Low-cost ways to save on holiday gifts

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It’s never too early to start preparing for the holidays. Start with a list of who you need to shop for, and build your budget around it. Here are some ways to save on the holidays in style. I’m Kim Fulscher with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

Buy gifts online, and shop for Internet-specific deals. Earn points for gift cards or buy discounted ones at sites like Swagbucks and Cardpool. Visit group-buying sites like LivingSocial and Groupon to get cheap and creative. Or, you can shop locally to grab custom, one-of-a-kind gifts.

And don’t forget about the gift of time or making your own crafts. Treat your loved one to a night on the town, or put together a scrapbook. Offer to baby-sit for parents so they can enjoy time alone. These types of gifts are priceless.

If you have an unemployed friend, help with the job search by giving him a membership in a trade or community organization for networking, or help him create a resume and cover letter.

You’ll feel good saving money and giving thoughtful gifts this year. For more tips on saving, visit Bankrate.com. I’m Kim Fulscher.