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10 apps to guide you through the holiday shopping crunch

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Power to the purchaser

Technology has dramatically changed the retail game. Not long ago, Black Friday postmortem analysis focused on the best-selling products and the winners and losers among big brick-and-mortar retailers. Now it's what percentage of best-sellers at bricks-and-mortars come courtesy of Pinterest's promoted pins, and will the specter of an Amazon Prime delivery drone be replacing Santa's reindeer-led sleigh.

In this age of competitive shopping, smartphone, tablet and computer apps are turning any consumer's commercial excursion—no matter how arduous—into a highly personalized and, best of all, productive experience. The savviest shoppers know how to use technology to plow through a daily avalanche of deals. Standing in line on Black Friday, many shoppers found themselves best served using the time to take to the Twitter app on their smartphone to peruse offers.

Here are 10 of the most powerful and helpful apps to maximize time and money and guide you through the "crunch time" of the holiday shopping season, from the research you need to do at home and online all the way through outsmarting the "in-store" experience.

—By Bob Diddlebock, Special to

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