Another app that I’m anxious to try out is pic2shop – Shop by Barcode by Vision Smarts. With this free app you can scan the barcode of a product and compare prices at various local AND online retailers. I think this app will really help me in making sure that I’m getting the best price available and help me keep within my meager budget.
Every year it seems like I hear more and more people complaining of being completely overwhelmed with Christmas shopping. Especially in these economic times when it seems everyone is on a tighter budget, Christmas shopping has become full of dread for so many.
As someone who totally geeks out over list making and being organized, the actual shopping and planning around the holidays has always been the part that I enjoy the MOST. (yes yes yes, I know, I have issues) Every year before I begin shopping I sit down and make up my shopping spreadsheet. I list out all the people I’m buying for and ideas of what I want to get them. In previous years I wasn’t always as concerned with budgets but hoo-boy add in a couple of kids and take away an income and this year, budgeting will be a necessity.
Because I have OCD like tendencies my lists, whether done on paper or in excel always have spaces for actual gift purchased, price, and check boxes to mark when it’s been wrapped and delivered. I was all set to start this year’s shopping list when Jen asked on twitter if anyone had any good apps for tracking purchases. Sometimes I forget that my iPhone isn’t just a personal gaming system, there are actual productivity apps! So I set about doing some research to see if there was really “an app for that”.
In the end I narrowed my choices to Christmas Shopping List and Better Christmas List. They both looked equally user friendly and seemed to have a lot of the same features but I chose Better Christmas List. Here are some of the features that I really like:
1. Groups – You can make different groups of people AND you set the names, no choosing from preset options. I like this because I can separate out all my different “Family” lists (mom’s side, dad’s side, MIL’s, FIL’s).
2. Budgeting – You can set a budget per person or per group. You can also adjust your settings to view budget totals based on planned gifts and estimated costs or costs after the item is actually bought.
3. Notes – There is a notes section for each person. The perfect place for listing ideas or wish lists. I would also say to keep a list of possible places to purchase said gift in here but there is an actual section to list your stores for each gift. You can keep overall notes for a person as well as individual gift notes for those on your list who are getting multiple gifts.
4. Password – For me personally this isn’t a problem as my kids aren’t old enough to even snoop the house for presents let alone my phone (and my husband can barely turn my phone on) but for those with kids who are a little older this feature will protect all your Santa Secrets.
For me the only feature I would really like is the ability to enter all my groups, people and gifts online, on my computer and have it sync to my phone because I generally make my entire list at once. Something that is nice though is this app has the ability to archive data, so once you get it set up, you can use it year after year.
Here are a couple of screen shots from my phone. You can also visit the App’s webpage here.
Tell me what are your best strategies for staying organized and on budget with your holiday shopping?