The Best Shopping Apps to Spend Smarter this Holiday


By Jessica D Festa

Holiday shopping tips can be invaluable during this crazy time of year. Even if you’re typically an organized person, those skills can easily come undone as you shell out extra cash and barrel through an endless to-do list, all while trying to keep the kids calm under the watchful eyes of Elf on the Shelf.

Take a deep breath. The best shopping apps will keep your budget (and stress levels) in check.

1. Orderly

Before you get to the “spending” part of how to spend smarter, you’ll need to do some prep work—as in, prioritizing tasks and deadlines. Luckily, there’s no need to make and print hard-to-follow spreadsheets, as the Orderly app does the hard work for you.

This handy tool allows you to create themed boards, like Christmas Shopping or Party Planning, with individual item lists for each. These boards show up on a dashboard separated into low, medium, and high priority areas, and you can move them into the appropriate spaces based on their urgency. Additionally, items can be marked with due dates, meaning you’ll never turn up empty-handed under the tree.

2. Santa’s Bag

When it comes to creating and organizing your gift budget, there’s no need to search through holiday shopping tips: One of the best shopping apps for the season, Santa’s Bag has all the features you need. After listing your giftees and their desired presents, you can set and manage your overall shopping budget as well as individual budgets, keeping track of how much you are—and should be—spending per person. Further, after you purchase a gift, you can track when it’s ordered, delivered, and wrapped (as well as where you hid it).

3. LivingSocial

If you’re on a budget but still want to score creative gifts, try LivingSocial—a flash sale app where you can purchase anything from unforgettable vacations for a discount to local goods and experiences. They’ve even got a spa section where you can snag massages, facials, and body wraps for up to 80 percent off. Check their Holiday Preview section for inspiring gift ideas made easy.

4. SnipSnap

Raise your hand if you’ve ever received a coupon in the mail, planned a trip to the store just to use it, and then totally forgot it on the table due to the holiday craziness.

Especially during the holidays when you’re receiving endless daily deals, those valuable slips of paper can end up in all sorts of random places. To help you stay organized, the SnipSnap Coupon App lets you take a photo of your coupon, turning it into a mobile-optimized code stored in the app. When the coupon is nearing expiration, you’ll even get an alert. No coupons? No problem! You can browse thousands of deals in their directory.

5. Buycott

An important aspect of the holiday season is being grateful for what you have and mindful of how your actions impact others. Though many people remember to leave a little extra in the coffee shop tip jar and donate their canned goods, the repercussions of our buying choices often get overlooked.

That is, unless you have the Buycott app. This is one of the best shopping apps for cause-conscious shoppers. Before purchasing a gift, you’ll be able to scan its barcode or type in its name to learn more about the ethical—or unethical—practices that went into its production. You can also view the product’s “family tree” to see if its related to a brand you may want to support.

The app also lists social good campaigns you may want to get involved with, like those supporting fair trade and helping to protect healthy bee populations. Buycott does all the heavy lifting for you, so you can make responsible choices during the holidays and beyond.

Make sure to try out some of the best shopping apps to spend smarter this holiday season.

This holiday season, score creative gifts on a budget with the LivingSocial app!


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