Smarter Holiday Shopping Using Your Smartphone

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Smarter Holiday Shopping Using Your Smartphone
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The bank account crunch -- otherwise known as holiday season -- is coming. Each year we walk a fine line of saving money while getting the gifts we feel our friends and family members deserve. Instead of trying to save and shop more efficiently on your own, let technology help you.

After all, that's why we have technology in the first place, right?

Scan Barcodes To Save Money
Amazon

Scan Barcodes To Save Money

Scanning barcodes is by far one of easiest ways to ensure the price you're about to pay in a retail store isn't costing you more than it should. By installing the Amazon Mobile Shopping app, you're able to quickly scan barcodes on products and compare the price in the store to the price offered on Amazon.com

Both Android and iOS versions are available. Tap the search bar, then the barcode icon in order to scan a product.

If the product is cheaper online, you can immediately add it to a wish list or your cart.

Download Amazon Mobile Shopping

More Scanning Options
RedLaser

More Scanning Options

While the Amazon app is a convenient way of comparing prices, it only compares the price to Amazon.com. But the Internet is a big place, full of retailers who are very competitive with Amazon.

To be sure you're getting the best deal possible, scan the UPC with RedLaser. The free app for both iOS and Android will find the cheapest price for the item, and point you to the site that will save you the most. As an added bonus, RedLaser doubles as a QR Code scanner.

Download RedLaser

Try Groupon and LivingSocial
LivingSocial

Try Groupon and LivingSocial

From time to time, services such as Groupon and LivingSocial have some good bargains. But in order to find them, you might have to deal with a bit of spam in your Inbox through the holidays.

After signing up with either service, you'll find a lot of e-mails in your Inbox which you might not want -- feel free to delete or filter to them.

Instead of reading those emails, try either service's website or smartphone app to browse and purchase deals. Often, the price you end up paying is significantly less than the usual value. Best of all, a lot of deals are to nearby diners and shops, allowing you to buy local.

Visit LivingSocial

Shop the Day After Thanksgiving
DealNews

Shop the Day After Thanksgiving

The biggest shopping day of the year continues to spill over into Thanksgiving, but the day after Thanksgiving is when all of the deals truly become available.

Instead of waiting for ads to be published the day before the sale, use the website dealnews.com. This free site routinely gets ahold of ads early.

By downloading the site's app, or using the site itself, you're able to get a good idea of what will be available where, and you can start planning your 4 AM shopping spree.

Visit Deal News

Price Match
Getty Thinkstock

Price Match

We already talked about using an app to scan barcodes to find the best prices. But what may surprise you is that some retailers, such as Best Buy and Target, actually offer price matching for sites like Amazon and TigerDirect.com.

It never hurts to ask for price matching if you're in a retail store and aren't sure if they price match with online retailers. Make sure the item is in stock and have the online version displayed on your smartphone before approaching customer service to ensure everything goes smooth.

Create a List
Evernote

Create a List

This may sound like the most basic of tips, but it's an important one that's easy to overlook. Using an app like Reminders on iOS -- which allows you to create and share as many lists as you'd like with other Apple users -- is an easy way to manage a list. On Android, Evernote makes it easy to curate a list.

Not only does a list help you remember what you plan to buy, but it also helps you stay on budget. Include the price with each item you want to buy. You'll be surprised how fast it all adds up.

Learn more about Evernote

Use Retailer Apps
Best Buy

Use Retailer Apps

Most big box retailers offer some type of smartphone app to assist you in your shopping needs. This holiday season, load up on the apps for stores you plan on shopping, and use them to check on product availability and pricing. Often, retailers also offer additional coupons and discounts for app users.

By ensuring a product is in stock, you're saving yourself from a pointless drive to the store. If the product is in stock, order it for in-store pickup if that's an option. After all, saving time is another way to save money.

Clip Valpak Coupons
Valpak

Clip Valpak Coupons

Valpak, known for delivering coupons to your mailbox for years, has put a modern twist on its coupon service. By offering coupons through a mobile device, such as your Android phone or iPhone, you can receive alerts of nearby offers while you're out shopping.

You can then save the offers to your device to redeem in a retail location when the time comes.

Should you happen to live in an area with no nearby outlets offering a coupon, you'll find a list of online retailers currently offering promotions.

Download Valpak for your smartphone

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