These 7 Apps Will Make Holiday Shopping a Breeze

Beth Stebner

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Holiday shopping season is upon us once more, meaning that it’s time to spend hours agonizing over what to get your best friend, your mom, and that one coworker you don’t really know and will probably just get some sort of coffee mug for.

But whether you decide to brave the crowds at an actual store or stick to shopping from the comfort of your couch, it never hurts to have an ace-in-the-hole secret weapon to find deals and stay organized. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite holiday shopping apps that’ll help make your list and check it twice as well as find the best products and deals.

Let’s see Santa do that on his own.

pounce shopping app

Photo: Courtesy of Pounce

Think of this as the Shazam of stuff. If you like something, simply take a picture of it, and the app will find that item—or a similar one—which you can then buy instantly. So if you just have to have that decorative pillow for a friend (or, you know, for you), just snap it, see it, and buy it. Genius!

For iPhone and Android.

santa's bag shopping app

Photo: Courtesy of Santa’s Bag

Santa’s Bag
Let’s face it: We’re all prone to overindulging during the holiday season and getting a little too excited shopping at the latest sample sale. But with Santa’s Bag, you can keep track of your budget, the number of gifts you have left to buy, and how much you spent per friend. Sadly, you can’t track who’s been naughty or nice.

For iPhone only.

gilt groupe shopping app

Photo: Courtesy of Gilt Groupe

Gilt Groupe
In terms of shopping heavyweights, Gilt might be our favorite. The flash-sale site, which has been a staple for the fashion set since its launch in 2007, offers not only deals on designer fashion from the likes of Oscar de la Renta, Jimmy Choo, and Hermès but also deals and steals on home goods and experiences. And if you feel like splurging, spending $25,000 over Black Friday will buy you a trip on a private yacht in the Caribbean. So, um, get shopping!

For iPhone and Android.

mint personal finance app

Photo: Courtesy of Mint

This free financial powerhouse is sort of like the broccoli of apps. Kind of hard to stomach but good for your financial diet. It helps you see where your money is going and helps you track your budget so you—unlike Santa—don’t end up in the red.

For iPhone and Android.

ibotta phone app best holiday apps for shopping

Photo: Courtesy of ibotta

It’s not often you find an app that actually pays you to use it, but ibotta does just that. By unlocking rebates for featured items before you shop, you know what you’ll be getting. After you scan a picture of the receipt, you get cash in your account within 48 hours through either PayPal or Venmo or as a gift card to Starbucks or Amazon. The site works mostly with chain stores, though there are deals to be had at places like Nordstrom, Birchbox, Sephora, Target, Whole Foods, and travel sites like Expedia, Hotwire, and Orbitz.

For iPhone and Android.

shopadvisors app

Photo: Courtesy of ShopAdvisor

If you can’t afford a personal shopper, ShopAdvisor should be your first stop. The app keeps track of your favorite items from more than 16,000 retailers of everything from clothing to home decor and—better yet—keeps track of prices, so you know you’re getting the best deal.

For iPhone and Android.

retailmenot shopping app

Photo: Courtesy of RetailMeNot

Whether you’re shopping at a brick-and-mortar store or an online boutique, this app can help you find the best promo codes for stores like Saks, Sephora, and more (it has more than 50,000 stores listed) so that you can score the best deal on anything and everything. A new feature also lets you find the deals closest to your current location so you can snag that last-minute gift before your holiday party.

For iPhone and Android.

clutch mobile shopping app

Photo: Courtesy of Clutch

Real talk: Toting around hundreds of gift cards, loyalty cards, coupons, and tickets can be a drag unless you want a wallet on par with that of George Costanza. Clutch stores all your cards and discounts, also letting you scan barcodes to compare prices and shop your friends’ holiday lists straight from the app. If you’re among the procrastinators who are hopelessly late to the gifting game, you can also send a gift card directly through the app.

For iPhone only.