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Are Loyalty Cards Dragging You Down?

How much does your purse weigh? Most of you are probably shrugging your shoulders, but thinking “Too much!” On average, most purses weigh 7 to 10 pounds. What’s the one item in your purse that weighs the most? If you answered wallet, then you’re right!

Anything you can do to lighten the load is a bonus, which is why we found and fell in love with a great smart phone app called Key Ring. Using this app will take some weight out of your purse and off your shoulders, both figuratively and literally.

Pick a card, any card

Remember back a few years ago. You were out shopping and when you checked out, you were asked if you wanted a loyalty card–to earn points, cash back, special offers–and all lured you in. Before you knew it, you had a bulging stack of cards in your wallet.  It wouldn’t close anymore (think George on Seinfeld) so you had to get a second wallet just to store the blasted loyalty cards. The big question with these cards is, can you find the right one when you need it? Even if you keep them in a special compartment in your purse organizer, you still have to drag them out and spread them out on the counter like you’re getting ready to perform a magic trick, hoping the right one jumps into your open hand.

Let Key Ring do the heavy lifting

Well, no more. You can still get the savings, but without carrying around extra cards. We researched various ones and found a nifty app, Key Ring, that does the heavy lifting for you. It stores your loyalty cards right on your smart phone, freeing up precious space in your purse and giving you optimized savings at the touch of your finger. We chose this app based on positive customer reviews and because it works on iPhones, Androids, Windows Phone 7, and Blackberry devices.

Once you download the app, you simply open the app, select “Add Card” and then you can scan your loyalty card. Our test phone was an Android, and unfortunately we couldn’t get any of our loyalty cards to scan, so we had to input them manually.  At a minute per card, this was easy to do and wouldn’t stop us from using this app going forward.  If the merchant is signed up with Key Ring (and hundreds are), the card will be stored with a logo image of the store.

Every card at your fingertips

How does this work from there?  Whenever you’re ready to check out, instead of pulling out the actual store loyalty card, you pull out your phone, open up Key Ring, select the right card and have the cashier scan your phone. We found that sometimes it scanned and sometimes it didn’t. Regardless, the cashiers were able to manually input the loyalty card number and we were still walking around with a much lighter purse.

This app doesn’t just lighten the physical load in our purse. Our favorite part of the app is the ease in finding a “card” on our phone. Cards are stored alphabetically making it quick and easy to select the correct one every time. (Have you ever had the nightmare of a store scanning the wrong loyalty card and having it work?) Sorting out those messes is time-consuming and easily avoided when using something as easy as Key Ring.

An additional bonus is special offers and coupons offered directly through the Key Ring app.

We’re all about organizing and streamlining here at Purse Perfector, and we think this is a great little tool to help you along the way. Why make it harder than it has to be?

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Apps to Make Holiday Shopping Less Stressful

How many days until Christmas or Hanukkah? Too few for many of us. Last minute everything is so what’s going to happen again this year.

Yes, we know it would be less stressful and more enjoyable if we bought and wrapped everything in August, but for 99.9% of us, it didn’t happen and it ain’t going to happen next year either.

So, what’s a busy, savvy, frenzied woman supposed to do this time of year? Put some technology behind us and get it done as efficiently as possible.

We’ve looked over some apps for your smart phone (all work on both iPhone and Android platforms) and have found some that make checking gifts off your list a breeze.

Gift List

Where do you keep your list of who you need to buy a gift for? Is it on the back of a receipt? or on a piece of paper you left on your kitchen table only to not realize this until you’ve already fought the traffic, finally found what seemed to be the last parking space in America, and grabbed what you think might be the perfect gift for Aunt Olivette. But wait. Didn’t you already buy her gift?

At this point, the thought of putting the gift down to go home and check your list is beyond the biggest and loudest NO you can muster. What to do? Stop using paper and put your gift list on your phone. This ingenious little app will keep track of it all for you — and not just this time of year — this app is perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, or any gift-giving occasion.

Here’s some features you’ll find with the free version of Gift List by Garland Systems:

  • Organize people into groups.
  • Review your spending and budget.
  • See cumulative totals for people, groups, and occasions.
  • See what you’ve bought and still need to buy.
  • Password protection and backup to SD.

If you want more (and who doesn’t?), for $2.99 you can purchase the full app and add the following futures in addition to the above:

  •  No advertisements.
  •  Enter gifts just by using barcode scanner.
  •  Get details and average price from the web.
  •  Set custom backgrounds for different occasions.
  •  Select from any currency format supported by your phone.
  •  Share lists using email.
  •  Take and store pictures of gifts.

TrackChecker

Maybe you’re the person who avoids malls from mid-November until after the new year. You prefer to be in your pajamas sipping your coffee and seeking warmth from your laptop. Shopping online is so about you and how you do your holiday shopping.

If that’s you, TrackChecker is a great app for you.  No more fretting over why your shipped packages haven’t arrived yet. TrackChecker from Andrey G empowers you with tracking packages from 150+ carriers (including USPS, FedEx, and UPS) worldwide. It’s really convenient: all you have to do it input your tracking number and the app takes over from there.

Here’s the nitty gritty details:

  • Automatic and/or manual checking on several postal services at once
  • Home screen widget
  • Supports notifications
  • Calculates and highlights days on delivery
  • Includes various sorting modes and filters

We hope these apps help make a hectic season a little bit calmer. If you have a favorite app you’d like to share, please leave a comment. We all need as much help as we can get to make things run smoothly and to take some stress out of our lives.