My smart phone and I are tight. We are rarely separated for more than a few minutes. And when its battery dies at the end of the day, I plug it in for a charge and a rest and miss it till I go to sleep myself. But that doesn’t mean I spoil it. In fact, I insist it earn its keep. It makes sure I never get lost, always have the answer to every question that crosses my mind, and am always connected to my friends and family.
It also helps me save money. I’ve always been a bargain shopper. But my smart phone does most of the work for me now. It ferrets out deals all the time so I have only to check in and let it lead me to them.
Here are five apps that direct me toward the best deal around.
When I need a gas station, I want the closest one with the best prices. That’s easy with this app installed. All I do is open it to find the location and prices at gas stations near me. Apps available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows. Or hit the Web at Gasbuddy.com or the mobile Web at m.gasbuddy.com.
I hate carrying all the loyalty cards I get handed at grocery stores and other merchants with me everywhere just so I’ll have them when I’m in the store. But I like getting those loyalty deals. So I use CardStar to keep track of them. But it does much more than organize my wallet. It tells me when there are deals or coupons available at the merchants I frequent. And that helps me save even more money. Apps available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows phone, Nokia.
ZipList keeps track of my shopping list and drops ingredients from online recipes into it so I can remember what I need when I find myself in the store. Handy. Even better? It hunts for deals and coupons on the groceries I am planning to buy so that I can easily decide where to shop for the best prices. Apps for iPhone and Android.
A silly location aware game I play with my friends? Yes. It’s fun. But it also helps me find deals. When I check in, I can see what specials are near me. And often I get money off just for checking in. In recent memory, I have scored: $5 off while in line at the Gap, a free appetizer at a restaurant I was already seated in, a free drink at a place eat often, a $1 beer at a bar near my office. Have you mocked people who bother to become Mayor on foursquare? Here’s why they do it: The Mayor scores the best deals. Standing there wondering what do do or eat nearby? Check in and find our not only what’s popular but where there is a deal. Apps for just about every device and OS.
Shopping in brick-and-mortar stores is fun sometimes, right? But is that deal on shoes really the best price – even when compared with all the merchants on the Web and off? Pull out RedLaser and find out for sure with a simple scan of the item’s barcode. It will tell you if it’s cheaper at Amazon.com or at the shoe store a mile away. You can also keep all your store loyalty cards in the app and it will point out deals from those retailers. Apps for iPhone, Android.