Holiday spending simplified: Tips for shopping smart

Photo of two women planning their holiday shopping.

Have a big shopping list this holiday season? Make it easier on you (and your wallet) with these money- and time-saving tips.

Create a list—and budget—all in one

Without parameters, holiday spending can get out of hand quickly. The Christmas List App lets you set a budget, plan gift ideas, and share lists with family and friends. (It’s directed at Christmas, but you can use it for any gift-giving holiday.)

It also helps to know the best days to shop during the holiday season. (Hint: It’s not just Black Friday.)

Find the best price

Don’t have time to keep an eye on sales? Price tracking and comparison apps will do it for you. Many let you search for the item you want (or scan its barcode if you’re out shopping) and save it to a shopping list. You’ll get an alert when the price drops at any store.

Get coupon codes

Many retailers offer discounts codes, especially during the holidays. RetailMeNot lets you search for online coupon codes for a wide variety of stores. The app also shows you offers near your location, if you’re out shopping.

Earn money while shopping 

Really. There are a variety of apps that provide cash rebates and incentives (like gift cards) for the shopping you do every day. Just complete simple tasks like taking pictures of your receipts, watching videos, or shopping at specific stores.

Consolidate and organize your receipts

With shopping comes more receipts than your wallet can handle—and then searching for a gift receipt if you need to return something. Eliminate paper and keep gift receipts (and all receipts) organized with this app.

Plan the perfect party

Planning holiday festivities is no small task. That’s why keeping things simple (but fun!) is essential. Consider throwing a low-key caroling party during a weeknight or Sunday afternoon or evening.

Keep stress under control

The holidays are a fun, busy time—but they can be stressful, too. Remember to take time for yourself. These wellness apps can help. 

Simplify your finances

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