Saving on Black Friday: There's an app for that

Combing the ads and drafting an itinerary are musts for Black Friday shoppers, but the smartest prep may be preloading your smartphone with shopping apps.

In a recent Verizon Wireless survey, 59 percent of consumers said they have used a smartphone to make Black Friday shopping easier. "Like anything else, it's a matter of having the right apps on your phone," said Brad Spirrison, managing editor for review site Appolicious. (Check out the above video for some of the categories that can make for a cheaper shopping experience.)

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Woman using smartphone at mall
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With the introduction of Apple Pay, it also may be valuable to download and set up mobile wallet technologies. For example, Wells Fargo is offering a $20 statement credit for credit card users who try the technology by Nov. 30. Mobile wallet platform Softcard will credit you $10 for every five purchases, up to $30 total. And plenty of individual retail partners are offering their own wallet-exclusive deals.

It's also smart to download apps for all the retailers you plan to visit on Black Friday, Spirrison said. "You might get deals you can't get anywhere else," he said. For example, Target's app has mobile-only coupons, which currently include $5 off a holiday décor purchase of $25 or more. Some retailer apps can also push deal alerts to your phone if you give them permission. That isn't always a good thing, though, if it entices you to make an unplanned stop.