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Top mobile apps to help cut the cost of Christmas

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Written by:
08/11/2013
With Christmas fast approaching, many of us will be starting to think about budgeting for the festive period. Here's our guide to the most helpful money saving apps.

As we all know, the festive period can be an expensive time of year but a bit of forward planning can help keep costs down.

We reveal the top apps to help make Christmas full of cheer not financial fear…

Shopping

Gift Plan is a fantastic app if you are stuck for gift ideas, or you can’t remember the right clothing size to buy a loved-one.

The makers of the app highlight Gift Plan’s unique profile view, where you can flick through big photos of the people you love and see their personal tastes, gift ideas, sizes and upcoming occasions all at a glance. A good way to organise yourself over the festive period and to help budget and control how much you spend on presents.

Cost: £1.99

Google Shopper

Snap the cover of books, CDs, or DVDs with Google Shopper to price out for a fast visual search. Even if you’re looking for clothes all you have to do is take a picture and it will find something similar, shows prices and the quickest way to get the item. There’s a voice search option too for when your hands are full and you need a break.

Cost: free

ShopSavvy

Christmas shoppers can scan the barcode or type in the name of an item and this app will find the cheapest deal for you both online or on the high street. If an item is available locally, it will be displayed on a map with a blue dot next to it if the retailer has it in stock. For those going abroad for the holidays, the app is Euro-friendly, with options for stores and currency.

Cost: free

Amazon, ebay, high street retailers apps

Needless to say, these apps will help plan and keep an eye on that one off special present and tend to have bargains when it comes to books, knick-knacks and Christmas decorations.

You can set alerts for sales, or if someone lists something on sites like ebay and amazon, you can be the first on the ball and snap it up for a bargain.

Cost: free

HotUKDeals

HotUKDeals gives you access to deals, voucher codes and freebies on lots of different products. With this app it’s worth having a browse frequently to see if there any good deals to be had.

In the past members of the popular site have found discounts on things like Terry’s chocolate oranges for 1p, Fairy washing up liquid for 36p and hundreds of other bargains that can go a long way over Christmas.

Cost: free

Food and drink apps…

Great British Chefs Festive app is a winner when it comes to whipping up food that not only tastes amazing but also looks good.

The app delivers recipes ranging from ‘roasted venison, wild mushroom pie and creamed parsnips’ to ‘coconut pistachio snowballs’, while Vineet Bhatia, one of the newest additions to the apps’ group of chefs, offers an alternative to the traditional roast in the form of a ‘grilled lamb rack, cinnamon lamb jus apricot-walnut cous cous blue cheese-lamb tikki’.

The app gives you video instruction, measurement converters, as well as helps out with wine choices – meaning it saves you hours going up and down the aisles trying to find something that complements the meal!

Cost: free

Watched Tom Cruise’s Cocktail too many times and now fancy being the cocktail pro at the Christmas do? Well there are loads of apps just to help get the hang of shaking up the right potent mix. Try Cocktail flow, or Mixology to get you going and budget how much you need to put aside for the festive tipple.

Cost: Cocktail Flow (free), Mixology (£0.69)

If you’re jetting off…

If you’re planning on making the most of the discounted Christmas day flights, it’s worth keeping in mind apps like the one for Kayak and lastminute.com. They will help you find the best discount holidays – just make sure you check often to grab those bargains!

The Trainline app can also be a good money saver on those train journeys, but remember to book as far ahead of the day you want to travel as possible. Apps for the airline you’re travelling with are also handy – mainly because you won’t have to print anything off and can check-in on the go.

Cost: all free 

Calling the loved ones…

If you’ve got friends and family who live abroad, use the Skype app to call and wish them Merry Christmas for free (as long as they have the Skype installed) or at a discount.

Cost: free, but will need to top up if calling someone on a landline or mobile.

For the kids…

To keep the kids entertained between shopping trips and big Christmas queues, download Doodle Jump Christmas Special. This should keep them occupied for at least 10 minutes so that you can get what you need done. The app has a bonus of being visually beautiful too.

Cost: free

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