With thousands of apps you can download, we had to find the best of the rest, so we put several shopping apps to the test to see if they can save you time and money this holiday shopping season.
If you have a smart phone, you might as well use it for more than just checking your email or texting, says frugal shopper and coupon expert Nora Kapche.
"There are so many great apps that are out there for smart phones now. All we've got to do is use them and put them to the test, especially on Black Friday," she said.
We tested several apps, including two for planning ahead for Black Friday. One is called TGI Black Friday and the other is called Black Friday 2011. With these apps, you can view, keep track, and be alerted of sale ads before they hit newspapers.
"It will give you everything you need to know," Kapche said. "Pretty much give you all the information so you can decide where you want to go first and the best deals to get."
The next smart phone app we tested is called Shopkick.
"It tells you where you're at and then if there is a coupon for that particular retailer, it will pop up and you can use it right then," Kapche said.
Shopkick uses the GPS technology on your smart phone to pinpoint exactly where you are and automatically "kick" reward points to your phone the instant you walk into the store. Those reward points can later be redeemed for gift cards. Using Shopkick, we instantly got a 15 percent off coupon from Macy's.
"It's a great way to get money off in the future and maybe also get a coupon right there," Kapche said.
The next app is called Coupon Sherpa. You can get coupons at home or as you wait in line to check out, search the app for any coupons and the cashier will scan the coupon barcode directly from your phone. We found several coupons we can use instantly.
"Because even if you don't walk in having a coupon, with these coupon apps, you can get one on your phone and use it right there," Kapche said.
If you are trying to navigate the mall and need to get somewhere quick, FastMall will help you get there.
"You put in the mall that you're at, it gives you the layout of the mall," Kapche said.
This app proved to work; we navigated our way from one store to another without getting lost. The app will also help map out the nearest restroom.
The bottom line is our apps did work really well but they are only as good as your networks service since a lot of data is being downloaded. Another thing, all these apps are mostly available on iPhone and Android.