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From price comparisons to package tracking, there's a Black Friday app for that

Your smartphone is your best friend this holiday season, whether it’s helping you save money, compare prices, or track online packages all in one place.
Close up of young woman having coffee and reading news on mobile phone in the early morning before work
With more than 165 million people expected to shop over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, your smartphone may be the best option for deals and updates.d3sign / Getty Images

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — but spending a lot of money, finding a parking spot at the mall, or worrying about packages being stolen off a porch can also make it the most stressful.

This holiday weekend is expected to be busier than ever. More than 165 million people are slated to go shopping in stores and online over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to the National Retail Federation.

Thankfully, there are some handy apps to help make shopping easier, whether it’s by saving money, comparing prices, or a dashboard to track online packages all in one place.

Coupon clipping

Keeping track of the best Black Friday doorbusters is a feat that requires some serious organization. However, several apps make it easier to track the deals in circular ads and to clip coupons. After downloading the Flipp app, users can enter their zip code to browse nearby deals and clip coupons to create a shopping list. Rakuten, which was formerly eBates, offers in-store coupons and cashback rewards for shopping at places like Amazon and Macy’s. The app also sweetens the deal by offering a $25 incentive for every friend a user refers who downloads and uses the app.

Price scanning apps

Stores are hoping to lure shoppers with doorbusters on popular items, such as electronics, appliances and toys, with the hope that while people are there, they’ll spend money on other items. That’s when barcode scanning apps come in handy. Shopbrain lets users scan a product in-store and receive an instant price comparison on over 1 billion products from 10,000 stores The BuyVia app also packs a punch by letting users scan items to compare prices, in addition to receiving a curated list of deals the app thinks a person will like, and coupons for nearby stores.

Package tracking

The majority of consumers are regulars when it comes to shopping online. While it’s convenient and there are plenty of Cyber Monday deals to take advantage of, there are also downsides, such as package thieves who snatch items from someone’s doorstep during the day, or simply losing track of which packages are arriving and when. That’s where Route can help. The company, which offers low-cost insurance through partner retailers, launched a free app earlier this month that allows people to visually track all of their online orders, whether they’re from Route partners or any online retailer, all in one spot. The app’s Route Bot is able to pull in tracking information from receipts sent to a customer’s Gmail account, creating a visual tool to show people when their packages are arriving. Another app, 17Track, lets users add tracking numbers to keep an eye on their packages, all in one convenient dashboard.