12 Free Money-Saving Shopping Apps

Photo (cc) by StartAgain

Americans spent $1,178 each on phone services last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But if you have a smartphone, you could be using it to save money.

“One of the best tools for smart shopping is a smart phone,” as Consumer Reports recently put it. “Download certain apps and you can find the lowest prices on many items, download coupons, and even find a garage sale in your neighborhood.”

The magazine reviewed money-saving apps for its December issue and found the following 12 – all of which are free – worth checking out. If you don’t have a smartphone, don’t feel left out. Eight of these apps are spin-offs of money-savings websites available to anyone with an Internet connection…

Coupon and deals apps

Cellfire

  • Compatible with: Android; BlackBerry; iPad, iPhone, iPod touch; Windows Phone
  • Android Market rating: 3.5
  • BlackBerry App World rating: 1.5
  • iTunes App Store rating: 2
  • Windows Phone Marketplace rating: 1.5
  • Consumer Reports review: “Loads coupons from grocery stores and other retailers onto your loyalty cards. You’re sent a mobile reminder that you have a coupon when you enter the store that provided it.”
  • If you don’t have a smartphone: Visit Cellfire.com to take advantage of similar features.

Foursquare

  • Compatible with: Android; BlackBerry; HP Pre3, HP TouchPad, HP Veer; iPad, iPhone, iPod touch; Nokia Ovi; Palm Pixi, Palm Pre, Palm Pre2; Windows Phone
  • Android Market rating: 4
  • BlackBerry App World rating: 2.5
  • HP rating: 4
  • iTunes App Store rating: 4
  • Nokia Store rating: 4
  • Windows Phone Marketplace rating: 4
  • Consumer Reports review: “By tracking your location, it alerts you to deals at nearby stores, movie theaters, restaurants, and other places. It also hooks you up with daily deals from Groupon and other social-shopping sites.”
  • If you don’t have a smartphone: Visit Foursquare.com to take advantage of the same features – although Foursquare isn’t as useful on the computer only.

Grocery iQ (by Coupons.com)

  • Compatible with: Android; iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
  • Android Market rating: 4
  • iTunes App Store rating: 3.5
  • Consumer Reports review: “Tracks down coupons in real time. When you create a shopping list, the app highlights items that have online coupons. Works on Android and iPhone.”

Pushpins

  • Compatible with: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
  • iTunes App Store rating: 4.5
  • Consumer Reports review: “Lets you scan grocery items in more than 2,000 stores nationwide and notifies you of up-to-date coupon savings. The deals you choose are sent to your loyalty card, and the savings are deducted at the register.”

The Coupons App

  • Compatible with: Android; iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
  • Android Market rating: 4.5
  • iTunes App Store rating: 4.5
  • Consumer Reports review: “Pinpoints your location, then finds coupons for nearby retailers and restaurants. You redeem coupons by showing them on your phone when you check out.”

Where

  • Compatible with: Android; BlackBerry iPad, iPhone, iPod touch; Windows Phone
  • Android Market rating: 4.5
  • BlackBerry App World rating: 4
  • iTunes App Store rating: 4.5
  • Windows Phone Marketplace rating: 3
  • Consumer Reports review: “Once you’ve followed a few steps to tag favorite retailers, it tells you every time they post a coupon.”
  • If you don’t have a smartphone: Visit Where.com to take advantage of similar features.

Price-comparison apps

Grocery Smarts

  • Compatible with: Android; iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
  • Android Market rating: 4.5
  • iTunes App Store rating: 5
  • Consumer Reports review: “Tracks items and prices in the latest store circulars from CVS, Rite Aid, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart, then cross-references all manufacturers’ coupons with the circulars and shows you the bottom line for each item.”
  • If you don’t have a smartphone: Visit GrocerySmarts.com to take advantage of similar features.

PriceGrabber

  • Compatible with: Android; iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
  • Android Market rating: 3.5
  • iTunes App Store rating: N/A
  • Consumer Reports review:Lets you know who’s selling whatever you’re looking for at the best price, including tax and shipping fees. Scan the item’s bar code or type in the product name.”
  • If you don’t have a smartphone: Visit PriceGrabber.com to take advantage of similar features. Last year, Consumer Reports rated the website the best price-comparison search engine.

SnapTell

  • Compatible with: Android; iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
  • Android Market rating: 4.5
  • iTunes App Store rating: 3
  • Consumer Reports review: “Uses bar code, visual search (take a photo of the product’s cover), or title to find books, CDs, DVDs, and video games at the best prices online and at nearby walk-in stores.”

Travel apps

FareCompare

  • Compatible with: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
  • iTunes App Store rating: N/A
  • Consumer Reports review: “Sends real-time airline-ticket price-drop alerts on itineraries you specify.”
  • If you don’t have a smartphone: Visit FareCompare.com to take advantage of similar features.

Kayak

Yardsale apps

Garage Sales Tracker

  • Compatible with: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
  • iTunes App Store rating: N/A
  • Consumer Reports review: “Finds garage sales, flea markets, and consignment shops in your area.”
  • If you don’t have a smartphone: Visit GarageSalesTracker.com to take advantage of similar features.

For more ways to save money with your phone, check out 5 Smartphone Apps That Can Earn You Money and How to Get All Your iPhone Apps for Free.

Karla Bowsher runs our Deals page, writes “Today’s Deals” posts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; and covers consumer and retail issues. If you have a comment, suggestion, or question, leave a comment or contact her at [email protected].

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
20 Generic Brands That Amazon Created
20 Generic Brands That Amazon Created

Amazon’s growing collection of private brands offers everything from toilet paper and coffee to motor oil and clothing.

5 Memberships That Offer Car Insurance Discounts
5 Memberships That Offer Car Insurance Discounts

These discounts may save you hundreds — even thousands — of dollars a year.

2 Costly Rewards Credit Card Mistakes — and How to Fix Them
2 Costly Rewards Credit Card Mistakes — and How to Fix Them

If you commit either of these credit card sins, you are likely losing money every time you use a card. Here’s how to easily right this wrong.

8 Reasons Your Parents Had an Easier Retirement Than You Will
8 Reasons Your Parents Had an Easier Retirement Than You Will

Here’s why the last decades of life are harder now than they used to be.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing emergency food supply. Is your pantry well-prepared for emergencies? Knowing what to stock up on for emergencies can be a difficult task and we’re here to help.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

The Next 5 Groups Who Will Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
The Next 5 Groups Who Will Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

The CDC has unveiled a schedule that likely will determine who gets the next doses.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

The 4 Best Things to Buy in January — and 4 to Avoid
The 4 Best Things to Buy in January — and 4 to Avoid

As a new year dawns, deals abound for some types of products. In other cases, it pays to wait.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.