Black Friday Shopping Tips: Janice Lieberman Of The Today Show's Advice (VIDEO)

11/21/2011 02:46 pm ET | Updated Jan 08, 2012

Janice Lieberman is your holiday gift giving guru. Instead of jumping into the holiday scramble with your credit cards blazing, take a moment and strategize. She's got tips to help you make it into 2012 with your checkbook intact.

If you're prone to overspending, she recommends that you stop! Do not follow your instincts and do not do what you've done in previous years. You must first come up with a budget and then resolve to stick to it.

There's always a latest and greatest new toy that your little ones really must have, but how long will they treasure that $40 thing-a-ma-bob? Look at the piles of gifts bought during holidays past and remember that they've already forgotten whatever it was from Birthday 2010. Don't buy the kids too much, get them something, but don't go crazy.

If the kids are adults you can also suggest a holiday spending cap. Agree upon a per-person dollar max and don't exceed that amount.

Black Friday Sales
People tend to chase after the latest sale without doing their research first. Stop, think about that super amazing deal that you could wrestle another discount diva for at 5AM for 70% off. Is it really right for the loved one you're gifting? Is it essential for you? Don't buy it because it's a great discount, remember you'll still spend some $$$ and if it's not right it'll just turn into more clutter.

Janice, a consumer expert, has three tips for tackling the mall. First, go alone. This tactic will prevent you from getting sidetracked from your original mall intentions. Secondly, bring food. Avoid the siren smell of cinnabun, it will only distract you! Reach into your satchel and pull out that multi-nut-grain-bar-snack and stick to your plan. Finally, save your shoe shopping until the end of the day. Your feet will be at their largest and any shoe that fits then will not pinch tomorrow.

After you do buy that perfect item for that special someone, there's one thing that you must do. Check out the video above to learn her essential tip for all of your holiday purchases and to learn a few more ideas on wallet-drain prevention.

Finally, remember that it's the thought that counts. Many people don't need extravagant gifts and a donation to a charity in their name can send more holiday joy than that Black Friday discounted desk organizer ever could.

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