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Smart(phone) holiday shopping: Get these apps!

  • More shoppers are using their phones to find deals
  • HLN money expert Clark Howard reveals his favorites
Smart(phone) holiday shopping: Get these apps!

The goal of holiday shopping -- to find the perfect gifts for family, friends, and even ourselves -- really hasn't changed over the years. But the way we shop? That's a different story.

For those of us who still actually go to the mall, it'll never be the same, thanks to the relentless march of technology. According to a new survey, 70 percent of smartphone owners plan to use their phones for holiday shopping.

There are hundreds of apps that can save you time and money. But who's got time to sort through them all? HLN Money Expert Clark Howard has done the heavy lifting for you. Here are his favorite 10 apps for holiday shopping.

10. Amazon Mobile. Take a picture of anything you're interested in, from toys to books to DVDs and more. The app will give you the price for the item, both new and used, on Amazon. You can even buy directly from your phone.

9. FastMall. Nothing breaks the momentum of a shopping trip quite like that call from nature. This app will guide you to the nearest restroom at the mall. It can also help you find the food court, and remind you where you parked.

8. Gas Buddy. Finding good deals on gifts is nice, but it might require a lot of driving around. Gas Buddy lets you search for the cheapest gas in your city or town.

7. Card Star. Loyalty cards are great ways to save money, but they sure can weigh down your wallet or keychain. This app consolidates all your loyalty cards in one place, allowing you to scan your phone at the register. The money you save will look great in that space where all those cards used to be.

6. This is a browser add-on for your home computer. Download it, and then every time you shop online, it recognizes what you're looking for and finds the best price. It can also find coupons from your favorite stores.

5. Adaptu Wallet. It's smart to set a budget for holiday shopping, and this app keeps track of your cash flow. Set your budget, link up your accounts, and the app will tally up how much you're spending and how much you've got left. From there, whether you want to bust the budget is up to you!

4. Lemon Wallet. You could pretend everything you buy is going to be a huge hit. Or, you could keep all those receipts, just in case. Scan the receipts using Lemon Wallet, and they're on your phone any time you need them.

3. Sale Price. So, you found a special deal for something on your list. But just how good a deal is it? Sale Price tells you exactly how much of a discount you're getting. It even figures out the tax for you.

2. DealNews. The app from one of Clark's favorite deal sites, DealNews lets you browse hundreds of deals from across the web. And you can set up alerts, so you'll find out instantly when the price drops on something you're looking for.

1. Red Laser. This barcode-scanning app marshals the power of your smartphone to help you find the best deals. Scan the barcode of an item you're interested in, and the app instantly generates a list of the best prices at stores nearby and online. From there, you can purchase the item directly from your phone and pick it up later. Or, you can ask for a price match at the store you're in, and save yourself a trip.

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