Ah, Thanksgiving—the season for being grateful and feeling zero guilt for overeating. Once you’re done with your third or fourth helping of turkey, stuffing, and all the fixin’s, there’s one thing left to do: gear up from some serious shopping.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the most important shopping days of the year, and if you come at it with little to no preparation, you might find yourself overwhelmed by the barrage of deals. To avoid lining up for long queues in person at the stores only to end up battling other shoppers for the last 4k Smart LED TV, here are some of the apps you need to have on your smartphones to survive the two-day shopping apocalypse.
Before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s a good idea to at least have a tentative list of things you want to buy, and then see if there are deals on those specific items at the major retail stores. The apps below are a few of the most popular shopping destinations, but are very good places to start from.
This year, Target has a promotion called “10 days of deals,” and you’re right in the thick of it. Using the app, you can check out daily discounts before going to actual stores or shopping through the official website.
You can easily search from over a million items while reviewing prices, ratings, and customer reviews. You can create a shopping list and update it using the app’s smart suggestions feature or scan barcodes on items you have at home that you need to stock up on. If you plan on heading to a physical store, the app also has a function that tells you the item’s location through a slick 3D map.
According to Target’s Android app page, you can even get free standard shipping through Christmas, so consider shopping from home.
Like Target, the Walmart app lets you easily search items from its expansive catalog. The app’s most important feature though comes after your shopping spree has concluded.
Walmart’s Savings Catcher scans your receipt and, after a few days, it will let you know if you got the best price on all the products you purchased. If, for some reason, the items you bought in the store are available in other retail outlets within your area for a lower price, you get a rebate for the difference. You can use the app to keep accumulated credit and transfer the amount to a Walmart gift card.
If you normally shop at Walmart for store brand products, now would be a great time to take advantage of this perk and opt for the typically pricier brands while still saving some cash.
Amazon is arguably the most popular shopping destination online, and you can be sure that the company will have lots of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Having this app handy is dual purpose—you can use it to quickly check products in the store and see if you can get them cheaper online (which is usually the case). But more importantly, it allows you to do all your shopping from the privacy of your own home, when you’re too comfy to change out of your fleece pajamas and actually get out of bed.
Keeping an eye on the fast-moving Lightning Deals means being able to check in at all hours of the day, so keep that smartphone handy. Oh, and don’t forget to check your email after your holiday shopping has concluded to see if Amazon found any cheaper prices elsewhere. If they did, you’ll get a refund for the amount.
Coupon and discount apps
Who has time to sift through the piles of Penny Savers you get in the mail for good deals? These apps make coupon searching and bargain hunting more practical, with less clipping at home and more actual shopping on the go.
This app is great for any shopper to have, especially on days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It collates local weekly ads and matches them with hundreds of coupons from over 800 retailers, allowing you to save as much as 70 percent on many items. The Flipp app lets you search for coupons for a specific store, item, or brand. You can “clip” and highlight deals that are relevant to you for easier access later on and it even lets you create a shopping list.
Offers is a lot like Flipp, but it also includes discount codes to stores that offer online shopping. It’s perfect for those of you who would rather do all their shopping on Cyber Monday.
Black Friday/Cyber Monday-specific apps
There’s a myriad of websites dedicated to these two shopping events specifically. In one go, you can browse through Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals from hundreds of retailers nationwide.
These similarly named apps send you Black Friday ads as they become available, ensuring that you get to plan your purchases with the most updated price adjustments and buy them earlier than most regular shoppers.
You can create a wish list and compile all your favorite deals from different stores all in one place as well as choose which stores you’d like to receive deal updates from. You can search for deals by store or category as well as get notifications on the latest news and sales events.
The clean interface of this app lessens the stress one is bound to feel on Black Friday. It works much like the BlackFriday.com app, and adds the option to download PDFs of scanned ads. You can also share deals that you find on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ if you feel like proclaiming your bargain wizard status on social media.
These apps help make your overall shopping experience more efficient and the holiday frenzy easier to deal with.
While this app offers a way for you to sift through daily and weekly deals from your favorite shopping malls, it also has a barcode reader that lets you quickly compare prices so you can opt for the cheaper option prior to checkout. Great for last-second deal making.
You can also enable sale alerts on any product you’ve searched so you can get notifications whenever the price changes or if deals become available.
Let’s face it—Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the best days to complete your Christmas shopping. Through these apps, you can set a shopping budget and keep a tally of gift ideas for every person on your naughty-or-nice list.
You can also use them to keep track of items you’ve already bought and for how much, as well as mark which ones have already been gift-wrapped.
Need to take a breather? This meditation app is definitely something that might help you keep inner peace intact, especially when you’re stuck in line for hours on end.
Illustration by Max Fleishman