The Holidays are a month away and this means soon many of you will be out and about shopping and spending. Whether looking for gifts, party decorations or simply Holiday cheer – now is the time to put your money saving and frugal plan of actions in place.

holiday candle

image via (Christmas Stock Images)

Never has there been a better time to be able to save and pay less retail than with the current economy. Merchants and retailers know first hand that the American public is hurting and as such have put measures in place to keep the dollar strong and moving. Everything from major discounts to buy one get one deals and even freebies, many retailers know that to win and wow the consumer in this economy – they need to stretch the savings and do so while still offering value.

With this in mind, below we discuss three good ways to save when shopping this Holiday season.

1. Use Apps –

With the advent of tablets and smartphones these past few years, apps are now at the forefront of finance in many ways. Some consumers use apps to keep up with the stock market, some use apps for real estate information and others use apps to find shopping discounts and deals. There are coupon apps which scout out online coupon codes such as Retail Me Not or even offline printable coupon apps such as Coupons.com, Red Plum or Smart Source. Find the apps via your respective device and download your away to savings.

2. Shop Off Season –

Some of the best deals and discounts on holiday merchandise can be had by going to the store or mall during the off season. The months before and after a Holiday are the best times to get gifts and or decor for parties, family gatherings and such. The trick is to know which shops offer the best deals and when. You can find this out by becoming friendly with your store managers and or cashiers and simply asking them when will so and so product be discounted. You can save BIG by trying this smart money saving consumer tip.

3. Buy Less Of –

Even though in the past you might have been known as the king or queen of gift giving, with the new economy, it might be time to scale back on the quantity and focus instead on quality. Junior will be just as happy to get six gifts from you instead of the usual twelve and perhaps even appreciate them more. When a kid is bombarded with gifts and spoiled rotten, this can only mean the child will not fully appreciate his blessings. So this year why not pull back the reigns and see how you can delight with quality instead of quantity.

The Holidays should be a time of joy and happiness, not a time of getting into debt, so keep our three tips above in mind and Happy Holidays to you and yours.

What other tips do you have for our readers on ways to save when shopping this season?

Missy Diaz writes for auto insurance blogs, such as http://www.averagecostofcarinsurance.com