Must Have Apps for Holiday Shopping

So far in our holiday series we’ve discussed:

The Secret to Staying Organized & Sane During the Busy Holiday Season
Holiday Menu Planning 101
5 Christmas Ebooks to Help You Simplify the Season
3 Ways to Write a Great Christmas Letter

Today we are going to talk about some apps that will help make your holiday shopping a little easier.  I’ve invited someone to help me with this one because as you know technology isn’t my specialty.   Thank goodness Julia from AndGeeks is back (she also wrote Smart Phone Apps to Keep You Organized and Productive) to help us both with this one :)

It’s the season of giving, but that doesn’t mean you just have to shell out hundreds of dollars to the nearest department store and stand in lines futilely at the blue and yellow electronics boutique. Take a deep breath, and then check out this list for some must-have apps to keep your purchases smart and simplify your holiday season.

 1. Christmas Gift List Planner (Android)

This free allows you to make a list so you can easily keep track of what you still need to pick up, and for whom. It can help you organize your trips, save time agonizing in the aisle, and make sure no one on your list gets left out (at least, not on accident). This also will help you save money by avoiding impulse buys, and helping to ensure that the people on your list get what they really want. (Cost: free)

2. Decide (iOS)

This app is frankly incredible— once you’ve made your list, check item on Decide, and it will tell you the best time to purchase to get the best deal. It collects information using several methods like checking news and rumors, and more scientific tools like analyzing price fluctuations. It isn’t a perfect system, but it’s worth looking into to—especially if you want to wait until after Black Friday to buy your gifts. (Cost: free)

3. Red Laser (Android, iOS)

This app, financed by internet merchant giant eBay, allows you to head into your nearest ‘brick and mortar’ store, and start shopping with full information on where to find the best price on whatever item you’re looking at. You simply scan the barcode of whatever item strikes your fancy, and check to see if the cost in store is reasonable when compared to online retailers. This app was originally designed for iOS devices, so Android phones might have some additional bugs. Our team tested it on T-Mobile HTC phones without any issues, but your mileage may vary. (Cost: free)

4. SaleSorter (iOS)

Use this in conjunction with the aforementioned app to help you plan your route, should you choose to brave the insanity that is the local shopping mall. This app will help you find the best deals and bargains at your local stores, notifying you of sales and deals near you. If you don’t have time to make it to the next cities outlet stores, the app can notify you the next time the store is offering sales and discounts again.

5. Amazon (Android, iOS)

In addition to the price comparison features offered by Red Laser, Amazon offers cash incentives for scanning, saving you even more money. This app also connects you to a vast network of Amazon retailers, and if you’re a Prime member, can get your gifts shipped to your door (or the recipients’) within 2 days of purchase, for free. Since Red Laser and Amazon cover a different network of online sellers, it’s a good idea to check with both if you want to find the deepest possible discount. (Cost: free)

Julia Peterson is a writer for, a popular website that provides up-to-date news, detailed commentary, and unbiased reviews on cell phones and related topics. Julia resides in Galveston, Texas in a cozy little house in the country with her husband, young son, and their Labrador retriever, Darby.

Filed under: Holidays, Technology


5 Responses to Must Have Apps for Holiday Shopping

  1. 2
    M*g says

    Hi. Great sounding apps. Just wondering if these apps would work for Australian residents or are they based in u.s retailers only

  2. 3
    Dylan says

    Tomorrow is my big day of shopping so I really appreciate this list, specifically the Christmas Gift List Planner app. I’m heading to the malls with one of my friends I work with at DISH, but I think we both could’ve used the Red Laser app a couple of weeks ago. We noticed that we missed many of the deadlines for getting things shipped before Christmas, which is why we’re fearlessly heading into actual brick and mortar stores in the morning. I’ve only been able to get one gift so far and that was a new tablet for my sister. She’s always complaining about the boredom she undergoes every time she commutes to work so I think the DISH Remote Access app will be just what she needs. It works everywhere there’s Wi-Fi or mobile 3G network so she’ll be able to watch live TV and her DVR recordings instead of being bored. Now if only the rest of my family was as easy to shop for!


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