Online tools to make holiday shopping simpler
The official Free Shipping Day is Dec. 17. You can find a list of participating stores at freeshipping.com.
Shoprunner.com is a $79 service that ships your gifts in two days free of charge. Sign up for the free 30-day trial, and if you cancel before the 30 days are up, you'll get 90 days more free.
Use the service just three times in those three months and your year's membership is free.
Pinterest has them. Take a peek to see if your buddy has created one.
You can also go Amazon.com/gp/wishlist and type in a person's name in the "find" box.
Hint: Make it easy on your friends and relatives by filling out one yourself.
You'll have to actually go out of the house, but many stores have price matching promises.
See something you like? Check it out online and then ask if they'll match the deal in person. Stores like Target, Best Buy and Walmart may close the deal.
Try out another money saver: It's called "showrooming." Scan in the barcode of a prize find to see if Amazon or another site has a better offer.
Engage-Me and ShopKick give you "kicks" (rewards) just for walking in some stores.
FastMall will help you find stores, food, bathrooms and even your car when you're loaded with packages.
Extra! Extra!, www.extra2.com, curates deals from thousands of sites and retailers, and the free app has coupons you can use as you shop.
List Bliss, www.listbliss.com, syncs your shopping lists so shoppers can split up, yet know what the other person is buying. It also tracks money spent so you can stay on budget.
CheckPoints, www. checkpoints.com, is a shopping rewards app that "gamifies" your shopping trip: See how many rewards you can rack up.
Cut the paper clutter of unwanted bulk mailings by signing up for Catalog Choice, an app and browser extension that pops up as you shop and lets you opt out. It's free at catalogchoice.org/mailstop.
Source: ShopSmart, a Consumer Reports publication, and inMarket
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