Top Money Saving Apps for Moms

Everywhere I turn, I see the prevalence of smart phone technology in our every day life: from two year olds mastering Angry Birds to college kids huddled around a phone watching the newest YouTube video.  And, mobile devices are only going to become more popular.  According to a recent New York Times article, in just four years, over one billion people will own smart phones!

With these high speed mobile devices accessible to so many people, companies have capitalized on the trend and created apps that are revolutionizing the way we save money.  If you’re like me, I am always overwhelmed when I browse my App Store (yes, I’m one of those women who breaks out in cold sweat when given too many options).  So, I was very grateful when AT&T approached me about writing this post, and sent me some of their top apps to try out.

Here are my favorites:

ShopSavvy {Free on the iPhone and Android}
The ShopSavvy app is the original barcode scanner for the Android phone and it’s very easy to use.  Just download the app, aim your phone camera at any product’s barcode, wait for the beep, and ShopSavvy will instantly provide you with a list of online and local prices for that product.  No longer will busy moms need to waste time looking through twenty store circulars to find the lowest price on a favorite product.  With ShopSavvy, that information is one scan away!

I tried this app, when we were shopping for our daughter’s birthday present this past weekend. I became attached to a Step2 Water Table; and, in an attempt to redirect my focus, my husband suggested we could find it cheaper online.  Normally, this works wonders on my frugal soul – but, I remembered ShopSavvy, whipped out my phone; and within seconds, all the competitor prices appeared.  Much to my husband’s chagrin, the water table in front of me was the cheapest online and within a 100 mile radius.  Ah, ShopSavvy, how I love thee!

GasBuddy {Free on the iPhone and Android}
As I was researching this post, I came across the GasBuddy app and now wonder how I lived without it!  You type in your zip code (or allow the app to access your phone’s GPS tracking information), and you’ll see a list of all the nearby gas stations and their current prices.   In addition, if you report a gas price,  you’ll earn points towards prize give-away entries.  They give away a $250 gas gift card every week!

With gas prices nearing $4.00/gallon, I’m very thankful to save $0.10-$0.15/gallon by checking this app!  I especially love GasBuddy when we’re on a road trip.  Since we’re generally unfamiliar with the area, we pull into the closest (translation: the most expensive) gas station off I-95.  But, now, with a touch of my iPhone, I’ll be able to access the cheapest prices in the area!

GeoQpons {Free on the iPhone and Android}
GeoQpons provides you with thousands of mobile coupons, offers and deals from top retailers, restaurants and businesses.  By clicking on the local tab, you can find coupons and offers specific to your area.  Once you find the savings you want, just show the coupon image or code on your phone to the cashier – no more lost coupons, wasted ink, or untimely death of trees.

When I tested GeoQpons, I was thrilled to find the  majority of our local ValPak coupons listed (you know, the blue envelope of coupons you receive in the mail each month).  I always flip through the  paper version, see a fabulous offer, then promptly lose it.  Never again.  By typing in my zip code on GeoQpons, I can magically summon all those misplaced coupons to my phone!

And, if you’re looking for an inexpensive place to dine, it’s worth checking their restaurant coupons – I saw several Buy 1, Get 1 Free Entree Coupons for popular restaurants in the area.

Key Ring Rewards Card {Free on the iPhone, Android, Windows 7, & Blackberry}
This app is so popular that it was voted 1st in Mobile Commerce and Best Online Pick for the 2011 Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) Emerging Technology Awards!  What exactly does Key Ring Rewards do?  It eliminates those pesky Loyalty Cards you carry around, by loading them all to your phone.

I particularly like this app, because I’m usually the one holding up the grocery line as I desperately dig through my bottomless purse to find the appropriate store card.  Now, I just whip out my phone and they can scan the uploaded barcode.  I’m sure cashiers at the stores I frequent are extremely grateful for these technological advances!

ShopKick {Free on the iPhone and Android}
ShopKick gives you awesome rewards and deals simply for walking into your favorite store.  Just visit one of the participating 1,300 Best Buy stores, 1,000 Old Navy stores in all 50 states, and hundreds of Target stores, Macy’s, American Eagle, Sports Authority, Crate&Barrel, West Elm, Wet Seal and Simon malls nationwide; open the shopkick app on your iPhone or Android in the entrance area, and wait for a few seconds.  Your shopkick app will reward you instantly – not only will you collect points towards gift cards, you will often times receive a coupon to use.

I downloaded the app and found two nearby stores (Best Buy & Old Navy) that are participating.  ShopKick will give me 55 points for walking into Best Buy, 20 points for visiting their Digital Imaging section, and 75 points for scanning three items – that’s 150 points for one visit!  Instant rewards start at 400 points (for a Restaurant.com GC) or 500 points (for a Target or Best Buy gift card).  It’s definitely worth loading to your phone, especially as an excuse to enjoy some retail therapy!

How about you?  Do you have a favorite money saving app?  I would love to hear what smart phones apps you love (or hate!) and how they have influenced your buying habits.

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