Want to save some cash while holiday shopping? The best tool can be a smartphone packed with the right apps.
Some apps give you coupons you can hand to the cashier to scan, while others let you flip through advertising deals and promotions. Others let you scan barcodes at the store and check if there are cheaper options online. Here are four worth a try:
— Retale (available for iOS and Android)
Promotional circulars found in newspapers can now be delivered to your phone or tablet. Open the Retale app to get fliers for stores near you. If a circular has coupons, Retale slaps a small green icon with scissors on it. This way, you don't have to sift through each page to find them. When you open a circular with coupons, you simply tap it once to "clip" all the coupons. That places them into a separate folder to use when you get to the store.
— RetailMeNot (available for iOS and Android)
It's easy to use, and its map function can find deals at stores near you. Tap the heart icon to select your favorite shops. You'll be able to see deals at those stores quickly when you open the app. You get both in-store coupons and codes for stores' websites.
Price matching is spreading to more stores, and you'll need these two apps to do it. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is the latest company to promise to match cheaper prices you find online. Other retailers, including Best Buy Co. Inc., Target Inc. and Toys R Us Inc., have been price matching for a few years. Use the Amazon App to scan barcodes of items in the retail store and see how much the online retailer charges. If you find a better price, show the app to a cashier. To find prices elsewhere, use RedLaser. The app, which is owned by eBay Inc., shows prices for other online stores when you scan a barcode. Policies vary, and retailers typically accept matches only from specific rivals.
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