During the holidays, one of the most difficult activities to get out of the way is gift giving. The process is a mix of a guessing game with who should get what, along with a search high and low for the gift, only to guess what their reaction may be in the end. However, technology today has made it a lot easier for the gift giving process to go a bit smoother. Today, we will take a look at how it can assist you in creating a gift giving list, finding the best gift, and paying the least amount possible.
1. Creating a List
The first line of business for most gift givers is creating the shopping list that you will go by from now until you are finished with holiday shopping. For some people, they are able to get their shopping done by Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, while others wait until the day before the holiday to check everything off the list.
One recommended application for creating the holiday shopping list is Evernote. This application is available on iOS, Blackberry, Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux. This means that almost wherever you are, Evernote follows. This is key in allowing you to work on your list even when away from home. Plus, the collaborative features of Evernote make it easy to create group lists. This means that if you have a list for the children, you and your spouse can accomplish tasks together.
A couple of Evernote drawbacks include the pricing. While it’s free, you do have a small free storage allowance, however more storage is as low as $4.99 a month. Alternatives include: Notes app on iOS, Remember the Milk
2. Getting the Best Deals
After you have a list together, your next order of business is finding the deals that will allow you to pay for some of this stuff. There are tons of coupon websites and apps online and for mobile. Coupons.com has a special section for this season that allows you to take advantage of store deals at various retailers. The supermarket coupon site will now offer deals to places including Old Navy, Best Buy, Target, and tons of others.
On your phone, RetailMeNot‘s coupon application allows you to take the popular coupon website’s deals to go with you on iPhone. You can set locations that you want to receive deals from and get alerts when they arrive. The community on RetailMeNot also is allowed to alert users of coupons, however voting allows you to filter the true deals from the tricks. You can also save and share some for later.
Some drawbacks to Coupons.com is that some deals aren’t as drastic as others you can find on other websites, due in part to the website’s focus as a whole. Secondly, RetailMeNot does offer a majority of valid coupons, however it can be a pain having to ensure the deal is truly going to work. Your best alternative would be Passbook for iOS if you have it on your iPhone, though you’ll have to add your own coupons.
3. Finding the Gift and Purchasing
There are a load of shopping options available on iOS. However, what’s important is finding the store that comes with the best benefits for shopping there. Amazon is a popular stop for holiday shoppers, also known as one of the most popular stops for Cyber Monday shopping. The Amazon Mobile application works wonders for accomplishing things on the holiday list while away from a computer.
But, sometimes it isn’t always smart to just go with the store that you always go to. A deal may be hiding in the middle of a store that you may have never been to before. Decide is a great application for situations like this. By scanning the items bar code, you are able to see whether or not you should purchase now or wait on it. You can also see the price of the competing stores. If you want to focus more on price comparisons, RedLaser or ShopSavvy may be great alternatives that are more focused.
Decide for iOS – Buy now or wait? This application helps you decide while also giving you deals and pricing to help.
How are you using technology to make gift giving productive, fun, and easy? Let us know in the comments below!
Image credit: Gift by Big Stock Photo.