Patronize price-matching stores
It's tough to resist the allure of bargain-basement deals that abound at this time of year. But the crowds that those cut-rate prices draw mean you spend more time digging through ransacked bins and waiting in the checkout line, which equals more opportunity to stray from your list and pick up unnecessary items. Avoid that trap—and the masses—by collecting circulars and checking the websites of stores in your area, then shopping only at ones that price-match, like Target and Walmart. And stick to your list. Nothing's a bargain if you don't really need it.