Black Friday: Five Apps for Smarter Shopping

Shopping on Black Friday can be exhausting, frustrating and, in extreme cases, hazardous. But apps can help you find the best deals and the latest coupon codes.

While in the store, try BuyVia, which compares prices at national and local outlets and lets users set up alerts, including location-based ones, for products. Use the UPC barcode scanner to see if the store you're in offers the lowest price.

As an alternative, Price Grabber lets you scan products while shopping so you can check to see if other stores offer lower prices and set price alerts to find out when the item you want has been marked down to your desired price. Amazon's Price Check app encourages 'showrooming' -- seeing a product in person at a brick-and-mortar store, then ordering online to get the best price. The app lets you scan the barcode or snap a photo of a physical product and then purchase it online. 

Apps can help with more than just price comparisons. The app, for instance, collects thousands of coupons from across the web and lets you save them for use in stores or online. You can also search for deals at local businesses. 

While you’re looking to save with coupons, you can also save time with the Softcard Mobile Wallet*. The free app safely stores your payment cards, loyalty cards and offers right on compatible smartphones. With one tap, you can make a payment or redeem an offer at hundreds of participating merchants. Special discounts and deals only available through Softcard Mobile Wallet can help you stretch holiday dollars even further. So leave your wallet at home and keep your hands free for what’s important – snagging the best deal.

*UPDATE: Google and Softcard have completed an agreement that will leverage the best technology from both companies to create a more robust mobile wallet for consumers. The mobile payment system will keep the Google Wallet name. Read more here.