Avoid impulsive shopping during the holidays by making your plan and sticking to it.
One method to avoid the madness, according to Real Simple, is to work out a complete gift plan, then set aside one day for shopping.
Before the big day, shop sales for specific items and download any necessary retailer coupons and price scanning comparison tools onto a smartphone for real-time help.
On the big day, get up early, eat a healthy breakfast, dress for business, leave the credit cards at home and plan on using cash only.
By some estimates, spending cash only will save you up to 23 percent on your shopping trip.
While at the store, shop solo, avoiding salespeople, unless you really need help.
Buy cheaper items first. If you buy the big ticket items first, tossing around $20 or $50 here and there seems easy. So start small.
Break up the day with a coffee or soft drink to stay in a good mood and make better choices.
Get in and out of stores more quickly by checking out in less crowded areas of major department stores and steering clear of sales pitches.
During lunch and dinner breaks, cash in credit card rewards on discounted gift cards and exclusive special offers to round out the list.
An extra sneaky tip is to load up an online cart but cancel it right before finalizing. Often, they will send an email offer with a discount code but if not, there is no harm in asking the live chat representative.