By Cameron Huddleston

Retail spending is expected to jump 3.6 percent in November and December, up to $655.8 billion, reported the National Retail Federation. And in 2015, the average person spent over $800.

Between the holiday ham and toys for the kids, end-of-the-year spending can cut through any devoted saver’s budget. Here are 40 ways to trim the fat off your spending — without making you look like a Grinch.

1. Create a Spending Budget

Before you buy anything, you need to know how much you can afford to spend so you don’t rack up debt or wreak havoc on your finances. Personal finance expert Natasha Campbell said you should write down a list of everyone you plan on giving gifts to and decide how much you’re willing to spend per person.

Once you’ve established a realistic gift budget, think about how much you’ll need to spend on food, decor and entertainment during the holidays. Knowing how much you can expect your expenses to increase will help you save ahead and keep you mindful when you’re at the store.

18. Take Advantage of Price Matching

 “Price matching is a great way to grab the lowest prices without bouncing from store to store, but it does require a bit of initiative,” said Howard Schaffer of As a shopper, it’s up to you to keep an eye on the prices of products and show proof to retailers that competitors are offering the same product for lower prices. Apps such as RedLaser and ShopSavvy can help.

You also need to be aware that some retailers’ price-matching policies are better than others, Schaffer said. Major retailers like Target and Walmart have some of the best policies, matching local competitors’ prices as well as the prices of online retailers, such as Amazon.

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