NEW YORK (AP) – Shoppers eager to start holiday shopping but weighed down by inflation are hunting for the best deals at stores and online this Black Friday.

Retailers that had offered mostly lackluster discounts earlier in the season responded this week with new bargains.

Elevated prices for food, rent, gasoline and other household costs have taken a toll on shoppers.

As a result, many are reluctant to spend unless there is a big sale and are being more selective with what they will buy – in many cases, trading down to cheaper stuff and less expensive stores.

Shoppers are also dipping more into their savings, turning increasingly to “buy now, pay later” services that allow users to pay for items in installments.

They are also running up their credit cards.