Lets face it, being frugal is a word your Great-Grandmother used to use during the depression. Be honest, when you hear the word frugal what do you think of? Someone that spends hours clipping coupons and then makes you wait hours at the checkout line while the cashier scans all those paper coupons? Well I'm here to let you in on a little secret, being frugal can be Cool! That's right, cool. Everyone wants to save money but it's how you go about saving money that makes the difference.
I recently bought an iPhone 4s and immediately did what everyone with an iPhone does, started downloading apps from the iTunes store. I found some great iPhone apps that can help you be frugal without looking like a dork:
Don't Let Them See You Counting Pennies
Use an app so you know your checking account balance before going out. Mint.com is a great app that helps you to track, budget, and manage your money so you can see where your money is going and where you can save money. Some benefits of Mint:
- View all of your accounts like, checking, savings, credit cards, investments, and retirement
- Mint automatically retrieves and categorizes your transactions
- Easy to understand spending graphs
- Avoid late fees and monitor your cash flow by receiving alerts and bill reminders
Paper Coupons are so Yesterday
Groupon – If you haven't heard of Groupon by now, well let's say you need to get out a little more often. And what better way than with Groupon, one of the largest and most used money saving apps ever. All you have to do is download the app or visit the website and you will have access to deals on travel, food and entertainment, beauty and spa treatments, and the list goes on. Typical Groupon savings are 50-90% and are offered in limited quantities so if you see something that interests you jump on it before they sell out.
Shopper – This iPhone app is one of the better shopping apps out there. One of the features I like about Shopper is that you can create your shopping list and then have Shopper match your list to savings offers automatically. That can be a real time saver! Shopper has too many features to list all of them but some of the more popular features are:
- Simple and quick list making and sync'ing with friends and family (not available in free version)
- Store Recipes
- Redlaser barcode scanning (US and Canada only at this time) (not available in free version)
- FDA/USDA Alerts and Recalls
- Budgeting – keeps track of item and coupon savings, tax and discount calculations
- Custom aisle layouts and pricing for all stores
The Coupons App – You can subscribe to emails for local coupon deals. It will show you the location of the cheapest gas and will give you directions from your current location. The app also shows you local deals near your current location, alphabetical sorting, listing by expiration date, name of store, Hyper-local Deals Beta – lists coupons for local businesses. You can even choose to have free samples mailed to you, just fill in your mailing information once and…. When you find a great deal, all you have to do is tap to save the coupon for later use, all coupons are automatically deleted when they expire! These features are available if you agree to seeing one popup advertisement when you first login. How does it work? Well I found a coupon for a free large soft drink at AMC Theatres, clicked on it to save in My Favorites and the coupon was electronically emailed to my iPhone. All I have to do is click on the coupon and have the person at the consession stand at the theatre scan the barcode on the coupon and I should be good to go. Oh and I almost forgot, you get a free barcode scanner price check app. So no going through your coupon folder to clean out the expired coupons or being told by the grocery store check out that your coupon has expired.
Coupon Sherpa – Delivers coupons right to your smartphone. Save money on clothing, shoes, restaurants, jewelry, electronics, travel, books, sporting goods, and more. Coupon Sherpa offers 1) Exclusive Coupons which are coupons only offered to Coupon Sherpa users and all you have to do is show the coupon at checkout to receive the offer. 2) In-Store Coupons from the Internet – Coupon Sherpa searches the internet daily for the best in-store coupons that you can have scanned from your smartphone, email to a friend, or print out and bring to the store.
Comparison Shopping Apps
Amazon Mobile – One of the best comparison shopping apps is Amazon Mobile. A feature that I like is the ability to scan a barcode, snap a photo with your iPhone, or type a search to compare prices and where you can find that product. You can be in a store scanning a barcode on a product and then purchase that item on your iPhone or add to a wish list for yourself or someone else.
RedLaser – This is the only barcode scanner you need. RedLaser searches thousands of retailers to bring you the best prices near your location. You can even create and share shopping lists with friends and family.
What apps or websites do you use to save money?