Traditional wisdom may state that it’s “the most wonderful time of the year,” but it can actually be one of the most stressful when it comes to shopping for gifts. Making sure that everyone on your list receives just what they’re looking for isn’t always easy, especially when the crowds descend simultaneously in search of big markdowns and the hot, limited-supply toys of the season. These 10 iPhone apps can help you manage the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping with a minimal amount of stress.
• TGI Black Friday – By far the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday requires a serious battle plan before you leave the house. With this free app you can begin drafting that plan weeks before the stores open, accessing ads and sale information from major retailers long before it’s released in the papers.
• Best Christmas List – Scoring all the gifts you’re looking for before the holidays is much easier when you plan in advance by building a comprehensive shopping list before you begin shopping. This $0.99 app will keep track of every hint your loved ones drop so that you can make Christmas wishes come true.
• Santa's Bag - Christmas Gift List – Manage not only your Christmas gift shopping lists, but also planning and keeping track of your budget, with the $1.99 Santa’s Bag app. Save gift preference information, like sizes, interests and favorite stores, so that you’ll never find yourself without that pertinent information again.
• Delivery Status – If you’re the type that would rather handle your holiday shopping from the comfort of your home via online merchants, the $4.99 Delivery Status app will allow you to quickly and easily track the location of your purchases. Know when they’ll arrive so that you can plan accordingly, especially when you need to intercept certain gifts before curious family members are tempted to snoop.
• Amazon Mobile – As one of the largest online retailers, Amazon is likely to have most, if not all, of the items on your holiday shopping list. Browsing product information and making purchases during any downtime you have throughout the day is easy to do, and the app is free.
• Black Friday – Finding the best Black Friday deals with the free Black Friday app from FatWallet is as easy as swiping and tapping your iPhone’s screen. Shop, save, and compare deals from various retailers with the power of your mobile device in order to make braving rabid shopping crowds a bit more efficient.
• Shopping by the Find – Comparison shopping can net significant savings during the busy Christmas shopping season, both online and at brick-and-mortar retail stores. Scan barcodes of the items you’re considering, and this free app will search for the best deals while creating a shopping list. There’s no advertising clutter, and the app will detect your location in order to find stores close to you at any given time.
• Lemon Wallet – Minimizing the number of things you’re forced to carry during the chaotic Black Friday shopping day is essential, and also as easy as snapping a picture with your iPhone’s camera if you have this free app installed. Take pictures of your loyalty cards, credit and debit cards, and your ID, gaining merchant rewards and keeping track of expenditures.
• Gift Plan – Plan not only Christmas gifts, but also those for every gift-giving occasion, with this $2.99 app that stores clothing sizes and preferences while sending alerts when a loved one’s anniversary or birthday is approaching. Manage a full shopping profile for those closest to you and Gift Plan will make purchasing their Christmas gifts a snap.
• shopkick – Simply entering major stores like Macy’s, Old Navy and Target earns you reward points, which increase when you scan items and make purchases. Use your Christmas purchases to earn rewards from Starbucks, iTunes and gift cards, offsetting some of your expenses and maximizing the amount of gifts you’re able to purchase with your existing budget.
In addition to these apps, there are a variety on the market that offer users access to a number of specialty items, local deals and bargains. Be sure that you look for any shopping apps relevant to your city or region as well so that you don’t miss out on savings from retailers you might ordinarily overlook.