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Want to budget for gifts, manage wish lists or monitor deals leading up to Black Friday? Yep, there’s an app for that.
Here are seven useful free apps for Black Friday and holiday shopping. NerdWallet considered apps with at least four stars and 500 reviews in the iOS App Store and/or Google Play.
1. ShopSavvy - Barcode Scanner
Best for: Real-time price comparisons
Best for: Cash back on the stuff you buy
Rakuten is a cash-back app that rewards shoppers for purchasing from a long list of partnering retailers. Couple cash back with coupons and promo codes to save more at Black Friday sales. Techy tip: Try its web browser extension for laptop or desktop shopping.
Best for: Weekly ad circulars in one digital place
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 offers digital coupons and local flyers, plus makes it easy to browse Black Friday deals in one place. Input your location to find ads and coupons near you.
4. Price Cruncher
Best for: Money math on the fly
Are you using Black Friday to find deals on everyday products? We support that, but figuring out what constitutes a good buy can be tough. Enter Price Cruncher for Android users, an app that helps shoppers do the math to see which offers are the better buys. It's especially helpful for those 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).
Download: Google Play.
5. The Coupons App
Best for: Virtual coupon clipping
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 braving the Black Friday crowds, it provides gas prices, too.
6. Santa’s Bag
Best for: A Black Friday budget
This app hasn’t been updated in a while, but it’s still available and its concept is right up our nerdy alley. For those planning to get all their gift-buying done on Black Friday, it can be easy to get lost in the hype 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.
Download: App Store.
7. Store-specific apps
Best for: Deals directly from the source
Amazon and Target each announced big sale events in October, marking an early unofficial start to the holiday shopping season. Downloading each retailer’s app, and those of other popular stores like Walmart, Best Buy and Home Depot, is a surefire way to stay on top of sales and keep tabs on product discounts. One trick of the shopping trade is to add products to your virtual cart and watch for price drops. In past years, some retailers have added in-app maps so shoppers know exactly where to find Black Friday deals when in a store.
Download from the App Store or Google Play (search for your favorite retailer).