Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.
Mobile technology is advancing with leaps and bounds, and new apps and features help us save money wherever we are. Whether you are headed to the store, the gas station, or a vacation, there are apps to help you save money along the way. Here are some great apps to save you money on the go.
Prices at the pump are not quite at all-time highs, but wherever you are in the United States or Canada, you can save yourself a few bucks at fill-up time with GasBuddy.
GasBuddy gives you a listing of gas prices at stations nearby, so you can choose a gas station close to you with the lowest price possible. For anyone with a car, this is one of the best apps to save you money on the go.
Bonus tip: GPS app Waze has gas prices built in as well, and it can suggest gas stations on your route. However, that feature can be a bit clunky to use, and GasBuddy is an easier app to navigate, particularly for the less techy crowd.
Pronounced “I bought a,” the Ibotta app offers coupons to use at grocery, pharmacy, clothing, liquor, health and beauty, specialty, and convenience stores. You can also find deals at restaurants and movie theaters. Ibotta coupons can be redeemed through the app to get cash back. Real, actual money, not just some virtual currency.
Here’s how it works. Pick your favorite coupons from the app before you go shopping or while you are at the store, purchase the items, then scan your receipt. A little while later, you will see an approval message and a growing account balance. You can cash out when you hit a $20 balance through PayPal or Venmo. You can also use your account balance to buy gift cards.
This is one of our favorite apps to save you money on the go.
I was on a road trip from Denver to Portland and decided I wanted to stop in Boise, Idaho, for the night, but had never been there and didn’t have a hotel reservation. I arrived around 6 p.m. and just needed a room and wanted the cheapest one possible.
I whipped out my phone and pulled up the HotelTonight app. I quickly saw a list of nearby hotels with their best rates. I picked a hotel from a chain I recognized that was the cheapest deal around. This app is designed to book last-minute rooms at the best rate, but you can book up to a week ahead.
When going downtown or to the airport, it can be hard to find the best parking deals. And in many cities, parking is not cheap. That’s where BestParking comes in.
Don’t just pick a parking lot because it is closer or you don’t want to waste time driving around checking rates. Pull up BestParking on your phone to see the best parking rates around. You can also use the BestParking website to plan ahead before you leave home.
While you can still buy a Groupon on the web, print it out, and take it with you, the mobile app offers a better option to save money when you are already out and about.
With the Groupon mobile app, you can see nearby restaurants and activities offering a Groupon deal, buy it with your phone, and show the deal to the server or cashier. As a bonus, if you buy them right when you plan to use them, you don’t have to worry about using the deal before it expires.
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