In an era of government shutdowns, parting with money could not be even more excruciating. However,
it is also an era of real-time communication and really clever gadgets, and frugality has never been more
With the help of your tablet or smartphone, you can capitalise on hundreds of apps designed to help you
scrimp on money and stay fiscally healthy.
Here are seven of the best apps for frugal people, in arbitrary order:
Go through any best-of list of the most useful apps, and this one name is apt to pop up. Even About.com
awarded it the Best Money-Saving App last year.
Charge the ubiquity of Shopkick to its undeniable utility. The app—available for free on iOs and Android—
works like a shopping rewards program. But here is the caveat: Shopkick rewards you just for checking in
a store. Yes, the simple act of walking into a store and not necessarily buying anything (although buying
something helps too).
Users get a ‘kick’ or point for every check-in with a partner store. Those stores are increasing by the way,
with everything from Best Buy to Toys R Us participating. With enough kicks, users can redeem gift cards,
special discounts, eatery vouchers, cinema tickets, and other rewards.
Frugal persons can truly get their kicks from this app.
Penny-wise men and women would fancy Mint, the free app that practically dangles your financial status
in your face. It is an especially great app for those in denial about their finances, because Mint’s figures—
done in nifty visualisations instead of incoherent spreadsheets—simply do not lie.
Mint works by putting your bank and credit card information in one place, the better for you to track how
much money is going in and out, how much are your savings versus expenses, etc. You then choose to
reckon with this information by saving more, setting a budget, and pretty much living economically.
If you don’t, Mint will remind you anyway. Alerts go off when it is time to, say, pay bills or whenever you
top a pre-set spending limit.
Another opportunity a good cheapskate would be a wastrel to miss is ShopSavvy. It lets you scan the
barcode of any item and do a price comparison across thousands of retailers, both physical and online.
The time, effort and gas you could have spent on visiting each store are eliminated; for that reason alone,
ShopSavvy is a must-download for frugal people.
A free download, ShopSavvy also comes with product reviews, wish lists, and markdown alerts.
Another bar code scanning app of note is RedLaser, which has the distinction of being name-dropped by
the likes of The New York Times and CNN Money. Like ShopSavvy, RedLaser informs you of the lowest
price available for any product you wish to buy. Just whip out your phone or tablet, snap a photo of the
bar code, and RedLaser would return with a price list of the same product, from both online and brick-
In addition, RedLaser is a handy QR code scanner. You can also find irresistible coupons and deals here.
It’s not like establishments put up big signs that they accept coupons. RetailMeNot solves this tight spot.
This app—for free if you ask—lets you uncover existing deals, discounts, and other offers at nearby
stores. Many times, it takes RetailMeNot to see if a favourite store can give you something for a fraction
of the price.
This app comes useful if you are on the road and on the lookout for cheap accomodations, vehicle
rentals, and so on. Even better, RetailMeNot shows coupons and deals for online establishments. So
whether it is a gigantic mall or a cosy online boutique, RetailMeNot enlightens you about the nearest
places to save money.
Fans of the online classifieds get everything they love about the website (and more) in its mobile version.
If you need something that does not have to be brand new, the Craigslist app should have been on your
tablet or phone yesterday already. Buying used gives you buck after buck in savings.
Put another way, Craigslist beefs up your income. Just take a picture of an item you want to dispose of,
describe it, and Craigslist buyers would be all over it.
Fuel constitutes a good bulk of the budget for those who drive a car. If you are one, you probably already
know that the price of gasoline differs from one station to the next. As your ‘GasBuddy,’ this app ferrets
out the cheapest gas in your vicinity.
GasBuddy is also a community initiative, in that users get points for updating fuel prices at nearby
stations. Better yet, users stand to win cash prizes from doing so.
Article by Deborah Jones who writes about time management software and reviews companies like
TradiePad iPad apps