Top 5 Apps to Help You Simplify and Save
When it came to New Year’s resolutions, was one of yours to spend less or maybe shop smarter? Tightening your budget can feel like an arduous process, but it pays off in the end — and with these five apps, the journey is much easier. I’ve searched through all the possibilities to bring you five of the best and most versatile choices on the market.
Next time you head to the store, be prepared: write a list before you leave, search for coupons and sign up for loyalty cards that offer rewards for your spending. And don’t forget to download these apps, which make spending and saving that much simpler as you shop in 2015.
When it comes to grocery shopping, the surest way to overspend is to leave home without a list. Avoid impulse buys with Ziplist, an Apple and Android app that helps you create a master list of groceries to use each time you head out. Save recipes, automatically add the ingredients to your list and quickly search for coupons for each item. Ziplist even organizes your lists according to the layout of your participating grocery stores. (Free; iOS, Android)
Loyalty cards are everywhere these days, and for good reason. From airlines and big box stores to smaller retailers, these plastic cards rack up unbeatable savings for millions of users every year. The problem? They’re easy to forget, easy to lose and too many can bulk up your wallet quickly. Use Key Ring to streamline. Simply scan and store your existing loyalty cards, join new programs and receive mobile coupons via your smartphones. (Free; iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry)
The smartest shoppers compare prices before making a purchase, but the process can be tiring and seem endless. Red Laser makes it easy. After finding the product you want, like a television or camera, scan the bar code and the app will show the best prices available both online and in stores locally. Either click BUY NOW to go directly to the selected website or get directions to the store with the lowest price. (Free; iOS, Android, Windows)
Gone are the days of clipping coupons from the paper. Coupon Sherpa, one of the most straightforward coupon apps available, brings the retail, restaurant and grocery savings directly to your phone. At Best Buy and want to check for last-minute savings? Pull up Coupon Sherpa to see if you snag 25 percent off an item. In many stores, you can simply flash your phone at the checkout to get the deal. (Free; iOS, Android)
For all your spending, Shopkick thinks you should be rewarded. Download the app and open it up before heading to your favorite store. Shopkick gives you reward points for simply walking in. Purchase specific items and receive more “kicks.” Once you earn enough, you can redeem them for gift cards at places like Target, Old Navy, Best Buy, Macy’s and more! (Free; iOS, Android, Windows)
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.