Your mobile device or smart phone can be a useful tool in your money-saving arsenal, when armed with money-saving apps. Get coupons, retail codes to use online or scan barcodes to find the cheapest price in town, and some even might earn you a little dough. All these free apps should have Apple (iPhone) and Android versions.
You don’t need a smart phone to use these free apps, they work on iPads and Android-enabled tablets. Several stores now offer free wi-fi, so take your tablet along. If you use these apps regularly it might even help recover the cost of your mobile device.
This is just a small selection of the most helpful and user-friendly money-saving apps out there. For more, read this article at Money Saving Mom.
1. Coupon Sherpa
Coupon Sherpa is a free app that “hauls” your coupons for you—it has several pre-loaded mobile coupons ready to use instantly at a wide range of stores and restaurants. Pull up the app, check for coupons, and save.
Online coupon codes are included. Most coupons don’t need to be printed out, but a few do, so check first. You can also enable your location for Coupon Sherpa to find local deals and includes manufacturer coupons for national grocery stores.
2. Gas Buddy
This app brings the convenience of the GasBuddy.com website straight to your mobile phone. Just as the online version, the free Gas Buddy app allows you to search for the least expensive gas in your area, and helps you locate gas stations near you and show their current prices.
For example if your destination is outside of Cook County (known for having higher gas prices than other Illinois counties) check the app, and gas up cheaply.
Jingit is a free income-earning app that pays you to watch ads online or on your mobile device. Watch ads, answer some questions, and earn cash. You can earn more by scanning items in-store (such as at Target or Walmart). There’s an earning limit of $15 weekly. It’s lower for initially joining but can be increased to $15 by inviting your friends to join.
To get paid, you must register via your computer for a Jingit Visa Debit Card ($3 from your Jingit balance to request it) and you can add cash from your online Jingit balance to the card. Caveats include slower-earnings if you lack a smart phone or don’t shop at Walmart frequently, and waiting for new ads to come in, but Jingit can be worth the investment.
4. Retail Me Not
Always check the free RetailMeNot app when shopping in-store or online. Just like the website, the app lists all available online coupon codes, sales offers, and coupons available for thousands of retailers. Enable your location for local deals, or set your favorite stores. It never hurts to check RetailMeNot before making any in-store or online purchase.
Shopkick is another free app/reward program that offers you mobile coupons and rewards for walking into stores. Just walk into a favorite store or gas station with your mobile device and earn “kicks”—reward points that can be redeemed for gift cards and other items. You can scan items in-store to earn more points. If you like to “check-in” and don’t mind sharing your location, the free Shopkick offers a fun way to get giftcards and other rewards free.
6. Shop Savvy
ShopSavvy is a free barcode-scanning app that allows you to scan barcodes and then pulls up the prices for that item at competing retail stores. Online prices are included as well. The interface is fast, accurate and comprehensive. Users in various online reviews report that it almost pays for itself, or at least, your smartphone.
7. Price-Matching via your Mobile Device
Price-matching is a great way to save, but you can use your smartphone or mobile device to assist you with this. If you’re shopping at a store that does price matching (Target, Walmart, etc.) do try searching for your phone for a lower price before you check out. They might honor it, and you’ll save.
For example, one parent-to-be saved over a $100 on a stroller by showing the Buy Buy Baby clerk an online competitor’s ad. Details vary, so check each store’s policy.
Another great tool is the calculator on your mobile device—use it to calculate price per item/ounce to get the best buy.