9 Free Apps to Ease Holiday Stress

The holidays can be a minefield when it comes to your personal well-being, but your smartphone can help.

To ease the holiday pressure, we’ve put together this list of apps that will make your holiday cooking, shopping and entertaining just a little bit simpler. Best of all, unlike most holiday gifts, these apps don’t cost a thing.



With all the friends and relatives who will be streaming through your house over the holidays, you definitely don’t want to run out of paper towels…or toilet paper. This app allows you to shop in bulk without making a trip to Costco; your items will arrive in two days (possibly even sooner). There’s no membership fee and all first orders receive complimentary shipping.




Love Birchbox? This app takes the boxed gift concept a step farther, providing creatively curated boxes for every person in your life. The “Man of the Wild” box, for instance, includes a cool serrated pocket-knife and all-natural beef jerky (for $31). Or you could opt for a cupcake decorating box, or an afternoon tea box. Choose from more than 75 different themes.




holiday-2014-apps-shop-for-kidsShop for Kids by TTPM.com 

If your kids are older, you might feel out-of-the-loop when it comes to finding holiday toys that will thrill the little ones. If that’s the case, this app is your new best friend. Created by the toy experts at Time to Play Mag, this app ranks toys using the latest reviews, so you can quickly find cool, high-quality gifts. You can even compare prices and purchase within the app.




For the coupon-crazed, this app is a must-have. Select your favorite stores and the app displays the latest discount offers at those retailers in a pretty, Pinterest-style layout. You can also browse the weekly circulars for various stores, and the app will tell you which discounts are ending soon. Filter deals by mall, save your favorite deals and quickly send coupons to friends, all without creating an account.




A framed photo always does the trick for hard-to-buy-for friends and relatives, and now you don’t even have to bother with your photo printer. This app allows you to take a photo from your camera roll and have it printed, framed and shipped to you, starting at roughly $15 plus shipping. Choose a classy, wall-sized or desk-sized wood frame in black, espresso, silver or white.



holiday-2014-apps-uspsUSPS Mobile

Make shipping and sending gifts to the whole family—wherever they are—easy with this app that does all the research for you. Find the closest Post Office, calculate shipping prices, schedule pickups, scan labels to track packages and more with this all-in-one ship station. (Bonus: This year, USPS is shipping seven days a week.) Bicoastal holidays have never been easier.




Because Westfield Old Orchard can be the most overwhelming place at the holidays, this app will help you get your bearings. Browse food options and the app will show you where they are on a mall map. Find out which of your favorite stores are having sales and what special events are going on. You can even check movie times within the app.





Wonder is the new, easy way to send and receive gift cards. Choose from more than 2 million merchants, and once you’ve sent your gift card, the recipient links the gift to their credit card. Then, he or she pays as usual at the store and the gift card is automatically applied. No more digging a gift card out of your purse!




This app will help you inject a little spice into your holiday food routines. The powerful recipe discovery tool pulls recipes from top sites and blogs, such as Food52 and Martha Stewart, and your recipe feed is customized based on your food preferences (as well as any allergies or dietary restrictions).

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