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Great Android apps for the holiday host

by Kristen Nicole

If your December agenda looks anything like mine, you've penciled in road trips to mom's, and blocked weekends for visiting friends. Whether you're hosting company for a few days, or spending time across the state border, these Android apps are helpful for all the visiting that goes on this season. What's more, these apps apply far beyond the holiday season.

Eat, drink and be merry

Stock your fridge with all the necessities, managing your shopping list with Grocery iQ. This app is a barcode scanner, catalog and list tool, filtering by store or occasion. Free, the Grocery iQ Android app also lets you share apps, so you and the hubby can streamline efforts for a smooth-running host's home.

Epicurious is loaded with recipes for a picture-perfect meal. Search by event or diet needs, ensuring your guests are taken care of. Create grocery lists from your saved recipes, limiting the number of Android apps you need to use. Add your ratings and images, so other hosts can learn a tip from you. This app is free.

Rather skip the kitchen, and enjoy a meal out with your guests? Show them a good time, and check Urbanspoon for restaurant recommendations. Search nearby eateries, filter by ambience, food type and proximity to meet the requirements of all parties involved. See venue ratings and reviews with this free Android app.

There's nothing more inviting than a hostess who knows how to make a good drink. Make the most of your home bar with 8,500+ Drink Recipes, a free Android app featuring cocktail mixes on demand. Search by name, liquor and other ingredients, bookmark your guests' favorites, and make everyone feel at home.

Out and about

Playing host can be expensive, once you've bought extra guest towels, food for extra mouths and groomed the dog. The Coupons App keeps you from unnecessary over-spending, with discounts for retailers online and in the store. Search locally for coupons you can use, and they'll appear barcode-scanner-ready, directly on your phone. This Android app is free.

Group outings are great if you've a few friends in town, and they're a great way to show your city. Groupon delivers daily deals at big discounts, the more people you get to join in. Get deals at restaurants, local gyms, spas and activity centers across the country. This free Android app makes it easy, with Facebook sign-in, sharing and more.

Sometimes a good movie is plenty of fun for visiting friends and family, making the Movies app indispensable. Offered by Flixter, the free Android app searches nearby showtimes, previews and theater information. Read reviews, buy tickets, and navigate to theaters. Take the movie magic home, with Netflix queue management included.