1. Use your phone to send holiday cards.
Create and send holiday cards right from your phone! With Ink Cards and Postagram you can mail real holiday cards with just a few taps on your smartpone. Both companies print your custom designs on thick, glossy card stock (each one costs about $1.99, including postage) and will mail your cards or postcards for you! No need to make an extra trip to the post office!
Other cool apps that allow you to create and send holiday cards from you phone include:
2. Use The Krazy Coupon Lady app to find the best deals of the season.
Browse through hundreds of coupons (even coupons you can print from your phone) and hand-curated deals—not just for groceries, but for retail savings as well! The app is free and can be customized to feature only deals from the stores you shop at the most. KCL will show you exactly which coupons to print and where to go for the biggest holiday savings, saving you time and money. Available on Android and iPhone.
3. Remember where you parked your car with MyCar Locator.
Two words: holidays and malls. In the hustle and bustle to get in and out of stores during the holidays, it’s easy to forget where you parked. MyCar Locator—free for Androids and iPhones—is specifically designed to help you find your vehicle. It uses your smartphone’s GPS to locate where you parked, and it shows arrows that point you in the direction of your car.
4. Remember the details of a deal with a screenshot.
If you’re unsure about a store’s Wi-Fi signal and you can’t access the KCL app or another store’s webpage, this is the way to go.
5. Use rebate apps to earn money back on gifts and alcohol purchases.
Rebate apps are a great way to save and earn during the holidays, whether you use them for buying gifts, or for picking up food and booze for a holiday party. All you have to do is buy the specified product listed in each offer and submit a photo of your receipt into the app. Here are our faves—download them all and use multiple apps to save on a single item!
6. Download Christmas gift list apps to stay organized and within your budget.
The Santa’s Bag app is the ultimate organizer when it comes to the holidays. You can sort gifts, recipients, and even create shopping lists organized by store. Plus, it tracks how much you’ve spent on each person. Android users can download a similar, free app called Christmas Gift List.
7. Add to the spirit of Christmas by downloading the Christmas Yule Log app.
8. Purchase discounted gift cards on the Raise.com app and use them to buy gifts.
With the Raise mobile app, you’ll have access to hundreds of discounted gift cards right at your fingertips. This means, that while you’re Christmas shopping at Gap, browse the Raise app to find a gift card—say one for $100—buy it for only only $90, and use it at checkout to pay for your gifts. (By the way, you can use Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Gap gift cards interchangeably.)
These digital gift cards are typically delivered within minutes. Once you click “wallet” and confirm the 4-digit PIN of your card, you can give the serial and PIN numbers on the back of the card to the cashier as a gift card/payment.
Average discounted gift card savings are around 15% this time of year!
9. Put your phone in a cup to make holiday music sound better.
The cup with amplify the sound from your speaker!
BONUS: It’s hard to get out of bed—or wake up—on cold winter mornings…place your phone in a cup before you go to sleep so your wake-up alarm is louder in the morning.
10. Track your packages and watch for price drops with Slice.
With online shopping hitting astronomical levels, the free app Slice is the perfect way to track all those holiday gifts you ordered from multiple companies. Even better, it keeps an eye on what you bought after it’s been delivered and alerts you on recalled products and price drops so you can request a price adjustment if needed.
11. Have the Paribus app request price adjustments on your behalf.
Most stores allow you to request a price adjustment up to 14 days after you make a purchase. The problem is, most of us don’t have time to formally request an adjustment during the busy holiday season even if the price drops. Enter Paribus, your new personal price adjustment tool.
Paribus will monitor your inbox for receipts and watch for price drops on items you buy from stores like Walmart, Target, Old Navy, Nordstrom, Kohl’s, and more. If the price drops on a product you purchased, Paribus will send a request on your behalf.
12. Keep your phone from staying lost by setting your name and emergency contact in the lock screen.
If you lose your phone during the craziness of holiday shopping, this is an easy way for a good samaritan to get your phone back to you.
13. Take turns singing karaoke from your smartphone at a holiday party.
If you’ve ever wanted to go Christmas caroling, but just can’t remember the words to a song, or want to add some new entertainment at a holiday party, try downloading a free app like Smule. Sing duets on the app with family, friends, strangers, and even artists! Pick it up a notch with a mini handheld microphone attached to your phone for under $13.
Other free karaoke apps to check out:
14. Use Cartwheel every time you shop at Target.
If you play it right you can save on all your gifts—from candles and bedding, to clothes and shoes—and even on holiday foods like turkey and ham.
Download Target Cartwheel (it’s free!) to find exclusive app offers that can save you up to 50% without clipping a single coupon. Plus, use manufacturer coupons and rebate apps in addition to percent-off Cartwheel offers. Once you’ve added offers to your unique barcode, head to checkout and present your smartphone with the barcode pulled up. The cashier will scan it and all the offers you’ve added will come off your total.
15. Use the Amazon app to price match at stores like Target and Best Buy.
When you’re shopping at Target, Best Buy, and Walmart, scan a product’s barcode with the Amazon app (available on Android and iPhone). The product and Amazon price will pull up on the app. If the Amazon price is lower, head to customer service and ask for a price match!
16. Switch your phone to airplane mode so it charges faster.
A phone in airplane mode charges four minutes faster than when it’s charged normally. So while you’re driving to the mall to holiday shop or are out and about running Christmas errands, plug your phone into your car charger and switch your device to airplane mode.
BONUS: Turning your phone’s airplane mode on for a few seconds then turning it back off will help your phone connect to the nearest cell tower, improving your signal.