The holiday shopping season is already underway, with lots of retailers releasing early ads, showing what they have to offer. But is it best to hit stores now, or wait until they sweeten their deals?

Did you know that this Saturday is the biggest worldwide shopping day of the year?

The key there is 'worldwide.' It's called Singles' Day, spearheaded by Chinese online retail giant Alibaba. But here in the U.S., deals are minimal at best.

So how do you know when you're getting the best deal?

First, check the Black Friday ads. And take a stroll through the store to compare pricing. Retailers like Walmart, Target and Home Depot already have Black Friday ads on our website right now. But the biggest deal announcements may not come until next Friday.

Second, if you're shopping online, there are browser extensions that will help you see if you're paying the best price and the extensions will apply the deals at checkout. Honey and Ebates cash back button are two options. Both are free to use.

Third, you should understand that if you're looking to the absolute best deals on a wide gamut of products, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are still king and queen of the shopping season. But you'll have to compete with more shoppers seeking the same offers.

And a bonus tip from our 'Ways to Save' expert Matt Granite: Don't buy things just because the ads say it's a deal. Figure out exactly what you want and need, then research the deals for yourself. Some of the best chances to save don't make the ads.