The average American spends roughly $700 dollars on holiday shopping, and this translates to a national average of nearly $465 billion. This number is staggering, but it is not too surprising. The holidays make up arguably the biggest shopping period of the year, and despite a variety of special sales and discounts, the spending rarely slows down as procrastination and lengthy Christmas lists work against us.

These notions might make the idea of holiday budgeting seem impossible — even outlandish, but in reality there are several ways you can keep your spending on a leash while buying your friends and loved ones the gifts they desire.

Here are some quick tips for holiday shopping on a budget.


Plan in advance

Procrastination is easy to succumb to during the holiday season, but it is crucial to plan your gift shopping in advance. Make a list of your friends and loved ones that you plan to purchase gifts for, including potential ideas and a rough product of their projected prices (perhaps factoring in potential sales on these items). Next, set price limits based on this information, and assign limits to each individual on your list. This approach will ensure you are completely organized before the madness of last-minute shopping goes into full swing.


Plan for each store

Holiday shopping across multiple outlets can be incredibly hectic — especially in the throes of Black Friday. Therefore, it is wise to make an individual plan for each store you plan to visit. This step is a natural extension of the previous section; extract potential gift ideas from your initial list and determine where you will plan to purchase them. Next, research each store to figure out if there will be any notable sales or discounts impacting these items. This information will narrow your spending projections all while guaranteeing a more pleasant and orderly shopping experience.


Leverage coupons
Most price-cognizant shoppers are aware of one thing: coupons are your friends. There are countless department stores that send out holiday-based flyers containing valuable coupons, some of which may save you a few dollars on a coveted gift idea. Other coupons can usually be found at mall front offices. The latter is especially true of Black Friday shopping, but many malls offer such coupons during the entire holiday season. Either way, save all coupons that may seem even a little bit relevant to your holiday shopping; you have nothing to lose and much to save.