What don’t our smartphones do for us?
Holiday shopping (or any-time shopping) can be frustrating if you’re frugal-minded. You always wonder if you’re really getting the best bargain, if other stores don’t have an item cheaper, if it won’t go on sale right after you purchase it.
Thanks to these great apps, you no longer need to scan the web or store flyers before heading out to the stores. They do all the work for you—and then some.
Amazon Price Check. A creative way to get people to buy on their site rather than in traditional stores, Amazon’s Price Check app lets you scan the bar code of an item in a store and then see what it’s selling for on Amazon. This is great for people who like to see and feel the item they’re buying but also want to make sure they’re getting the best price. Well-played, Amazon.
BuyVia. Scan the barcode of the item you’re considering, and this app will tell you what it’s going for at various stores. You can also create alerts to notify you when specific products you’re interested in go on sale.
Decide. This app is brilliant if you’re the sort who’s always playing the guessing game of “Should I buy now or wait till prices are lower?” Decide predicts future price changes and the likelihood of a new version being released (thus making your brand-new item obsolete) for several electronics and home and garden categories.
Google Shopper. Don’t have a bar code available? No problem. This neat little app can do price searches for various media based on a visual search—just take a picture of the cover of the book, CD, or DVD you’re interested in, and Google Shopper will find similar items based on a photo search. This app also has the eco-friendly feature of showing you the ratings of products for the health and safety of people and environment.
RedLaser. Get rid of that bulky stack of store loyalty cards in your wallet by storing them on this app instead. The app also runs price comparisons based on bar codes and helps you locate the prices of an item at various area stores. Plus, it lets you buy items on your phone and have them shipped to you or delivered to the store for you to pick up.
Shop Advisor. Similar to Decide, this app monitors price changes to help you figure out the best time to purchase the item you’re considering. It also lets you set up alerts so that you can be notified when the item goes down the price you want to pay for it.
Kelly Gurnett writes for QuickQuid, an online payday loans company that strictly adheres to responsible and fair lending practices. Additionally, she also runs the blog Cordelia Calls It Quits, where she documents her attempts to rid her life of the things that don’t matter and focus more on the things that do.