5 Best Apps for Holiday Shopping

With the holidays right around the corner, it's time to get serious about holiday shopping. Here are some of the best apps for your holiday shopping needs!With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s time to get serious about holiday shopping. A lot of times holiday shopping can cost you more money than you’d like. But we have found some of the best apps to help cut some of the costs down tremendously. Some of these apps will give you discounts, some are specifically for coupons, some will give you rebates and other just help you shop around before you buy. No matter which of these apps you choose, you can’t go wrong. And your wallet will thank you!


Ibotta has been one of my favorite apps for years now. The way it works is two fold. You can either shop in person or online. If you choose to shop online, you must launch your shopping trip from the Ibotta app in order to get the rebate. If you shop in person, you have to upload an image of your receipt in the app to get the rebate.

Ultimately, each store has different rebates for different products or categories. So it is best to check the app prior to shopping to see if anything you are thinking of purchasing is on there currently. If there are items you are interested in, then you need to click the plus sign to add them to your list before you can attain the rebate.

Once you go through all of the steps, your rebate will show up in your Ibotta account fairly quickly. Sometimes I have seen mine as quickly as 5 minutes later. But more often than not, I see the rebate the next day.

But the savings don’t stop here! Ibotta has regular rewards categories and group participation bonuses. Click under the “Earn More” tab to find other ways to add more money to your account. Sometimes it is just by referring a friend, working with your team, purchasing a specific product or group of products purchased.

Once you have $20 in your Ibotta account you can cash it out. PayPal is the primary way to get your money out. But they also offer some gift card options that I have used in the past instead. This is especially true of the Amazon gift card option because then I can just use the digital gift card to purchase more holiday gifts that way. I love this game!

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Rakuten Ebates

Another one of my favorite apps/extensions is Rakuten. This can be both put on your computer as an extension and your phone as an app. It runs in the background on your computer and anytime you are shopping on a website, it will pop up and tell you if there are any current rebate offers for that seller. If there are, all you have to do is click on the “Activate % Cash Back” button at the top right-hand side of your screen. Once you have completed that, you are on your way to getting cash back rebates.

If you choose to use the app on your phone, you have to launch your shopping trip directly from the app, just like Ibotta. Once you purchase something that has a rebate percentage associated with it, you will get an email with the store and the amount you will receive. That amount will be deposited into your Rakuten account within a couple of days, usually.

They are a little different with their cash out method than Ibotta, however. They send a “Big Fat Check” every quarter for whatever you happen to have in your account. It can be sent as a physical check or you can connect your bank account for them to direct deposit it to. I prefer the latter method, personally.


ShopSavvy is a little bit different than the previous two apps. They are more of a comparison site prior to you choosing where to purchase the holiday gift in question. Their app lets you scan a barcode of an item and then will run a search for the same item on all sites. This way you get to see the who happens to have the gift and how much they are selling it for.

I like to use this app in conjunction with the other two previously mentioned apps. This way I can see what my best options are and who might be able to give me additional rebates on the item. After all, my goal is to get these gifts for as little as possible. And combining different app methods certainly helps me be successful in this realm!

Santa’s Bag/Christmas Gift List

Both of these apps have multiple functions, which make them extremely great apps to add to your arsenal this holiday season. The main difference between the two apps are the platforms they work on. Santa’s Bag works on Apple products and Christmas Gift List is for both Android and iOS products.

Other than that, they are basically the same app. They both help you:

  • get organized
  • make holiday gift lists
  • create, and stick to, a holiday budget
  • set reminders

These apps are great for those of us that just have too many things on our plate this holiday season and could use a streamlined app to help.


CouponCabin is a hybrid app. They not only have coupons for thousands of different websites, but they also offer rebates up to 10% off on some sites. Take, for example, right now they have a $100 bonus on any order over $100 purchased from Bed, Bath and Beyond. That is a pretty awesome bonus!

They give you a $2 bonus cash back reward just for signing up and will give you another $5 bonus for adding the app to your phone. The payout methods are a little more advanced than some of the other apps also. Here are the main ways you can cash out your CouponCabin balance:

  • Amazon gift card (they give you an extra 10% back for using this method)
  • Direct deposit
  • PayPal
  • Check
  • Chase payments
  • Charitable donation

I don’t know about you, but I love how in-depth this app is!

Best Apps Summary

Overall, we live in a great time to get fantastic deals on holiday gift-giving. There are so many new extensions and apps every year to help us on our quest. But some of our favorites in this arena include:

  • Ibotta
  • Rakuten Ebates
  • ShopSavvy
  • Santa’s Bag
  • Christmas Gift List
  • CouponCabin

While they are all a bit different, they all have fabulous features. And each one might be better geared towards your life and shopping style. So find the app, or multiple apps, that work best for you, to really help save some serious money this holiday season.

Which are some of the best apps you have found to cut your holiday shopping costs?