The average American is expected to spend close to a thousand dollars this holiday season. And more than half admit they're going to rack up debt in the process.

By the way, that average spending doesn't include the tips you have to give to service providers, or any parties you’re going to or throwing.

That holiday bill can be big. But with a little planning, you can get great deals on some great gifts.

Love it or hate it. It's that time. Time to binge shop now, and worry about costs later.

But you can minimize the damage with just a couple of tools and tricks.

If you have some favorite stores, sign up for their email alerts. You'll know when big sales are coming up or what items are going to be marked down. And some will give you an extra discount just for registering. You should also check out their social media sites for additional deals.

If you don't like searching from site to site, there are some great apps that can find you savings.

DealNews has a team of experts scouring the web for the best deals on just about any product you can imagine. They help you find the best coupons, and even get you a few freebies. You can also sign up to get alerts for specific items you plan to buy.

The app called Flipp features more than 1,000 local circulars. You can customize it to find specific items or just to identify how much you want to save

And if it drives you crazy when you think you've found the best deal, only discover a better price weeks later, download a price adjustment app like Earny. It tracks your purchases through your emailed receipts. And if it discovers a price drops later on, sends you the cash difference.

The only downside is it takes a 25% cut of the cash back for doing the work for you.

Finally, while It's usually not at good idea to procrastinate, holiday shopping may be the exception. You might hold off shopping until December 15th which is Free Shipping Day. That’s when around 585 retailers will offer free shipping with no minimum purchase.

And they promise to have your gifts delivered in time for Christmas.

Here are some more money saving tips: