Forget clipping coupons or browsing through sales on the computer. The real secret weapon for Labor Day shopping success is your smartphone.
From setting a spending budget to finding the least expensive gas to get you to and from the stores, these seven apps — which can all be downloaded for free — will benefit you the most as you shop during the holiday weekend.
Don’t assume just showing up at a Labor Day sale will guarantee you a good price. There’s legwork required to secure yourself a great deal. Download the RetailMeNot app for instant access to digital coupons and online promo codes. With your coupons and sale details in hand, you won’t be unprepared when you reach the checkout line.
We recommended it for back-to-school shopping and we’re suggesting RedLaser for Labor Day, too, because this barcode-scanning app is useful for discount shopping all year round. While you’re at any given store, use your smartphone to scan a product’s barcode and check prices on that item at other retailers. If you discover the store has the best price, or you find the product cheaper somewhere nearby, you’ll feel better knowing you didn’t pay more than you had to on Labor Day.
Next up is Shopkick, which is on a self-described mission to “become your premiere shopping companion.” The app offers deal news and gift cards to a variety of stores, including Macy’s, Target and Best Buy. Shoppers can collect points — called Kicks — for walking into select stores. Additionally, if you’re trying to find a place to shop but don’t know exactly where you should go, the app can notify you with information about nearby stores and deals.
Serial online shoppers know that keeping cyber purchases straight can get confusing, especially when you place multiple orders from multiple retailers. Enter package-tracking app Slice. It will compile tracking numbers from your email so you’ll know when to expect delivery of all of your packages. It does more, too. Use Slice to access receipts of your purchases and monitor product prices.
For more advanced money monitoring, download Mint. This app organizes your various financial and credit accounts, allowing you to create budgets, track spending and set bill reminders. Before you head out for Labor Day shopping, use Mint to establish an amount that you can reasonably spend. With all of your purchases accounted for at the touch of your smartphone screen, you’ll be less likely to go over budget.
You’ll undoubtedly be doing your fair share of driving during Labor Day weekend (even if it is just from store to store or from mall to mall). Ensure that you’re always paying the lowest possible price to fill up your tank with the help of GasBuddy. This mobile app will locate the station with the least expensive gas near you. Think of it like this: Paying less for gas will give you more money to spend at the sales you hit.
Finally, before you leave home, give traffic app Waze a try. Traffic apps may not be commonly associated with Labor Day shopping, but with the numbers of shoppers who will be joining you in the discount shopping blitz, you can bet the roadways around your favorite retailers will get packed. Waze, a community-based traffic and navigation app, will help you find the quickest route to your retailer of choice in real time.
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Top image via iStock.