5 Top Money-Saving Apps

Posted by on Nov 2, 2014 in Frugal For Everyone | 40 comments

money-saving appsOver the past couple of months I’ve been learning about the many money-saving apps that are available for free download to smartphones. Unfortunately I couldn’t take advantage of any of them with my old, but well-loved, flip-phone (which I really hated to give up). However, calculating the savings possible by using these money-saving apps made me decide that maybe now was the time for change.  Therefore I now own a smartphone with the apps that I believe will make the savings add up the quickest.

I have tried GasBuddy, PCplus and Checkout51 and can confirm that all three apps work great and are easy to use. GasBuddy did provide the lowest gas prices in our area;  A $14.00 grocery bill produced 140 points on my PCplus account and 4 eligible items on a $20.00 grocery bill resulted in $3.25 cashback money put into my Checkout51 account.  I haven’t had the opportunity to check CartSmart and RedLaser yet, but from all the information I am confident they will work just as well.

Since I have readers from all over the world, I’ve included links to some international apps.

Tmoney-saving appsop Money-Saving Apps for Canada and the USA:

1. Gas Buddy.

Apple, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Mobile Web.

How it works – this is absolutely the easiest app of all. You simply enter postal/zip code to locate gas stations near you and see which one has the best price. If traveling, you can search for a specific location(s) and possibly find it’s better to wait to fill-up. This site is actually updated constantly by its users who report gas prices. This reporting allows them to earn points which go towards giveaways.

http://www.gasbuddy.com/GasBuddyMobileApps.aspx

2. Checkout 51.

Apple, Android

This app lets you earn cash back when you buy your favourite brands.

All you need to do is follow these simple steps:
1. Browse the offers that are updated every Thursday – valid through the following Wednesday – offers may be limited so it’s best to claim your cashback as soon as possible;
2. Buy the products from any store;
3. Take a photo of your receipt to redeem your offer;
4. Earn cash back!

Once your account reaches $20 in savings, they will mail you a cheque!

 Best of all, you can purchase the products on offer at any grocery store, including Costco, Shoppers Drug Mart, Price Chopper and all the rest.

https://itunes.apple.com/app/checkout-51/id577333970

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.c51&hl=en

Tomoney-saving appsp International Money-Saving Apps:

 3. Cartsmart. 

Apple, Android

  • CartSmart™ offers cash rebates (not points) for your participating grocery purchases. Simply purchase items participating in “smart deals”, take a photo of your receipt in the app, and collect your cash back. No waiting to collect a $20 minimum in CartSmart™ when you collect your rebate via your PayPal account.
  • SHOPPING LIST – organize your grocery trip and save time in store – never forget anything again! CartSmart™ is designed as a shopping list. Add items to your list to unlock more features and better deals that make sense for you!
  • SMART DEALS – collect cash rebates by submitting a photo of your receipt as proof of purchase for participating items. New deals are offered each week and last all week long. Shop with confidence instead of worrying about deals that will disappear just before you submit your receipt.
  • FLYER STAND* – visit the flyer stand to view and shop retailer flyers. You’ll always have your flyers with you to shop or plan anytime or anywhere without having a bunch of paper. Find additional ideas, tips, and recipes to spice up your shopping list.
  • BADGES – as you use CartSmart™, you’ll unlock special badges. The more you collect, the more you’ll save.

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/cartsmart/id725539164?mt=8

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cartsmart.android&hl=en  

4.  RedLaser.

 International –  Owned by eBay – Global leader in mobile shopping.

Apple, Android, Windows Phone

RedLaser helps millions of shoppers shop smarter every day. Scan all major retail barcodes (including UPC, EAN, UPC-E, and EAN-8) and QR codes.

☆ GET THE BEST PRICES:  RedLaser searches millions of products across thousands of online and local retailers to find the best prices

☆ FIND MORE WAYS TO SAVE: Find deals and coupons from hundreds of stores both online and near you (US Only)

☆ EASY CHECK-OUT WITH REDLASER: RedLaser makes it easy, fast, and secure to buy from select retailers

☆ DISCOVER RELATED PRODUCTS: Find alternatives and accessories for the product you just viewed

☆ DIGITIZE YOUR WALLET: Scan & store your loyalty cards and even share cards with family and friends

☆ SHOP HEALTHY AND SAFE: When you scan almost any food product, RedLaser will tell you everything you need to know—including product ratings , nutrition facts, and critical allergen information

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/redlaser-barcode-scanner-shopping/id474902001?mt=8

 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ebay.redlaser

http://www.windowsphone.com/en-ca/store/app/redlaser/8fbeb777-a17c-4afd-b880-deac88ed86ca

money-saving apps  Strictly Canadian Money-Saving Apps:

 5. PC Plus

Apple, Android, Blackberry

Earn points towards dollars off your grocery bill, and get personalized points offers based on the items you buy most. 
The PC Plus™ program is available across Canada. Visit pcplus.ca to find the closest participating stores.

Smart features include:

PERSONALIZED OFFERS
The app lets you know when you have new offers, so you can load them right on your Phone and then head in-store to earn your points when you buy the qualifying items.

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS
Find delicious dinner suggestions tailored to what you buy most and what’s on sale. It’s pure culinary genius!

SHOPPING LIST
Plan your grocery shopping with the list that remembers what you regularly buy, organizes your recipe ingredients and highlights your offers.

ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT
Keep track of your transactions, view your points balance and regularly update your preferences and settings for a more personalized experience.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pc-plus/id634040057?mt=8

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sap.mdc.loblaw.nativ

http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/27845786/?countrycode=CA&countrycode=CA&lang=en

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There are an astounding number of money-saving apps available – way too many to list and evaluate at one time. Therefore over the next couple of months I’ll continue to sort, use and rate them to find the ones with the greatest value.

If you have any favourite time or money-saving apps, I’d love to hear from you.

Talk to you again next week,

Lenie 

Products Button on Cell Phone: Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Can.US Country Flags: Image courtesy of Bill Longshaw at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

International Flags: Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Cargo Vehicle: Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

40 Comments

  1. I never realized there were apps like this for my smartphone. Great idea. I will be downloading Gas Buddy. It will be useful when we travel. I’m not sure I would make enough use of the other apps you’ve mentioned but I may look for other apps along this line.

    • Donna, there are apps for flights and hotel rooms and just about everything in between. It’s amazing and I’m going to have a lot of fun finding them and checking them out.

  2. It’s a good thing we can benefit from your research so that we
    don’t to do our own, Lenie! You tell us how to save money and we win by saving time. Thanks!

    • You’re welcome Beth – I so much enjoy finding things out and if it saves money, that’s just bonus.

  3. Lenie, I have been sing gas buddy for a while. But with my Blackberry, I have limited access to apps. But good to know about the websites! Welcome to your new world:) Looking forward to a blog on how smart your smart phone is!! LOL

    • It may be a while before I can brag about how smart the smartphone is. I tried to access my email on it and promptly deleted it – course it could be the phone is ok and the user may have a problem. I did see that there were only a few apps for Blackberries. Wonder why?

  4. Sounds like great apps, Lenie. But residing outside the US & Canada I will not be able to use them.

    • There were a couple of apps that could be used worldwide but I imagine that Sweden is way ahead of Canada anyway when it comes to technological gadgets.

  5. I will take any advice to save money. Especially now, seems like we all spend too much money during the holidays. From October to January, is like a big vacuum sucking the money out of my wallet.

  6. I never realized these sites existed, except for the cheap gas one. For the shopper sites I’m curious what their business plan is. Are they pushing ads to you? Maybe they are collecting data about your purchases and selling it to marketers.

    • Ken, no doubt they are collecting data about the purchases but I would think it would be more for the manufacturers own marketing information – what brands sell, etc. There were a number of items on the list that I would never buy unless they were on sale so even that would provide them with needed information as to setting prices. At least that’s my take on it.

  7. Hi Lenie, I’ve been using Gas Buddy for a few years now, ever since gas prices for so high a few years back. Thank goodness it’s not so bad now. Super easy app to use. I’ll have to check out the others. Every little bit of savings adds up. 🙂

    • Hi Susan – I just got Gas Buddy and since I’m new to smartphones, I must say that Gas Buddy was the easiest app to download to the phone. I was really surprised at the number of money saving apps – I’m going to have great fun checking them all out.

  8. Wow Lenie, look at you getting all high tech with smart phones and apps. I am still of the slide phone ilk and not ready just yet to swap over. But you have inspired me with this list. When the time comes to enter 2014 I will refer here and save money as you suggest. 🙂

    • Tim, I just hope I made the right decision – I love the money-saving part but I do miss the user friendly way of my flip phone I haven’t thrown it away yet – my husband now owns it – he refused the more advanced phone.

  9. Thank you for sharing these money saving savvy tips, will definately be telling my parents about this!

    Love, Husnaa xx

  10. What an eye-opener! Okay first thing is I still have my own beloved flip phone, and since I live on a small Island in the Pacific and everything is really, really close I don’t need an app to point me to such things. BUT, I’m planning to take an extended trip to the mainland – a road trip actually – and this kind of information is priceless for that! I’ve made notes of each of your suggestions to research further for when I finally break up with my beloved flip phone. Thank you so much!

  11. Hello Lenie

    Wow you are a great researcher. I have never thought about this. All mentioned are for Canada and Us , but now I got the Idea will surly look for some money saving apps for SA.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Andleeb, there are a couple that are global and that you should be able to access. Good luck.

  12. I’ll have to check out gas buddy. I haven’t used money-saving apps much, but I have downloaded and tried out quite a few apps meant to help save time. None have become ones I use regularly yet, but it is nice to be able to schedule chunks of time and have a reminder to take a five-minute break.

    • Hi Jeri – I would appreciate it if you would share the time-saving apps. That is what I will be looking into next. I had no idea there were such help apps available so I am definitely going to find out and use them.

  13. Wonderful apps but I am outside its reach. I just wish there were apps like these that I can use in my country

  14. Thank you for all those tips! Will keep it in mind!

  15. I’ve used Gas Buddy in the past, but wasnt aware that I could earn points. Thanks for the update!

  16. This is such a great idea. Make that smart phone pay for itself! I can’t wait to see how your evaluations go over the next few months. I’ll be looking into some of these myself.

  17. Wow Lenie! Thanks for the research. I downloaded GasBuddy before I even finished reading your post. I’m not sure why I didn’t do that before. Thank you for the nudge. I’d have to look to see if the other apps are for the items I’d buy. Very informative post.

  18. Really clever, these money-saving apps!!

    Vijay

  19. Did not realize there are such apps around. I must get more in touch with the smartphone I see. Now you know how much of a laggard I am. Great apps and great advice.

  20. I had no idea there are apps like these. Thanks for the tips.

  21. I need to check out these apps. I’m all for saving money.

  22. Hi Lenie

    I know Gas Buddy is great and the others sound good too! Thanks for sharing.

  23. Thanks for sharing these, Lenie. I like the way you actively disseminate great information on saving money.

  24. These apps are great! Very convenient and I’m all for saving money.

  25. Hi Lenie. Wow, who doesn’t think about saving money? Thanks for bringing these apps to our attention!

  26. Great list of ways to save! I always think that traveling requires some planning and cutting back on certain things. Why not throw in some bonus points here and there? Thanks for sharing this.

  27. I love these money saving apps. I also use ones like ibotta, saving star, Walmart savings catcher, and snap.

    • Thanks Krystle – I’ll be checking out the apps you mentioned.

  28. Wow, it’s great that there are so many apps for all needs, it’s really cool. Thanks for sharing Lenie!

  29. I may not have a flip phone but the way I use my Iphone you would think I did. I really like the Gas Buddy. I can see it is also useful when you are away from home on a trip. One day I will get closer to all the technology. Not there yety.

    • Arleen, I think the older you get the harder this technology gets. I’m waiting for my 10 year old grandson to clue me in on some of the features of the smartphone – like the camera.