The holiday shopping season seems to descend on Maryland faster every year. While heaping love and affection on friends and family members through gift-giving, consumers should make sure they do not drive themselves into debt in the process.

To help, USA Today offers tips on staying out of credit card debt during the holiday season. There is no need to start the new year with financial regrets.

Use apps

Plenty of free apps help shoppers find the best prices and save money. Researching such apps and putting them to good use ensures consumers get the best price without spending more than necessary.

Put holiday spending on a single card

Those with multiple credit cards should commit to only using a single account for holiday spending. This could be the card with the lowest interest rate or the lowest fees, in case it takes longer than the card’s payment period to pay off the holiday spending balance.

Change up the gift-giving game

Rather than spending money on gifts, U.S. News & World Report recommends giving gifts that do not cost money. Spending quality time with friends and family, giving a booklet of IOUs and baby/pet/housesitting are solid alternatives that do not have to involve spending money.

Avoid triggers

Those who buy on impulse or because of an emotional or mental trigger should learn what those triggers are and avoid giving in to them. Marketing tricks prey on such triggers to get consumers to buy more, such as pairing complementary items together (phone cases with phones) or downplaying the overall cost of a seemingly superior item.

Shopping at discount and drug stores is another good idea. Both can save time and money.