Money is tight. Times are hard. Here’s how not to abuse your credit card. 

A website called says that people are always looking to save a buck or 30 when it comes to their Christmas shopping, and their survey said that there are a number of ways we avoid going broke this season including opting out of inter office gift exchanges, re-gifting an item, and using credit card rewards points to buy presents.

Go With The Flow

Good Housekeeping Magazine says that using group buying websites can save you a bundle. Good thing Mix 94.9 offers Seize the Deal! You can save up to 90 percent off retail with Seize the Deal and you can also save 60 percent and sometimes more by using The Value Connection.

Stash Your Cash

Stashing your cash is another way to go about it. Many banks and financial institutions have programs that allow you to stash your cash and use it at a later date. For instance, my bank has a “Stash Your Cash” program that will round your purchase up and then sets that extra money aside. Little bits add up quick and if you start in January, you should have no problem finding enough jingle for next Christmas. Another way to go about this is one thing I learned from a couponer. She looks at the receipt to find her savings, and then takes that money she saved from clipping her coupons and sets it aside in her savings account. There’s also a website called SmartyPig that allows you to store your money there and exchange it for interest included gift cards.

Researching Pays

Do your research. Dan de Grandpre, editor-in-chief of sale-tracking site DealNews
says that many retailers offer some sort of price matching, so it pays to check the circulars and flyers for sales. If one item is shown as on sale at one retailer, but you find it on sale for 50 cents or a buck less at another one, show them you can go somewhere and get it cheaper. They want your business, so they’ll likely match the prices and in some cases, beat them. Some stores may not participate in the price matching specifically on Black Friday, but it may be an option at others.

Make Friends

Do you have a few favorite retailers? Make friends with them on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Many companies offer social media only deals and printable coupons for their friends and followers. You may have to order via their website and wait for it to be shipped, but hey, at least you won’t have to fight crowds or even put on pants.