To me, one of the best things about the holidays is giving gifts, and experiencing the joy they bring. But with a large family and plenty of friends to buy for, it takes a pretty big effort to keep my shopping organized and, more importantly, on budget. Fortunately, I’ve found several wonderful, free apps that help me keep track of what I’m buying and how much I’ve spent—and can also point me toward some terrific deals! Here are a few that I highly recommend.
For Android smartphone users, Christmas Gift List is the handiest way I’ve found to create shopping lists, add notes, photos, and links about items I’m interested in, and set a budget—all in one place! You can also check off items that you’ve purchased, and even keep track of whether or not a gift has been wrapped. Santa’s Bag performs similar important tasks for iPhone users. It lets you track all of your gift buying, create your budget, and even sort the gifts you’ve bought—and the ones wished for—by store.
You’ll find the all kinds of great deals using the SnipSnap Coupon app for iPhone and Android. You can search hundreds of retailers for digital coupons, save your printed coupons using your phone’s camera feature, and set reminders to alert you to expiration dates. When you checkout at the store, just present the coupon on your phone to have the barcode scanned—you don’t have to print anything out and worry about finding paper coupons!
Finally, here’s a way to turn all of your holiday legwork into a unique gift all its own: the Charity Miles tracker app for iPhone and Android tracks all your steps, allowing you to earn money for charity for every mile you tally. It’s easy to use: just download the app, and then choose from among 40 sponsored charities. The ground you cover is used to calculate how much the app’s business sponsors contribute to the chosen charity on your behalf.
Before you jump online or head to the mall to start your holiday shopping, consider adding one of these apps to your smartphone. They’ll help save you time and money, and even donate to a worthy cause or two along the way!