Posted by DealDetectiveKim:
I have a confession to make–I went crazy off the budget while I was on vacation. Honestly, a cruise might have been cheaper than leaving me free to shop for a whole week, with holiday sales out there in my face!
By far, the biggest splurge was my new phone. My contract was up, I was looking to upgrade, and… well, I got a smart phone. To be specific, an iPhone. It was like a new relationship–I wanted to spend all my time with it, learning all about it, gushing over how wonderful it is. You’ve been there, right? And when you have a new relationship, you want to tell everyone all about your new love! So, dear readers, I am going to share with you some convenient apps for smart phones that can make your coupon life easier. (If you have something other than an iPhone, please share your faves in the comments!)
- Go to the app store for your particular phone and search for similar apps. If you have trouble finding what you’re looking for, do what I did: I couldn’t figure out how to do something I needed to do and I put it out there on Facebook. In under an hour, I had exact directions on how to do what I’d spent a week trying to figure out!
- Both Groupon and Living Social, two deal sites we talk a lot about here on Time 2 $ave, have smart phone apps. I installed both of those. It transferred all my info to the phone, so now when I want to use a deal I purchased, I just pull it up on the phone and show it to the merchant. No printer required, no finding that elusive printout–couldn’t be simpler! I can also check quickly for the daily deal and buy it, using my stored info. Both of these apps are free.
- I also saved Swagbucks to my screen so that I can remember to do more regular searches and earn more Swagbucks. If you use Cellfire (Kroger shoppers, take note!) they also have a free app.
- Key ring is a cool app. It does take a few minutes or so to set up. Once you install it, you use the phone’s camera to scan the barcodes of all your store loyalty cards, naming them as you go. Then you can take them off your keyring, store them at home in a safe location, and bring them up on screen with a couple of clicks to be scanned from the phone by the store clerk! This is also a free app.
- I like the notes app that came already installed on the phone. You can use it for shopping lists, best price lists, deal matchups, etc. I used mine the other day to make a list of what all I got in my drugstores run, how much I paid total, and how much I had in RRs left over.
I just did a search on “coupons” in the app store and found 4 free apps. Words of caution: many of the apps require a printer. If your smart phone isn’t somehow networked to a printer, that won’t work for you. Each app comes with a rating, from 1-5 stars, along with how many ratings it has. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom and read some of the ratings, especially if the number of stars is low or the number of raters is low.
One of the four is called Grocery iQ. Now, I really don’t do that much grocery listing. What’s on sale, and coupon matchups, dictate my shopping. I literally go up and down each aisle, looking for clearances and blinkies and peelies and tearpads. If it’s a good deal and/or I have a coupon, I’ll buy it and figure out what I’m going to do with it later. But if you’re a list-maker, this app may be for you! The iPhoneAppBlog (in March 2010) named it “Best in Class” and “One of the 5 Hottest Apps”. You can scan the barcodes of products you use regularly using the camera. You can create lists for multiple stores. The list of things it supposedly does goes on and on. I’m going to add this app and try it out, I’ll let you know what I think!
Generally Helpful Apps:
- Rachael Ray (someone I personally quote a lot) has an app called “Tasty Bytes“. Cool name, huh? You download that app and it will give you recipes and even create a shopping list for you! I’ve seen the app but I haven’t bought it yet. I’m thinking about it though. It’s $1.99.
- My insurance provider has a free app. I installed that. I’m a very good defensive driver, but sometimes an accident is unavoidable. With this app, I can literally take pictures at the scene and upload them to get my claim started. Break down? Need gas? No problem… the On the Road function will help you out! Pulled over? Can’t find your insurance card? The app will display proof of insurance for you! (Note: the app says “”does not meet requirements for proof of insurance as required in some states” so you might want to check before you depend on that to keep you from getting a ticket for no proof of insurance.)
I’ll be trying out new apps & I’ll let you know any more that I love – in the meantime, share with the rest of us your Smart Phone tips, tricks, hits and misses. This is a community, folks, and sharing is what we’re all about!