3 Sneaky Tricks to Save Money on Holiday Shopping

Spread more joy with less cashWith these strategies and secrets, you'll be able to spread more joy with less cash.

Get It For Less

Even if you don't consider yourself a techie, you owe it to yourself to check out these three tools. As you'll see, your computer and smartphone can help save you time, hassle, and money - just like Good Housekeeping! - during this jolly season:

1. Keep track of your holiday lists and get the best possible prices with a little help from Springpad (springpad.com; iPhone and Android, free). Via either the app or the website itself, you can drag items into however many virtual gift lists you decide to create. Springpad sends you alerts to tell you when and exactly where prices for your selected items have been lowered, or if coupons or other special offers have become available.

Related: 35 Days of Holiday Shopping Tips

I decided to check it out by tracking a toy for my daughter, Bianca - specifically, the Crayola Color Wonder Sound Studio. It was first listed at $35, but I received an alert a day later that I could nab it for $17.38 through the end of the month. That's less than half the original price - sweet!

2. The Amazon Wish List enables you to make gift lists and monitor price reductions on amazon.com's beloved mega marketplace. Your friends and family can share links to the lists of presents they hope to receive. You can click on whatever gifts you're thinking about getting them, easily creating your own list. Amazon will track the items on your master list and tell you when their prices drop.

I followed a new Keurig Special Edition B60 Brewing System (a great gift from the whole family for my coffee-loving dad). At first, the lowest price was $135, which was already almost 50% off the suggested retail price. Then, two days later, the price dropped another $5 - not a huge amount, I have to admit, but saving that much on every single gift on your list could add up to one very merry holiday.

Related: 7 Gift-Wrapping Tips

3. RedLaser and ShopSavvy (redlaser.com and shopsavvy.com; iPhone and Android, free) first allow smartphone users to scan bar codes while trolling the aisles at a store; then they magically track down lower prices - whether online, at other re-tailers, or even at the very same store, thanks to special discount codes and the like. It's a brilliant way to avoid endless shopping around (plus the cost of gas) or hours of Web surfing when you're looking for that special gift.

How do you score deals this time of year? Let me know in the comments!

-By Carmen Wong Ulrich

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