15 Killer Shopping Apps

By Bob Hansen
|  Friday, Nov 27, 2009  |  Updated 7:37 AM CDT
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Holiday Shopping Guide: Gifts for $250 or More

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Forget a heavy novel, bring your Kindle-capable iPhone to the bar.

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15 Killer Shopping Apps

This holiday season, you'll really need a smart phone to shop your best.
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When Feryl Zaklin goes shopping, she has her iPhone in one hand and pushes a shopping cart with the other. Zaklin keeps her shopping list on Grocery Gadget Lite, an iPhone app that keeps her grocery list online, and arranges the items in the order they're found in the store.

It also updates her boyfriend's list while he's in the store.

Natalie Wardel holds her iPhone when she goes shopping too, but she uses the app Epicurious.

"It give you the recipes, and it makes a shopping list for you so you know exactly what you need to get," Wardel said.

These two women have found favorite iPhone applications out of the 100,000 that are available for their phones. Zaklin uses Sale Price, too, which helps her calculate the true value of a sale at local department stores.

"So you have a 20-percent-off coupon, and now it is marked down 70 percent from the original price -- you don't have to sit there and figure it out in your head," Zaklin said.

"MobiQpons helps Wardel find bargains and coupons whereever she goes. The app looks for discounts by keeping track of your location and scanning for deals. It also lets you scan coupons right from your cell-phone screen.

Natalie is also a fan of one called Check Please, which is a specialized calculator that helps you to figure out the tip at a restaurant and to divide your check with friends.

Zaklin was impressed by Snap Tell, an app that uses the pictures you take with your phone and search for reviews and prices. For instance, if you take a photo of a book or DVD cover, it will use that image to search for user reviews and competing prices.

Here is a list of 15 fun shopping phone apps as compiled by Consumer Reports ShopSmart magazine. They all work with the Apple iPhone; some have versions for Blackberry or Android phones:

  • Coupon Sherpa - free
  • MobiQpons - free
  • Check Please - free
  • CompareMe - $1.99
  • Sale Price - free
  • Epicurious - free
  • Grocery Gadget Lite - free
  • Frucall - free
  • ShopSavvy - free
  • CardStar - free
  • Cha-Ching - $2.99
  • iTrackMine - free
  • Shopper - $0.99
  • BNB (Be Nice to Bunnies) - $1.99
  • SnapTell - free

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