Photo: lovenothing via Flickr
If you’ve waited till Black Friday to get your holiday shopping squared away, you’re going to need a lot more than trail mix and an economy-sized bottle of Advil to get through it.The most important tool in your pocket or purse will be your mobile phone.
In fact, more than half of holiday shoppers plan on tapping their smartphones for support this year, according to the National Retail Federation.
We’ve rounded up a list of the apps that should be front and centre on your phone before you even think about hitting the mall.
The best part? They’re all free.
BFAds. This app is perfectly simple. It loads all Black Friday ads onto an easy-to-browse mobile platform. Download here.
ShopSavvy. ShopSavvy’s mobile shopping app lets Android and iPhone users scan QR and barcodes to unlock pricing information on countless products. The people have spoken: This app has been downloaded 20 million times. Download here.
FatWallet. FatWallet has mastered the Black Friday app. Use their smartphone app to keep track of all your favourite sales ads, filter by category and compare deals. Once you’ve got your picks “favorited” you can share your list with friends or family via text and coordinate your shopping plans. Download here.
GasBuddy. Gas prices are are about as predictable as snowstorms on Thanksgiving day. Take the guesswork out with GasBuddy’s handy app. All it needs is your location and it’ll pop out the cheapest gas rates in your area. Download here.
DealsDroid. Droid users will love this one. With DealsDroid, you can track all your deals from sites like Slickdeals and Fatwallet from your phone. Keep track of your coupons, rebates and set up keywords to filter out deals. Download here.
CouponSherpa. If you’ve got your eye on holiday deals, don’t leave home without loading CouponSherpa’s handy app to your smartphone. The app lets you locate in-store coupons in your area, which you can download in seconds and have ready at the cashier. Download here.
Sit or Squat. Not all shops are equipped to handle the millions of questionable bladders that will walk through their doors this season. Find a toilet on the go with this fun app from Sit or Squat. Download here.
FastMall. FastMall is a game-changer for you mall rats out there. The app maps out the largest shopping malls in the U.S., U.K., Canada and France. It lets you track your parked car and find the nearest bathroom and food court. And if you’re lugging your stroller-bound tots around, it also points you in the direction of elevators. Download here.
Google Shopper. This app made Mint.com’s list of favourites this holiday season. You’ll find online prices, barcode scanning, deals around your town and a full directory of stores at your fingertips. Download here.
CardStar. Get rid of the dozen store rewards cards dangling from your keychain with the CardStar app. Once you’ve got your cards loaded onto the app, you can access them right from your phone. Just show the cashier your barcode at the check-out and they’ll scan them like the real thing. Good for Droids, iPhones and Blackberrys. Download here.
Goodzer. Goodzer’s free app is like a personal shopper in your pocket. If you’ve got your eye on a certain product, just punch it into the app (the database contains info on more than 2 million items) and it’ll spit out a list of nearby stores that carry it. You’ll get the price, availability and directions to the shop as well. Download here.
Retailmenot. RetailMeNot just rolled out an update to their already fantastic app. In addition to loading discount codes directly onto your phone, you’ll be able to get alerts whenever you get close to a store offering deals. They call it “geo-fencing,” which enables consumers to receive local coupon notifications for thousands of nearby retail stores at hundreds of shopping malls across the United States. Download here.
Happy Hours. After hours battling mobs at the outlet mall, you’re probably going to need a pick-me-up at some point. Hit up the Happy Hours app to plot your after-shopping plans. It will use your location to pop out a list of nearby watering holes along with their food menus and drink specials. User ratings clue you into which ones are your best bet. Download here.
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