If you're getting a jump on your Christmas shopping, here are a few ways to shop smarter and keep the cash in your pocket. 

Even if you aren't technologically advanced, check out these apps and websites that are easy to use that can save you money, time and hassle.


Springpad helps you organize your shopping lists and gets the best prices for you. It's an app, and it's also a website for those of us who don't have smart phones. Springpad alerts you to when the prices for the items you choose have been put on sale or when coupons become available.


Amazon has everything. I was craving Boo Berry Cereal and ordered three boxes off of Amazon. If you have a family member or friend that has a birthday coming up and there's something you know they want, go to Amazon. You can have them make a wish list or make a wish list to keep an eye on the items your know they want. Amazon will keep an eye on those items and alert you to special offers, sales and discounts.

RedLaser and Shop Savvy

These apps are cool and free. RedLaser and ShopSavvy allow you to walk around a particular store and it turns your smart phone into a barcode scanner. If there's a sweater you want, or some sort of electronic gadget you know your husband wants, you can scan the barcode and the apps go to work searching your area for other stores that may have it for a lower price. It can also let you know when that store has that item on sale.


This one pays you to shop - my favorite! ShopAtHome gives you three percent to 30 percent cash back from online retailers. Once you've racked up $20 cash back, ShopAtHome cuts you a check. It takes about two months to get your check, but if you're a frequent online shopper, this one is definitely worth checking out.

Comparison shopping is so important and I discovered that some stores will trick you into spending more money. If you have two items, say a DVD player. One is a DVD and VCR player that's pretty convenient because a lot of old home movies from the old camcorder days are on video cassette and it's $99. The other is just a DVD player, but it's $79 dollars and it's pretty nice, you're maybe more likely to just buy the regular DVD player. But now, what if we throw in a DVD and Blu Ray player for $89? It's the decoy that makes you stop and wonder. You really just need a DVD player, but what if someone gives you a Blu Ray and you don't have a Blu Ray player? Then you'd have to get the gift receipt and go to the store and it's cold and you don't have time blah blah blah. All of these things flash through your head, but something is telling you to buy the DVD/Blu Ray player. It's a sneaky trick to get you to pay more money. You were just looking for a DVD player and the $79 model is fine, but now you spend $89 and tax to get the Blu Ray player, too. When you go to the store or log on and you're looking for something specific, stick to your guns.