This year more than 25 percent of shoppers plan to pay with cash, and many are also using debit cards. The trend? Avoiding debt by doing away with credit card purchases. Coupons are another way to stay on budget while still stuffing stockings -- about 42 percent of shoppers plan to use coupons for gifts bought in the 2009 holiday shopping season. Don't stop at clipping coupons; search online for promotional discounts on the items you're interested in.
Also consider looking for gifts at discount stores and other lower-priced shops. According to National Retail Federation's 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, one in 10 holiday shoppers plan to shop for gifts and holiday-related items at thrift and resale stores.
Do you happen to have an unused gift card lying around? Consider re-gifting if you think the business from which it came is one that your gift recipient would frequent.