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Twelve Days of Christmas…..Shopping

Steve Susina • September 26, 2012

Get ready for the repetitive holiday music, crowded stores and long lines. December Shopping = Complete Chaos. Although most people say they dread shopping during this time of year, some of us secretly enjoy it. Yes, I will admit it. I am one of THOSE people who love to get the BEST holiday deal and find ways to get my shopping done in an organized manner without suffering a panic attack!  My love for the Christmas shopping extravaganza has gotten stronger over the years due to some extremely helpful and time-saving tricks. Plus, I now do 90% of my shopping in my PJ’s, laying on the couch, sipping on a hot mint mocha! Thank goodness for online shopping, right?

Here are some Apps and features (some you probably know about, some you may not) that I can not live without this season. And in full Sara Claus mode, I will “sing” it to you. Here it goes… AHEM…

On the twelfth day of Christmas shopping, my PC gave to me…12 Gift Plan Apps A Romping

This App is a miracle for anyone who has a long list or multiple families to buy for. This $0.99 App allows you to organize all of your gift ideas and organize them between friends, family and coworkers. Once you have your peeps listed, you add in their preferences and sizes (which comes in extremely handy for those of you, like me, who forget your niece’s dress size as you are staring at the pretty pink tutus). As you check things off your shopping list, the App will automatically total how much you spent on your holiday shopping and per person.  In addition to all that greatness, you can use this Gift Plan App well beyond the holiday season by adding in your family and friend’s birthdays or anniversaries. Organization with a capital O!  Trust me, next year when you are trying to remember “How much do I typically spend on my coworker Shannon?” or “What kind of perfume does mom like again?” You will thank me.

On the eleventh day of Christmas shopping, my PC gave to me… 11 QR Codes A Stomping

Even though these things have been around for a while, this year QR codes seem to be all the rage!  In catalogs, direct mail pieces, and I even noticed one on a Sears TV commercial. Guess we should be happy for DVR- don’t know how else I would have the time to get my phone from the other room to scan the TV screen. Anyway, for me, these QR codes are addiction and I can’t stop taking my phone up to the code to see what kind of deal I will get, even if it is something that I know I won’t be interested in what so ever. It’s like a scratch off lottery ticket! 

On the tenth day of Christmas shopping, my PC gave to me… 10 Amazon Wish Lists A Singing

An oldie, but a goody.  Even my mom uses this one. Similar to the Gift Plan App, the Amazon Wish List lets you create and share your “Wish List” with your family. My favorite part is when I am shopping online throughout the year, and I ask myself, “Do I really need that now?” The answer: “Forget it. I will just add it to my wish list.”

On the ninth day of Christmas shopping, my PC gave to me… 9 Amazon Subscriber Lists A Running

Having two Amazon items in a row you would think I work for Amazon, but I promise you I don’t. I just really, really like these features!  In chatting with my friend Gabs, who is a first-time mom, she let me in on one of the best cost-saving features out there- the Amazon Subscriber’s List. You just sign up for what you will need on a reoccurring basis and they ship it to you. Plus, instead of having to remember to order each month, they offer reoccurring deliveries so you don’t have to have to run out in the snow to pick up the much needed baby wipes.  Between the Amazon Subscriber’s List and New Mom’s List, Gabs is able to save up to 30% on some items for her baby! I’d say that’s a good deal.

On the eighth day of Christmas shopping, my PC gave to me… 8 Groupons A Humming

I know how we all hate to get those “Discount Today” emails, but Groupon is really one of the best things that I joined this year. Each day, Groupon negotiates deals with local businesses and then sends out an email with a daily deal. If enough people purchase it, the deal is good! And when I say deal, I mean deal! Example: I just bought a 90 minute flying lesson for my husband for Christmas for $60!  There are several similar sites such as and

On the seventh day of Christmas shopping, my PC gave to me… 7 Fast Mall’s A Ringing

The Mall. For me, the worst place to be during the holidays. Not only is it extremely crowded, but I never go enough to know what stores are still there or if they have moved to the south wing. The Fast Mall App is a handy tool that I have used when venturing out in malls that I am not familiar with and need to get my items asap. This App provides a store directory and a virtual map that can calculate the distance from your current location to the store of your choice. So if you ever find yourself going around in circles in the mall, download this and save yourself a good half an hour of frustration.

On the sixth day of Christmas shopping, my PC gave to me… 6 Gift Meisters A Meistering

No idea what to get your 14-year-old male cousin or 46-year-old boss? is an online community that lists hundreds of thousands of items and has a cool spinwheel feature that allows you to select your gift idea by gender, age, price and even lifestyle. When I am in a pickle this site has been a good resource for ideas and deals.

On the fifth day of Christmas shopping, my PC gave to me… 5 Months of Bills

Again, another one of those free services that I don’t know if I (or my husband) could live without. is a secure online budgetary tool from all of your accounts (checking, savings, 401K, and credit cards) that automatically track expenses and budgets and lets you set savings goals. The best part about this site is that I can set a budget for my holiday shopping and tag any of the expenses for the holiday. This way I know how much of my paycheck can go towards holiday shopping and how much can go towards those killer red heels that I have been eyeing. = Online banking on steroids!

On the fourth day of Christmas shopping, my PC gave to me… 4 Guilty Pleasures

This is for you fashionistas (or friend’s of fashionistas) out there. If you like designer clothes or accessories, but want them at a discounted price, look no further. Gilt Groupe ( is a free online membership to some of the best deals in the high fashion world – up to 70% off retail.

On the third day of Christmas shopping, my PC gave to me… 3 Yowza’s!

For some reason, this coupon App I really enjoy. Plain and simple, I feel cool handing over my phone to the checkout person so they can scan my phone. Yowza searches within a 5, 10, 15 mile radius and find the best exclusive deals for select stores.  So you walk into your local Container Store, pull out your phone, open the app and bam! Instant discounts!

On the second day of Christmas shopping, my PC gave to me… 2 Peas in a Pod

How many times do you plan a holiday meal and while you are in the middle of stirring the gravy or checking on the bird, you realize there are no croutons for the salad. This is my life in a nutshell…before I used Peapod, an online grocery shopping and delivery service in one. Yes, you have to pay for delivery, but if you dread grocery shopping just as much as I do, the small delivery charge is worth it!  Plus, when I see the total before I purchase, I can ask myself “Do I really need that $32 bottle of Pinot Noir?” and not have to run back through the grocery store to put it away.

On the first day of Christmas shopping, my PC gave to me… A Tiny Christmas Treat!


Just for giggles!

Thank you! You have been a fabulous audience. I will be here all evening.

Wishing you, your family and friends a warm and happy holilday season!


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Steve Susina

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Steve Susina

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