CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Consumer Reporter Bill McGinty is researching tips on how to cut debt as we approach the holidays.

Here’s three tips to save money on shopping this holiday season:

First up, recommends paying everything off immediately. Have a choice of cards? Always use the card that offers the lowest interest rate. A good idea is to track your credit card spending just as you would if you were writing a check.

Secondly, do you want to give someone a gift but don’t have the money? Don’t overlook nice gestures as a gift. If you’re already baking cookies for your family, making an extra batch as a present for a neighbor is fairly economical. The cost is next to nothing, but the gift is priceless.

And third, McGinty recommends “pay cash if you can.” Budgeting for the holidays should be no different than a budget year round. Know what you want to spend and then stick to it. If you can, start now and take advantages of great sales and be sure you shop around, going on-line makes that task a lot easier.