The holidays are here! Historically, I would already be in crazy list-making mode by now making sure I’ve bought gifts for all of my loved ones (I shop early and you should too!), planning holiday meals, and creating to-do lists just for decorating. It’s easy to Install apps so if you need an app to beat the holiday stress, it’s easy to do. But not this year! I’m still making lists, but I’ve learned to simplify my holiday season with a few great apps that do everything from finding the best deals to preparing the perfect meal for all of your guests.
If the holiday season is overwhelming you, download a few of these apps to help you stay sane:
1. Food 52: Is a vegan coming to your Thanksgiving dinner? Do you want to learn how to set a holiday table? Or brine a turkey? This app features recipes, advice, and products to teach you how to become a “smarter, better, happier cook.” It’s a great, quick reference for all things food.
2. TaskRabbit: I love this app so much! Think about all the things you could be outsourcing this holiday season: writing out holiday cards, waiting in line for the new “it” gift, shopping for all the items on your holiday grocery list…the list just goes on and on! Have someone else run your holiday errands for you!
3. TalkTo: This awesome app is a “FabFind” because it let’s you text any business in America. Use it to find out if a store has what you’re looking for before you even leave the house! Some stores will even offer to put items on hold for you when you text them, making real-life holiday shopping almost as easy as shopping online.
4. Springpad: Springpad used to be considered a competitor to Evernote, but now the app functions more like a cross between an organization app and Pinterest. See an item when you’re searching the web that would make a perfect gift? “Spring it!” to the app to save it for later. You can create multiple notebooks to spring recipes, holiday movies you want to see, and even your wish list for Santa 🙂
5. Woot: For the tech lover, wine lover, or watch lover in your life, Woot features tons of awesome gadgets and daily deal offers. Don’t worry — the app will alert you when something good pops up!
6. CardStar: My husband had an idea for an app like this years ago, and I’m excited it now exists! Store all your loyalty, reward, and membership cards by scanning them into the app. This app is great because it declutters your keychain and wallet, while making sure you always have what you need to get the best deals.
7. Lemon Wallet: Speaking of your wallet, you might as well leave it home if you’re using the Lemon Wallet app. Store all of your credit card and gift card information securely in the app, and access it with a few taps. The best thing about this app is it makes shopping on your phone a breeze – simply choose which card you want to pay with in the app and the card information and billing address are all filled in automatically for you. Another great feature is it will organize all your receipts for you — all you have to do is snap a pic of them and you can go paperless.
8. Skin Deep: Whether you’re shopping for an eco-friendly cousin or you want to stuff stockings with safe and natural products, the Skin Deep app lets you scan the barcode of any product and tells you if any ingredients in it are toxic. Holiday ads can overwhelm you with claims about whats “good for you,” but this app takes away the stress of worrying about side effects. Since downloading this app, I’ve zapped just about every product in my home and even swapped out a few that were surprisingly dangerous.
9. Hukkster: Never miss a sale again! Hukkster lets you “follow” certain products and then alerts you when they go on sale anywhere online. Some pricy but perfect gifts are worth the wait, so download the app today to start tracking the best present your dad has ever seen 🙂
10. Gift Plan: This gift planning app can be used year round but it becomes particularly useful when the holiday season rolls around. Keep all the people you need to buy gifts for in one place. You can store ideas, sizes, likes and dislikes and even create a shopping list right in the app. It also allows you to set reminders so you’ll never fall behind again.
11. GateGuru: For some the holidays are full of travel. GateGuru gives you up-to-the minute flight information and will notify you with any changes or updates. You can even use the app to get estimated wait times for TSA checkpoints, search for where the Dunkin Donuts is in the airport, and book a rental car.
12. Mint: Keep track of your holiday spending and make sure you stay within budget with the Mint.com the personal finance app. It will even create a customized budget for you, based on your actual spending.
13. Couch-to-5K: Every year we hear the same thing “New Year, New You” and everyone has lofty fitness goals. But it’s hard to stay motivated after a month of amazing holiday food and treats. This app is great because exercise can reduce holiday stress, but it only requires a commitment of 30 minutes three times a week.
14. RetailMeNot: Why clip coupons when you can search for stores on the RetailMeNot app and access all of their deals right from your phone. This app is ideal for impulse buyers who still want to shop smart – simply search the name of the store you’re shopping in, see what deals they’re currently offering, and show the coupon on your phone at checkout.
15. Pandora: Sometimes all you need to de-stress for the holiday season is a little “All I Want For Christmas Is You” Radio.
16. Dr. Seuss Camera: You can be a holiday grinch but still make everyone smile with this fun and festive app that lets you take photos and create zany “Grinchmas Cards.” Fun and functional all in one — and totally worth the $1.99 to keep you happy for the holidays!
18. justWink: Personalize and send awesome e-cards to all of your friends and family easily with this app. You can send them via real mail or instantly via text message, email, Twitter, or Facebook.
19. Zazzle: Customize or personalize just about any gift with the Zazzle app. It’s the easiest way to design a one-of-a-kind gift and take the stress out of shopping for the one who has it all.
20. Relax Melodies: Still stressed even with all of this help? This app will calm you down (and promises to help you fall asleep in 20 minutes or less!)