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Must-have apps for shopping during the holidays

With more stores rolling out Black Friday deals earlier each year, watching our wallet begins earlier, too.

That’s why having tools on hand can go a long way toward saving money. Here are a few mobile apps to give you some control.

• Amazon Price Check: Yes, this app encourages going to a store, finding a product and then scanning the barcode to see if you can find it cheaper on Amazon. Brick-and-mortar stores don’t like this app, but then again, if they want your business, they should entice you with better prices.

Platform: Android, iPhone/iPad.

• Red Laser: This app scans a barcode so you can find nearby retailers where you can buy the product. You can even buy it from your phone. By scanning the QR code you can get info on a product and compare prices.

Platform: Android, iPhone/iPad, Windows phone.

• Black Friday App: Some stores will be open Thanksgiving, so they will have a Black Friday ad for Thanksgiving Day wand another for Friday. A good way to keep track of all your ads is by downloading the Black Friday App. If you’re traveling for the holiday and find great deals on the road, make a shopping list and buy directly online.

Platform: Android, iPhone/iPad.

• Lemon Wallet: Shopping season creates chaos in a wallet. And I don’t mean just luring you into shopping more than you should, but literally — receipts galore! Get your wallet in order by snapping a picture of everything inside, including receipts, credit cards, ID, insurance card and more. You can also see where you shop the most with easy stats created from your digital receipts.

Platform: Android, iPhone/iPad, Windows phone.

• Key Ring: Running around, getting last-minute things, can throw you off your grocery planning. This app loads all your loyalty cards. Show the phone to the cashier to get instant savings and even use select mobile coupons to bring down your shopping total.

Platform: Android, iPhone/iPad.

We know the holiday season can be stressful, so whatever works for you, go with it. Whether it’s writing out shopping lists, budgets or using your favorite apps, do whatever works.