What follows is a guest post from Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert. Over the last few years how shopping decisions are made is evolving. One of the biggest changes involves the use of apps (short for applications) on smart phones or tablets.
As we enter the last few weeks of the holiday shopping season, here are some apps that you might consider using to help you organize your life, save money, and enhance your satisfying retirement.
A recent Pricegrabber survey reports 82 percent of online shoppers will use shopping apps to save on holiday gifts this year. With so many apps to choose from, it's difficult to distinguish which ones will save you money or just take up memory. As you start to plan your holiday shopping strategy, download these recommended mobile apps that will make your life much easier and purchases much cheaper.
Start your holiday shopping on the right financial foot by downloading a holiday gift list app. The Gift List App ($1.99) for Apple devices enables you to organize gift ideas, store recipient information and track your budget. Android owners can use the Free Christmas List for similar capabilities.
Coupon Sherpa was the first-ever mobile coupon app, and features hundreds of digital coupons for popular stores like Kohls and Macy's. As a previous iTunes Staff Favorite and a regular on top-shopping-apps lists, Coupon Sherpa makes it easy to score in-store savings at retailers and restaurants, especially during the holiday season. Simply hand your phone to the cashier and they'll scan the coupon. No clipping required.
We've all been there: You carefully plan your purchase to procure the best deal, and a few months later you find your coveted item for much less than you paid. Luckily, Decide.com created an app for iPhones and iPads to help you determine the best time to buy everything from cameras to table saws.
As retailers amp up their price-matching programs this holiday season, the RedLaser barcode scanning app will be especially handy. Target and Best Buy, for example, will price-match on line retailers including Amazon, making it easier than ever to score the price you want while completing your in-store purchase.
Think about all the personal information your mobile device contains, not to mention the apps and websites you use every day. Couple that with the growing trend of mobile commerce, and your device is a hot commodity for hackers. PCMagazine's Editor's Choice for Android is the Lookout Mobile Security App. It's available for free, or for $2.99 per month for enhanced security.
Like in-laws and baked confections, you'll likely find yourself overrun with receipts this holiday season. Stay organized using the OneReceipt app to digitally store your many proofs of purchase. You can organize e-receipts and on line purchase confirmations, as well as snap photos of hard copy receipts to cut down on paper clutter.
Similar to the OneReceipt app, this one's for the loyal on line shopper. The Slice App organizes all of your e-commerce activity and helps you track on line orders and expenditures. Available for free on both Apple and Android devices, the app also alerts you about price reductions on desired products.
Are you struggling with daily deal fatigue? If so, look no further than the DealBoard app to reduce your in box clutter. This handy app aggregates daily deal offers into a single email based on your preferences, eliminating the need for individual subscriptions. Own an Android device? Try the similar Deal Drop app.
It's easy to evaluate your shopping options when you're surfing the web, but user reviews and other product evaluations are harder to come by in-store. Enter the BuyOrNot App, a barcode-scanning app with access to a jaw-dropping 45 million product reviews.
With crowded malls come crazy parking lots and when you're in a hurry, it's easy to forget where you parked. If you've ever found yourself wandering endlessly in search of your vehicle, consider downloading the Car Locator app for Android or Honk for Apple. These apps not only lead you to your car, they also feature a special timer that alerts you when the parking meter is about to expire so you avoid tickets.
Andrea Woroch has been featured on top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC's Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: I receieved no compensation for any of the products or companies noted in the above guest post.