The holiday season is upon us which means long lines at the retail store checkout and a general madness around people swarming to grab gifts for loved ones. Unfortunately, the holiday season also means another thing for most families: more debt.

The average American family spends upwards of $500 per child on gifts, and $150 per adult on gifts each holiday season. While we all love to shop for that special something to give friends and family, there are ways to avoid diving deeper into debt this year.

Money Savvy Shopping


  1. Save on the small things -- Skip your indulgences for the next month on things like expensive coffee and lunch and, instead, shovel all that extra cash into a holiday shopping account. You will be surprised at just how much you can save in a month from enjoying free coffee at work and bringing your lunch from home. These changes are helpful to your financial prosperity after the holidays too.
  2. Make a list -- While it sounds too simple to be useful, having a shopping strategy before hitting the stores can save you money. Knowing what you are looking for ahead of time can prevent you from overspending on impulse buys that you really don’t need.
  3. Check the app -- Most retail stores now provide shoppers with apps for your Smartphone that can highlight daily deals. Keep an eye out for what is on your list and buy it as it comes up. Better yet, use a price comparison app like Red Laser, PriceJump or Shop Savvy. These are bar code scanner apps that you can use to scan the item you want while it compares prices among top retailers.
  4. Shop on schedule -- Rather than shopping for all gifts in one day, schedule your time to search daily for the best deals. Watch out for Deals of the Day from top retailers like Amazon.com, Walmart.com and eBay.com.