6. Buy what you can on sale. Websites like PricePinx.com and Hukkster.com can alert you when an item you're planning to buy (say a gift) goes on sale. As items on your holiday gift list drop in price, buy them. "It's all about spending the money at the right time and thinking it through instead of waiting until the last minute and having to pay full retail price," Adams says.
7. Check your rewards points and miles. If you've accumulated airline miles or rewards points over the course of the year, consider using those to pay some of your holiday expenses for flights and presents. Some credit cards offer gift cards as rewards, which Adams says could be used as a gift or to buy items for a holiday party.
If you pay off your credit card each month, then using a rewards credit card for holiday expenses may help you rack up even more rewards. But if you think you might overspend, use cash instead. "If your budget is $1,000, take out that $1,000," Gabrielsen says. "When the cash is done, the shopping is done."