Black Friday 2011: the best apps and services for holiday shoppers

Whether you’re braving retail stores this Black Friday, or just choosing to stay at home and hunt deals virtually, it’s best to be prepared. If you have a smartphone, then it’s easier than ever to plan your Black Friday festivities ahead so you don’t end up missing out on the best deals.

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite apps and services to make you a Black Friday master:

TGI Black Friday: If you haven’t come across this nifty app yet, then you’re likely new to the whole Black Friday app business. TGI Black Friday, available free for the iPhone and Android, compiles leaked deals and flyers from both online and retail stores. You can keep track of deals, share them with friends, and download PDFs of store flyers. If you download just one Black Friday app, this should be it. (All of TGI Friday’s deals are also available on its website, but since you can’t synchronize saved items between the site and app, we recommend you do most of your browsing on the app.)

Black Friday by Fatwallet: This app provides deals to retail stores from Fatwallet.com’s forums. It doesn’t cover online stores, but it may contain some deals to brick and mortar retailers that TGI Black Friday doesn’t offer.

ShopSavvy: Before you snap up a supposed deal, you can use ShopSavvy to scan product barcodes to search the web and competing retailers to see if there are any better offers.

FastMall, Point Inside, Micello: These apps all offer indoor mall maps, which will help you to keep your bearings if you need to trek out to far off shopping centers.

Lemon, Slice, OneReceipt: All of these services help you manage your physical and electronic receipts, which will help you keep better track of Black Friday spending. They all offer mobile apps to let you snap a photo of physical receipts, as well as the ability to scan your inbox for digital receipts. OneReceipt has yet to launch, but you can sign up for the private beta right now.

Mint: Want to keep track of your spending on a broader level? Mint will help you to make sense of Black Friday spending, as well as all of your other everyday expenses. If you need help figuring out a personal budget, Mint is the ticket.

And, as always, we’ll keep you in the loop on particularly great deals here at VentureBeat, like Apple’s upcoming Black Friday plans.

Have any useful Black Friday apps or services in mind not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments, as we’ll be updating this post throughout today and tomorrow with your suggestions.

Photo by Tshien on Flickr

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