Smartphone Apps That Save You Money!

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by on April 25, 2013

Couple Buying Groceries with List on PhoneThe rise of mobile technology has led to another, cost-effective trend: money-saving apps. It seems that everyone is offering apps that claim to magically fix your cash-flow management problems, but how can you tell which apps actually work? We’ve willingly sacrificed sore fingertips so you don’t have to sift through all the options. Here are our top picks for smartphone apps that really will save you money. They’re even free. What’s the catch? You have to actually use them.

Mint.com:
iPhone, Android

For moms who want to simplify their cash flow management, Mint.com offers a simple, instant snapshot of your finances wherever you go. This secure service doesn’t cost a dime, and it can automatically organize and track your spending, display all of your financial information in one easy-to-read place, and help you stay on track to hit your financial goals. This free award-winning app offers up-to-date information on your account balances, budgeting and transactions so you can make better financial decisions. For instance, if you’re debating whether to treat yourself to a new lipstick, you can pull up your bank and credit balances or check whether you have money left over in your "Me" category right there in the store. This allows you to see whether you’ll break the budget by indulging.

RetailMeNot:
iPhone, Android

With immediate, easy access to deal alerts and thousands of coupons that you can use right away or save for later, there’s no excuse for paying full retail price. With this app, you can search for your favorite stores or browse by store category. To use a coupon, simply display it on your phone for the cashier to scan. Even better, RetailMeNot’s community of shoppers vote for their favorite coupons based on how well the coupon worked and how recently it was used. If a coupon has a 79 percent success rate from 19 votes, and the last use was today, then you’ll know that it should probably work for you even if it’s beyond the published expiration date.

GasBuddy:
iPhone, Android, Blackberry

This app monitors the gas prices near you or a designated location according to prices reported by a massive community of users. Just by looking up where to find the cheapest gas, you can save up to 20 cents per gallon. And if you chip in by posting the prices you see, you’ll earn awards and be entered into a weekly drawing for $250 of gas. GasBuddy displays prices for the U.S. and Canada only.

Retailer Apps:
iPhone, Android, Blackberry

Many large retail stores, such as Walmart or Walgreens, offer apps that display weekly ads, coupons and hot deals. Some show app-only offers as well or allow you to check your local store’s inventory. These work well for grocery shopping, especially for stores that price match. Check if your favorite stores provide apps at play.google.com for Android phones, itunes.apple.com for iPhone, or appworld.blackberry.com for Blackberry.

Our Groceries Shopping List:
iPhone, Android, Blackberry

Plan your menus for the week and build your grocery list online via your smartphone or the computer. With Our Groceries, you can create multiple shopping lists, such as one for each store, and organize items by category or aisle. Planning and sticking to a detailed shopping list prevents overbuying. Are you sure you don’t already have two ketchup bottles at home? Do you really need that pack of candy bars or is this just a craving? And since the list syncs instantly across platforms, you can edit your list while your spouse or friend is at the store. His/her list will display the changes right away, eliminating the need for frantic phone calls or text messages. Our Groceries also allows you to store recipes so you can add ingredients to a grocery list with just a tap.

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