3 easy ways to save money and put more gifts under your tree this Christmas from cupcakesandcrinoline.com

Saving money and finding deals can be a daunting process especially when it comes to gift giving.  This year my husband took over almost all of the gift and deal finding and did it all with apps.  He is totally blowing me away.  We still aren’t done shopping but he has found so many great deals he has left me totally impressed.  For this month’s tech post I let him take over and today he’s sharing the three FREE apps he downloaded and is snagging a ton of deals with.

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So far we have bought movies and video games for the kids, a snow blower as a family gift that was found via Slick Deals, some fluffy blankets and toys.  We have more to go but on most items we have saved at least 50% on our purchases.  

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Now, my husband’s top 3 apps in his own words! 

Slick Deals is my number one app for coupons and deals. What makes it special is that it’s a community driven app where users participate and drive popular deals to the front page, featured, and popular tabs. Not only can you find deals, but you can see ratings on the deals from users themselves.  You can read comments which usually help tell you whether or not an item is good, or if there’s a better deal. You can also take part in voting on whether an item is a good deal or not, and also leave comments. You can find discount codes sometimes that you might not otherwise see from reading the comments so this is an added bonus. Another cool feature is that you can save deals to your favorites so you can easily come back to them. You can also share the deals you find with others via the share tab, even if they don’t have the app. The app also has a categories tab to help narrow your search, as well as a forums tab so you can access those as well. Some other nifty features are custom searching for the latest deals on specific items, setting up deal alerts so that you can be notified the moment something goes on sale, and the ability to search for coupons from many different retailers. Best of all this app is free.

RetailMeNot is my next choice because I find that it is unique in that it compliments the Slickdeals app. Let’s say you’re out and you’ve installed Retail Me Not on your smartphone.  This app has features that find you deals based on your location (if you’re comfortable with that sort of feature). Say you’re out at a local shopping mall, store, or restaurant. You can have this app set up so that you can find local specific deals at your fingertips. For example, I was playing with this app after the initial setup and I found that my local Subway had a buy one 6″ and get another 6″ for .99 plus you get a free fountain drink. I can see how this will come in handy in the future for me and my family personally. Like Slickdeals, you can find deals and coupons.There is a search icon, but it only works for stores and coupons. To my knowledge, there is no item specific search. There is an our best tab, just for you, and daily deal tab as well. The just for you tab is filled with your custom choice of many different retailers that you choose from on initial setup. I found that setting it up took a couple of minutes, and I was annoyed, but did it anyway. However, it is a one time setup, and it’s worth it to go through the process to find deals and coupons for your custom list of retailers. You can always go back easily and add retailers to this list without having to start from scratch. Under the little location tab, you will find the heart of this app. There you will find a stores, malls and food tab. You can even browse weekly ads for certain stores locally via the app. The default is a map view, but you can easily switch to a list view, which is easier to navigate and see. If you really think about it, this app will allow you to plan your shopping day out so that you can go from place to place and get deals everywhere along the way. Don’t let my review fool you, you can also find deals online as well, but for deals online, I prefer the user driven community app of Slickdeals. I just want to note that this app can find you deals online as well, but its strong suit is finding deals wherever you are geographically located. I almost forgot to mention that this app also features a categories tab so you can sift through various categories with ease. Also, there is a profile that I encourage you set up so that it can find you those location specific deals. There is a wallet tab, which is a confusing title for a tab (because it has nothing to do with money), but you can save offers and manage that stuff there. It probably should’ve been called a favorites tab instead, but no biggie! To my knowledge this app is free, but I think I might have seen in app purchases listed in the details before downloading it to my smartphone. I can tell you that I’ve not yet encountered any nagging screens asking me to pay for this app.

OfferUp The next app is called Offer Up. I wouldn’t call this a review, because I simply downloaded it and ran it for a few minutes. Think Craigslist in an app form. I personally don’t like the idea of meeting up with strangers in different places to pick up used items that potentially may not work, but some people don’t mind the risk, or hassle of doing so. If you’re one of those people, this app may come in handy for you! This app has a categories tab that allows you to search for different genres of items. You can also set up alerts to be notified when a type of item is for sale. There is also a “my offers” tab to show you items you have for sale. This app also comes with a help center section which may come in handy. There is a filter tab that allows you to set your location, distance in miles, and you can also choose to sort deals by closest or nearest. When you click on an item for sale, you can ask questions to the seller through the app, and you can make an offer on an item. Descriptions are listed, but are only as good as the seller lists them. The same goes with pictures. If an item description, or picture looks shady, then by all means use your discretion and pass it up! Sellers also list the condition of the item as well. It also informs you of the seller’s location and shows you a map, but it clearly says the map is approximate to protect the seller’s location. You can save items to watchlist, message sellers (as I already stated earlier), share an item with someone, or report an item. As I stated earlier in the post, I’ve never purchased, or sold anything through this app. However, if I were to do so, I would definitely give this app a shot! I believe this app is free to use.

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Here is some of what we bought so far.  My husband has the Slick Deals set up with alerts for things we’re still looking for and hopefully we’ll have our shopping wrapped up early this year!

Snow Blower – the blue option has the best reviews overall and is $100.00 off (40% savings)! Snow Blower

Jurassic World Jurassic World (Limited Edition) – we purchased this for $10 but it is now $11 – still a heck of a good deal!

Just Dance 2016 – PlayStation 4 – $24.99 (50% savings)

Do  you have any favorite apps that aren’t on our list? I would LOVE to know what they are.

xo Mary Beth

*I am a Lifestyle Blogger for Verizon Wireless.  I occasionally receive products as part of that program.  All opinions share with you are my own.  #VZWBuzz