Four Helpful Apps for Holiday Savings
How to Find the Best Deals
November 21, 2016 by Alex Williamson
Once you’ve made your gift list and settled on a budget, it’s time to shop around for the best deals to get the most for your money. In the past, finding the best deals meant clipping coupons, driving around town and arm wrestling a frenzied parent for the last Tickle Me Elmo. Luckily for us, the internet has made holiday shopping a lot easier. With a few apps at your disposal, you can go toe-to-toe with any bargain hunter without changing out of your PJ’s.
It’s no secret Amazon makes shopping convenient while keeping prices competitive. But did you know you can find thousands of steeply discounted items like apparel, cookware, toys, electronics, and tools every day in their deals section? Before you pay retail prices for the gifts on your list, it’s always worth checking Amazon’s shopping app for better offers. While you’re there, take a peek at the Woot! Deals, where you can frequently find overstocked items discounted up to 70%.
If you’re an Amazon Prime customer, you already get free, two-day shipping on millions of items. If you’re not, load up your cart with at least $25 worth of eligible books, or $49 worth of all other eligible items to take advantage of free shipping. And if you need some inspiration, an Amazon Prime subscription comes with a range of perks beyond free shipping, making it a great gift for the deal lover in your life.
RetailMeNot is the great granddaddy of promotional code and coupon sites. With over 500,000 coupons for 50,000 stores and brands, you’ll never want to buy another gift without checking this app first. You can use promotional codes online, or save coupons to your smartphone and use them in store at major retailers like Kohl’s, Target and Bed Bath & Beyond.
In the Deal Squad section, you can paste the URL for any product, and community members will scour the web for the same item at a lower price. The site also offers gift card deals, often at reduced rates.
One caveat to using RetailMeNot is that the coupons and promos are crowdsourced, meaning you will sometimes come across codes or coupons that don’t work. Not a big deal if you’re shopping online, but if you’re making a trip to the store, it’s smart to verify the coupon on the store’s site first, or by calling ahead. And always read the fine print, as restrictions may apply.
PriceGrabber is a tool for finding the gifts on your list for the lowest possible price. It simply searches the web for the item you want and compares prices, then displays them from lowest to highest. Keep in mind that if the site you choose doesn’t offer free shipping, or if another site has a promo code or coupon you could use to buy the item, the lowest listed price may not be the best deal. You can also sort by ratings and popularity to see what other people think of the product. Quality is still important in getting a good value, even if you're shopping for the lowest prices.
Slickdeals is a unique app and website, because the moderators take great care to rank the top deals based on a variety of factors. They don’t just look at the percentage taken off the price of an item, they consider whether it was a good price to begin with (or just an inflated one that has now been cut to something more reasonable). They also consider whether the item is eligible for free shipping, whether the discount can be stacked with other promos or applies to clearance items, and whether the item appeals to a broad range of shoppers. The result is a curated list that makes you say, “Hey! That is a good deal!”
If holiday spending is stressing your already tight budget, these four apps will help you take care of everyone on your list without breaking the bank – or leaving the couch. Happy hunting!