It’s not too early to get yourself (and your smartphone) ready for Black Friday.
Apps can help with tasks as varied as budgeting, managing wish lists and monitoring deals. With more shoppers poised to shop online this year compared to last, that extra digital assistance is key. Here are NerdWallet’s recommendations for seven of the most useful free apps for Black Friday and holiday shopping.
Shoppers who are serious about finding sales can download ShopSavvy to get up-to-date news about the best deals going on at a range of popular stores. You can also search for items or use your phone in the store as a bar code scanner to pull up prices on a particular product from multiple retailers. Use your location to see prices at nearby stores when you scan an item.
Like ShopSavvy, Rakuten is an app that provides deal news, coupons and location-based updates on your hand-held device. But it also gives shoppers cash back on online and in-store purchases from thousands of retailers. Turn on your location to see deals in your area. And enable notifications to get trending deal alerts.
Flipp is a smartphone app that removes the clutter of traditional paper ads and replaces them with digital versions from retailers such as Walmart and Target. Flipp also combines coupons with the local flyers for additional savings, plus makes it easy to browse Black Friday deals in one place. Input your location to find ads and coupons near you.
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4. Price Cruncher
Figuring out which deals are worthwhile can be tough. Enter Price Cruncher, an app that helps shoppers do the math to see which offers are the better buys. This is especially helpful for shoppers who buy in bulk — the application can calculate the price per product (for example, whether it’s more affordable per unit to buy a larger or smaller quantity). Additional features include a discount calculator and a shopping list.
5. The Coupons App
This app promises to give users deals, coupons and online promo codes from over 100,000 retailers. Use it to search for deals from your favorite stores and set your location to get notified when new local deals become available. The app also reminds you when coupons are about to expire, so you won’t miss the window of opportunity. And if you need to fill up your car before heading to the stores, it provides gas prices, too.
6. Santa’s Bag
For those who will be helping Santa with some of his shopping on Black Friday, it can be easy to purchase one too many gifts and go over budget. Santa’s Bag is a gift list app that allows you to set and manage budgets for everyone you plan to buy for. Track the days remaining until Christmas and see how much you’ve spent over or under the target budget.
7. Store-specific apps
When you decide where you’ll be shopping on Black Friday, download that particular store’s app. JCPenney, Target, Walmart and many other retailers have apps, which generally include features such as coupons and customer reviews. In past years, some retailers have added maps so shoppers know exactly where to find Black Friday deals in the store. This year, many retailer apps will also include important COVID-19 information, such as curbside pickup instructions and store safety procedures.
Download from iTunes or Google Play (search for your favorite retailer)