The dust and pixels from Black Friday and Cyber Monday have settled (though many of the best deals are still good). And we’re now in the thick of the holiday shopping season. Is your wallet ready?
According to a recent survey from the National Retail Federation, people plan to spend almost $1,000 on gifts, holiday items and non-gift purchases this year despite supply chain issues. If reading that number awakens your inner Scrooge, we found 11 apps and browser extensions to make sure you don’t start the new year with an empty bank account.
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Honey compares prices between Amazon, Amazon’s third-party sellers and other online retailers, factoring in estimated shipping costs and Prime status to find the best deal.
Once you install the browser extension (on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Edge) and navigate to a product page on Amazon, you’ll see the “h” icon appear over the product photo. Clicking it takes you to the Drop List feature, which shows the product’s price history and lets you set an alert for drops. If you see a tag that says “Best deal,” you can be confident that no other Amazon seller offers a lower price.
You can also search for products through the extension or on Honey’s website to see current and historical pricing, coupons and availability on a range of e-commerce sites such as Walmart, JCPenney and Home Depot.
PriceBlink also offers price comparisons and coupons, but with a slightly different interface. Once installed (on Chrome or Firefox), when you navigate to an online shopping site, a yellow bar will appear at the top of the screen. It will alert you to any available deals and coupons on the site, and if a better price is available elsewhere.
When you navigate to an item on Amazon, click “Compare prices” on the bar at the top to see where else it’s available, along with the base price, shipping costs and total price. If Amazon has the best price, the bar will say “Next best price.” If it doesn’t, it will say “Savings found! Buy this for less” and list the amount and the other site.
PriceBlink also lets you track pricing over time and add items to your wish list, as well as find coupons on its website.
PriceBlink alerts you to better deals elsewhere (in this case eBay) on the same product.
PriceBlink/Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET
InvisibleHand is a browser extension that looks for the lowest prices on rental cars, hotels and flights in addition to coupons and deals from online retailers. That way traveling across the country to see your in-laws won’t break the bank (just your spirits).
Similar to both Honey and PriceBlink, Pricescout can find coupon codes for you, while also comparing prices across different retailers. While you’re shopping, it scans the sites of over 21,000 retailers and will pop up with better prices.
Capital One Shopping
Capital One Shopping is a free browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Safari. Once installed, the extension will instantly apply the best available coupons and discounts codes to your purchase at checkout.
The expansion does price comparison among other retailers and sellers across Amazon as well, so you can find the best deal possible without having to research it yourself. The extension says it even offers rewards while you shop that can be redeemed as gift cards.
Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates, is an e-commerce site that gives customers cash-back for shopping. Former CNET editor Rick Broida described it as “easy to use and comes with no strings attached.” Rakuten, however, does collect data about where you shop and what you buy.
Read more: Surprising ways to get cash back without even trying
Available for Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Safari, the Rakuten browser extension alerts you when cash-back savings are available and saves you the detour to Rakuten’s site when actively purchasing. It sometimes finds coupon codes for you as well.
OctoShop lets you set alerts for price drops and in-stock notifications.
OctoShop/Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome/CNET
The OctoShop browser extension compares prices across retailers, but it also has the ability to notify you when a product, like the Xbox Series X, Playstation 5 or Nintendo Switch OLED, restocks. You can set restock notifications for different retailers as well as price drop alerts. It also compares shipping speeds so you aren’t waiting until next year for your order.
OctoShop is available on Chrome, Edge and Firefox.
RetailMeNot’s Deal Finder browser extension automatically applies the best available discount codes and cash-back options at checkout. The extension is supported by more than 20,000 retailers, including Target, Macy’s, Lenovo and DoorDash. CNET has been singing the tool’s praises since 2010 for making online coupon hunting less annoying.
Piggy finds the lowest prices available and automatically applies coupon slides and cash-back options at checkout. The extension works at over 6,000 online stores including Amazon and eBay. According to Piggy, the extension can save you up to 55% on select hotels as well.
Like many other browser extensions on this list, Slickdeals shows customers the best deals, coupons and cash-back options available at the time of purchase from the online retailers that support it.
Cently for Chrome
Cently, formerly known as Coupons at Checkout, is a Chrome extension that finds coupon codes for thousands of online retailers and shows you the best ones at checkout. Cently also has a feature called Amazon Best Price which tells you when a product is cheaper from another Amazon seller.
Amazon Assistant for Chrome
If you’re an Amazon fanatic, you’ll love this extension. The Amazon Assistant for Chrome is Amazon’s official browser extension. It finds you the Deal of the Day, offers product and price comparisons and saves products from any website to your Amazon wish list.
The Amazon Assistant for Chrome is Amazon’s official browser extension.
The Camelizer from Camelcamelcamel
Most savvy shoppers know that shopping at certain times can snag you the best deals. The Camelizer is an extension that shows you the price history of an item you’re browsing on Amazon to help you decide whether to buy now or wait for a better deal. It will also send you price drop alerts via email or Twitter, and you can import your Amazon wish list so that you’ll know when your heart’s desire goes on sale.
Pro tip: If The Camelizer graph looks a little funny, right-click it and open it in a new tab.
Offers.com is a place to check for special deals such as free shipping, buy-one-get-one-free and other perks that can save you money when shopping online. This Firefox extension also finds coupon codes. When it finds a code, it saves it for you and adds it to your shopping cart. The extension also opens another browser page and displays all of the sales for the site you’re viewing, so you never miss a great deal.
This dashcam has a 4.6-star average rating from over 100 customers, but Fakespot gave those reviews an F.
User reviews give you an idea of the quality of a product before you buy. The problem is, many companies hire people to post good reviews for bad products on sites like Amazon. Fakespot is an extension that analyzes reviews to see which ones are baloney and which you can trust so you’re less likely to waste your money on a dud.
CouponCabin is different from other money-saving browser extensions because it gives you little tips every time you do a search on Google, whether you’re wanting to buy or not. Say you’re Googling information on the latest Stephen King book. CouponCabin will give you a little alert in your search results that it’s on sale. You can also earn 10% cash back by using this extension.
The ShopSavvy app uses your phone’s camera to scan barcodes to find the best price from physical and digital retailers. Its website also offers “Best Time to Buy” guides, which chart price fluctuations on products like computers, cameras and televisions over the past 90 days.
ShopSavvy is free to download in the App Store and the Play store.
Affirm helps you pay off more expensive purchases — like the Apple Watch Series 7 or a new gaming console — in smaller installments. Affirm offers financing plans that range between three months to two years, with interest rates between zero and 30%. There are no late fees, but missing payments could hurt your credit score. Not all retailers accept Affirm, but Amazon and more than 11,000 other online retailers do.
Affirm is free to download in the App Store and the Play store.
AfterPay is another buy now, pay later option. While other apps might let you make smaller payments over a longer period of time, with AfterPay you only make four payments. The first payment is due upon checkout, and usually the other payments are due every other week. There’s also an option to make payments once a month. As long as you make your payments, you won’t be charged any late fees or interest. If you miss a payment, you’re charged $10, and if you don’t make the payment within seven days, you’re charged another $7. AfterPay isn’t accepted at Amazon, but it is accepted by more than 85,000 online retailers.
AfterPay is free to download in the App Store and the Play store.
Splitwise is an app that makes splitting any bills over the holidays easy. The app lets you create groups and add people by name or email. Enter the price of a group dinner or a hotel room and then split the cost among the group members. You can split the cost evenly or you can enter different amounts for people in your group. Splitwise Pro can also scan receipts and recognize different items on the receipt so they can be assigned to members of your group. The Pro version can also convert bills using exchange rates on international trips. One downside to Splitwise is you can’t settle up in the app. You either pay in cash or use another app like Venmo.
Splitwise is free to download in the App Store and the Play store. Splitwise Pro costs $3 a month or $30 annually.
The Venmo app makes it easy to give cash for the holidays, and who doesn’t like cash? The app also lets you split bills from retailers that accept Venmo as payment. Otherwise, you have to do the math and request money from people through the app. Using Venmo in conjunction with Splitwise could help alleviate that stress.
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