Looking for more ways to save? Look no further than the nifty smartphone in your pocket.
Most consumers fork over about $2,500 on a 2 year mobile plan to have the latest smartphone, whether it’s the ultra-savvy iPhone to the sleek and slender Evo. With the most popular phones priced $200-$500 each and plans starting at $75 a month, that little phone in your pocket rings up to a pricey investment.
Put your smartphone to work for you and have it ringing up dollars in savings rather than monthly debits in your bank account.
There are many moneysaving apps available. Here’s four favorites, recommended by Justine Rivero, the credit advisor at Credit Karma, available on most smartphones and also happen to be totally free.
Next time you’re driving on empty, this app tells you the cheapest gas station in your area. You can compare the price per gallon at local gas stations, and directions to a particular station as well as a convenient map of all nearby stations. With gas prices spilling over $4 a gallon, shaving a few dollars at every fill-up can add up to over a hundred bucks each year. Available for iPhone, Android, and Windows phones.
Ever been in a store and wondered if you could get that same something special cheaper elsewhere? Satisfy your curiosity and save more money with ShopSavvy. The app lets you scan a barcode to your smartphone, and then compares prices online and across local stores so you can find the best deal on that item instantly. Plus, ShopSavvy features user reviews so you can read what other shoppers think. For true deal seekers, it’s the effortless way to save money on almost any item you can scan. Available for iPhone and Android phones.
SCOUTMOB, GROUPON and LIVINGSOCIAL
These three apps help you keep tabs on the best localized deals and offers so you never miss out on a good thing. Groupon and LivingSocial apps let you browse the latest daily deal and nearby offers, plus purchase and redeem at the touch of a button. Scoutmob, available in a handful of cities, lets you view restaurant deals nearest to you; plus, you don’t have to purchase anything ahead of time, you simply show the app when the bill comes and you get the discount. Scoutmob, Groupon, and LivingSocial, available for iPhone and Android phones, offer discounts of 50-70% so you can be frugal but still treat yourself while out on the town.
Weekly grocery trips can be a big budget buster, especially if you buy twice the things that were on your shopping list. Grocery IQ helps you stick to your list and your budget. You can scan the barcodes of things in your pantry you want to pick up, and Grocery IQ will list your exact items, categorize them so you can shop the aisles with a game plan (and minimize impulse pickups), and even show available coupons. Grocery IQ also lets you send your exact list to someone, like your significant other, so you can be sure they’ll pick up your favorite Skippy crunchy peanut butter, and not Jif creamy. Available for iPhone and Android phones, it’s a grocery shopping list with added money-saving features.
With these apps, you’ll find sweet deals to save more on your everyday spending —dining out, groceries, gas, and basically anything with a barcode. They are free to get, and you stand to save a chunk of money wherever you go, so what are you waiting for?
Justine Rivero is the Credit Advisor and resident Credit Rockstar for Credit Karma, the pro-consumer credit advocate that helps more than 2.6 million consumers realize the everyday cost savings of having great credit health.