The holiday season is a busy -- and expensive -- time of year.

There are the gifts you must buy and the parties you and your family have to attend. There are the people who serve you all year who you should tip. And it all comes on top of the regular bills you must pay and other expenses faced in everyday life.

As the season gets under way in earnest the day after Thanksgiving, here are a few articles from's savings guru Jeffrey Strain to help you make it to the new year without going broke.

First off, before you hit the mall for the Black Friday sales, make sure you read Strain's " How to Get the Best Deals on Black Friday ." The day got its name because it's when retailers supposedly turn a profit, so learn tips on how to minimize your exposure to crowds and sweet-talking salespeople.

While gift-giving is a great experience, show some restraint by doing a little planning beforehand. Strain's " 10 Steps to Avoid Holiday Debt " offers practical advice, such as making a list of people you need to buy gifts for, setting a budget and doing a little research before you shop.

Remembering all the people you have to tip at the end of the year is a sometimes daunting task. Strain's " Five Tips on Tipping " offers a list of people to consider, as well as other practical advice about gratuities.

Having a holiday party? The food and beverage bill can add up. Learn " 10 Secrets of 'Coupon Queens' " for a few ways to reduce your costs.

Finally, don't lose sight of rebates on big purchases like TVs and computers. Strain tells you how to " Make Rebates Work for You ."
Jeffrey Strain has been a freelance personal finance writer for the past 10 years helping people save money and get their finances in order. He currently owns and runs