Saving money is a skill that everyone should possess. Considering how prices tend to rise with the flimsiest of excuses, it’s a good idea to know how to make a dollar go further. And yet, it doesn’t have to be a chore; it can actually be fun, especially if you consider it a challenge that ultimately rewards you for succeeding.
Frugal people agree that you need a budget app for your phone. Here are six apps that can help in your quest for fun frugality. Check them out, download them, and use them. Unless it says otherwise, they’re compatible with both Android and iOS, and are free of charge.
This app helps you track down the cheapest chili, burritos, baked beans, and onions in your area. Okay, sorry, that’s not true. GasBuddy helps you find the cheapest gas prices (something near and dear to all drivers’ hearts these days!) in your area. Check gas prices when you’re either on the road or sitting at your desk, surfing online. GasBuddy also works for WindowsPhone and Blackberry, by the way. There are many more energy saving apps that are worth a look, so check them out here.
Speaking of those four-wheeled money pits otherwise known as cars, here’s an app for that inevitable breakdown (the car’s, not yours). Just enter your car’s make, model, repair you want, and your zip code, and you get a list of recommended mechanics in your area, as well as a repair estimate.
Price Check By Amazon
Good grief, is there anything Amazon doesn’t do or provide? Maybe those stories about them eventually delivering things by drone aren’t so far-fetched after all. Anyway, Price Check has a barcode scanning app that lets you compare their prices on Amazon.com against in-store pricing. It also gives you product reviews and descriptions. Considering how amusing some Amazon product reviews can be, this app has the potential to entertain as well as inform.
In addition to being a cool potential superhero name, RedLaser is a barcode-scanning app that enables you to compare prices. You just scan a product’s code and find out the retail price at nearby stores. If you want, you can even buy the item via the app itself. This one has another awesome money-saving feature: it keeps all of your loyalty cards in one convenient place!
This is another app that boasts of code-scanning capability, but with a bit more of a social network flavor to it. You can connect to it via your Facebook, Yahoo, or Google accounts. Use TheFind to set up your own personalized shopping hub, including getting results from your favorite brands and stores, keeping tabs on your browsing history and purchases, and getting notifications when selected products go on sale. You can share items you scanned or searched with your friends.
Yup, here’s another bar code and QR scanner. You can search for products and stores, and get access to product details and price comparisons, the better to help you decide if you want to buy online or at an actual store. ShopSavvy lets you create lists of products you want, and set price alerts to let you know when the price has dropped. The app also lets you connect via Facebook.
The trick about saving money is that you want to save it on the things you need in order to have more available for things you want. With the above half-dozen tools in hand, you’re well on your way to becoming a smart shopper. Still need more? Check out these tech savings apps.
John Terra has been a freelance writer since 1985. He wants an app that shows the best places in his locale to get a decent beer at a good price.