While the Christmas shopping season seems to start sooner each year, planning your Christmas list three months ahead of time could save you cash.

September is the time to start planning for Christmas, according to the Cleveland Post contributor Stephanie Eaton Harvie, author of the Frugal Family series.

The best way to stick to a Christmas budget is to make a list detailing who you’re buying gifts for, what gifts to buy and how much you want to spend, Harvie says in the article.

Not only does an early list provide opportunities to buy items on sale, but it also prevents Christmas shoppers from buying too much.

Smaller gifts can consist of homemade baked goods, presented in Christmas-themed packaging that was bought during after Christmas sales of the previous year.

Shopping at yard sales and online auctions are other ideas that could cut down on costs.

Overall, Christmas shoppers should stick to a budget and never go into debt just to have a jollier holiday season.

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