 percent of the specials pushed on the holiday were what the site considered top deals, compared to only 31 percent for Black Friday.

But not every deal is the best on Thanksgiving. DealNews.com says it’s likely better to buy cameras, TVs, tablets and major appliances on Thanksgiving, and tools on Black Friday. On the Monday after Thanksgiving, known as Cyber Monday, is also a good day for discounts on clothing and laptops.

USE APPS AND REWARDS

Strategize how to leverage the store rewards points you already have or holiday bonus offers. Look for the apps that work well for you..

Plenty of retailer apps offer customers special discounts. Customers who use the Staples app will have gotten a sneak peek of the Black Friday deals, which started Sunday, and will be able to see the latest specials throughout the season.

THINK PAST THE HOLIDAYS

If you don’t need items by the holidays, wait until the end of the season. For clothing, discounts are on average of 40 percent over the Thanksgiving weekend, but at the end of the season, they go to 70 percent.