Consumer IQ

Holiday Shopping Apps to Keep You On Track and Within Budget

Smartphone scanning QR code

Our shopping world is becoming increasingly mobile. Partly because more of us are packing smartphones, and partly because mobile apps keep getting better. We’ve written about Black Friday and Cyber Monday apps before, but here are 8 more that will make your holiday shopping a little easier.

BFAds

  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: 4.5 stars

From the popular website BFAds.net comes this shopping app that lets you browse Black Friday ads on your mobile. Download it now to stay on top of the many ads that have already been leaked – and that will continue to pour out until the big day.

Narrow down the ads by setting filters, compare items and prices across stores, and receive updates when a new ad is released.

The Christmas List

  • Cost: $.99
  • Rating: 4.5 stars in iTunes

Create and track your entire shopping list with this updated app. Set an overall budget, a budget for each person on your list, and check the progress of your holiday shopping.

You can look at particular stores where you need to buy gifts and search your to do list by progress, like presents that need to be wrapped, gifts that need to be shipped. You can also send your list via text.

Black Friday (by FatWallet)

  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: 5 stars (out of 11 reviews)

The new version of this app claims it is a major improvement over an earlier version. Much like BFAds, this app shares Black Friday sale ads and lets you search for deals and products.

What takes it the extra mile is advanced filtering so you can see deals by doorbusters, free shipping, rebates, and online availability. This is especially useful because on Black Friday certain stores have jaw-dropping doorbusters.

Elf Ur Face

  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: 3 stars

Ok, maybe this app won’t actually save you money, but it might help save your sanity during the holiday shopping madness.

While you’re waiting in line, download this app, then upload a picture. Decorate it with holiday-themed stickers, like a red rudolph nose, silly glasses, elf hat, and more. Then share it on Facebook and Twitter or email it to friends.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll make friends with the cute guy in line in front of you.

Rather Be Shopping

  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: N/A

This new app combines the best of online shopping and in store shopping at more than 800 retailers, including a few restaurants. Two tabs break down the coupons so you won’t be disappointed in the store to find a coupon code that works online only.

Once you find the coupon you want, one tap brings up a bar code that the cashier can scan – no printing needed! Coupons are handpicked and verified, according to a press release on the app, which should limit expired and bogus coupons.

The only downside is that the app is only available on iPhones. An Android version is expected in 2013.

Slice

  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: 4.5 stars

Track when packages ship and are set to arrive so you never miss a delivery on a map. Look up past purchases so you can compare prices, sizes, model numbers, and other details.

And if you share your email address with Slice when you download the app, it will automatically store your receipts, so you’ll never have to trudge through your inbox for them.

One final feature worth mentioning: Slice will organize your daily deals, which is very handy if you buy from more than one site but have a hard time remembering which ones you’ve used already.

FastMall

  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: 2 stars

Access interactive maps for thousands of mall across 31 countries. Pull up locations for the bathroom, stores, and the food court.

To find the nearest restroom, shake your iPhone. Tell FastMall where you parked and it will remind you. It even has a voice recorder to make your shopping list.

For each store, the app will share a description, any available deals, connection you over the phone, and give you directions to and from the store.

Google Shopper

  • Cost: FREE
  • Rating: 4 stars

Leave it to Google to create something useful, comprehensive and free!

This app shows online prices, offers barcode scanning to access product details, finds media and video games for sale if you scan the cover, responds to voice requests for products, lists deals in 30 cities, shares local deals, has a director of stores, shares your history and favorites.

Julia Scott founded the money saving blog, BargainBabe.com.