Use apps to track Black Friday trends and save money

Black Friday isn't like what it used to be. There are new trends popping up all the time. Fortunately, there's an app for that.

We start with an app to keep you organized. Cardstar takes all those store loyalty cards in your wallet and on your keychain and organizes them in one place. Simply search the store's name, input your membership number or snap a photo of your card, and you're done. When you checkout, just scan your phone to calculate your loyalty savings.

Next, download a price comparison app on your smartphone. KATU Problem Solver Shellie Bailey-Shah's favorite is Shop Savvy. You scan a product's bar code in the store, the app then tells you if there's a better price at another store or online. Remember, you can show online results to any Target cashier to get a price match.

For on-the-spot savings at restaurants and stores without having to clip coupons, use Coupon Sherpa. Say you're about to walk into Office Depot. By checking your phone, you can see there's a coupon for $10 off a $50 purchase. Then all you have to do is scan the bar code at the register and you just saved 20 percent without having to search for a pair of scissors.

Also, download ShopKick, the app that rewards you even if you don't buy anything. All you have to do is open the app when you walk into, or even near, a participating store. When you do, you earn points called "kicks." Link your credit card or debit card and earn even more "kicks." You can then use these "kicks" for a free latte or save them for a bigger purchase, like a designer handbag. As a bonus, stores will push special offers to your phone.

Finally, check-out an app called Scout Mob. It works like Groupon, but you don't have to buy the deal in advance, and you can save up to 50 percent at local stores and restaurants. It's good in 13 cities around the country, including Portland.