In the quest to find the best bargains this holiday season, your smartphone may be your secret weapon. New applications on the iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry have shifted the power back into the hands of you, the consumer. Score deals, find savings, and cut your costs dramatically. Here is a countdown: the High 5 holiday shopping apps.
#5: Coupon Sherpa
Who doesn't love saving money? And for all you savvy shoppers, the coupon can be your best friend. But searching through mailng ads and Sunday newspapers for decent deals is time-consuming work.
Enter the Coupon Sherpa. This app searches high and low for the best mobile coupons available. Find one by searching for the store name or by category, then just show it on your phone at check out.
Holiday shopping can be exhausting. Going through all the aisles, looking for the right products, trying not to spend too much money, and getting no reward for your hard work. Until now. Shopkick is an app designed to make the whole experience a little less stressful and a little more interactive.
Shoppers are rewarded wtih kickbucks, which are basically frequent flyer miles for shoppers. Earn them just for walking into a store. There's no need to check in as with other location-based services. A device located inside the store emits a signal automatically picked up by your phone. Retailers also reward you with kickbucks for trying on clothes or scanning a barcode.
You can then redeem your kickbucks for a variety of items, including discounts, gift cards, movie tickets, even donations to charity.
#3: Gas Buddy
Driving around from store to store trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list can drain your gas tank and your wallet. Prices for gas can vary as much as 20 percent from station to station, so where you fill up can start to add up.
Gas Buddy is an app that helps you find the cheapest gas within reach. Just enter your ZIP code, or let the app figure out your current location by GPS. Gas Buddy will tell you all of the gas stations in your area, how close they are, and what they're charging.
#2: Gift List
Are your eyes bigger than your budget? If you have lots of people to shop for, it can be hard to remember how many gifts you've already purchased and how much money you've already spent. Avoid overspending with Gift List.
The app does exactly what its name suggests. You make your list, and Gift List helps you check it twice. As you shop, the app keeps track of how many more gifts you still need for each person. It also keeps tabs on the money you have spent so far, both by individual and overall total.
#1: RedLaser, Shop Savvy, Pricecheckah
Holiday shopping can come with its fair share of questions. Is this the lowest price? Can I find it somewhere for less? Should I buy now or keep searching? Take away the guess work with comparison shopping apps like RedLaser, Shop Savvy, and Pricecheckah.
Using your phone's camera, just snap a photo of the item's barcode, and the apps automatically compare prices among tens of thousands of online and brick-and-mortar retailers.
You can also check out reviews, get directions to the store that has the item for less, save items to a wish list or create a price alert so that you're notified when the price of a product drops below a certain level.