Published June 10, 2011
Forget the circulars, coupons and online dealtrackers. All you need to save money is your smartphone.
Here's a look at a few apps that will help you shop till you drop -- and save, save, save.
With food prices soaring, your grocery bill is sure to rise before your eyes. The Shopper app for iPhone or Android helps you make a grocery list -- and stick to it, avoiding unnecessary costs.
Start by either scanning items from your pantry that you need to replenish or manually adding items on the go. The app let you create and store different lists using shopping templates for recipes, multiple stores, and repeat shopping.
Once you save a list, the app searches local flyers and discounts from top retailers -- big names like Target and Walmart -- and alerts you to deals you may be interested in. When you head into your local supermarket, it conveniently sorts your list by aisle, saving you time as well as money.
If you split errands with family members, the real-time list sharing and syncing will keep you up to date on what they need and they can see what you need. Then share the wealth: Post the deals Shopper finds with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter or through e-mail.
Here's how the app works:
Wishing the newest gadget was on sale already? Well it may be --just at a different store. The ShopSavvy app will help you find an online or local retailer where you can find products at the very best price.
Just scan the barcode on any item or search by title or keyword and the app will tell you where to find it. If the retailer with the lowest price happens to be online, the app will let you buy it right then or save it for later. It'll also list any shipping promos, to save you the extra expense.
If your bargain hunting points you to a local retailer, ShopSavvy will get you there with a map and directions, and alert you to any upcoming sales or rebates. Patience is a virtue, after all. Best of all, ShopSavvy is free!
If you're a mall shopper, save time and energy with the FastMall app. It displays all the local information you need, from mall addresses to lists of stores and restaurants to hours of operation.
Shoppers with kids will particularly enjoy the mall maps feature -- and the turn-by-turn directions to food courts and restrooms. If you have a baby stroller or wheelchair, select the elevators-only option to easily get around.
There's a bonus feature, too, a "Where did I park?" GPS tool. Check in at the mall or stores you frequent the most and even post photos or video reviews of anything you like and share it on Facebook or Twitter.
Here's how the app works: