Everyone likes to save money, but not everyone likes to have to hustle to do so. Thankfully, technology is here to make our lives easier.
When you consider 80 percent of online adults own a smartphone, why not let apps do the hard work for you?
Here are my top five apps for helping you find the best deal at the mall. Each one mentioned is available via both the App Store and Google Play.
When most people think of saving money while shopping, they think of coupons. But who really enjoys scavenging the newspaper and clipping coupons to save a few cents?
With the RetailMeNot app, not only do you avoid hunting for bargains but there’s no cutting either!
After you download the free app, you’ll select among your favorite retailers. Brands include Macy’s, Pacsun and GameStop plus countless more, and the app tells you when a storewide sale is happening.
It can even show you all the deals at a particular mall. Choose the shopping mall you’re interested in visiting and RetailMeNot will break down all the stores with deals. And if that wasn’t enough, it covers online stores, too.
If you like to feel rewarded, you’ll like shopkick.
Like RetailMeNot, shopkick lets you know what stores have sales, but does so as you approach them using your location. Let’s say you’re walking past American Eagle Outfitters. You don’t know whether there’s a sale or not and you don’t have a lot of time to search the store and find out.
When the app detects that you’re approaching a favorite store, shopkick will send a push notification to your device informing you a sale is going on. How convenient?!
If that wasn’t enough, you can receive “kicks” for simply walking in the store. Kicks accumulate and can be redeemed for gift cards at your favorite retailer. Increase your kicks by making a purchase. Kick values vary store to store and can change over time.
If you make a purchase at Old Navy, for instance, you could earn 1 kick for every $1 spent. But spend $50, and you could get 500 bonus kicks!
With shopkick, it pays to shop!
Ever needed to return something but lost the receipt?
Sure, many stores can retrieve a transaction with the credit/debit card you purchased it with, but what if you paid cash?
That’s where Ziploop comes in.
Snap a photo of your receipt using the app so that it’s always with you. Why do you need Ziploop when you can simply take pictures of receipts, you may ask? The app interprets the information from the photo and stores it as text-based data, which means stored receipts are now searchable. Sort by store, date and more.
And what’s really cool is that it reproduces a receipt barcode enabling retailers to scan it from your smartphone trouble-free. Trying this from a standard photo of your receipt is problematic, but Ziploop makes it easy.
Never worry about losing your receipt again with this handy app!
Shopsavvy is very much like RetailMeNot and shopkick in that it alerts you to deals, but what separates itself is the ability to scan any item’s barcode for a quick price analysis.
For example, let’s say you’re shopping at Best Buy Mobile and want to compare smartphone prices. Rather than check every competitor’s website or app, ShopSavvy lists every store that sells the item along with the current selling price and informs you on the best deal available.
And if you need more time to decide or want to conduct more research, the app remembers every item scanned so that you don’t have to recall model numbers and the like.
Does your keychain resemble those of a prison guard except that instead of keys you have a bajillion loyalty cards? You know — those mini-cards that you have scanned at the register to trigger deals. The apps mentioned in this list help you carry less paper, so it should come as no surprise that Stocard allows you to free up your keychain for, well, keys.
But they’re not just on your key ring, are they? Your purse and wallet can easily get weighed down from all those rewards cards from stores including Anthropology and Sephora. But this app retains those cards’ barcodes so that as long as you have your smartphone, you can bask in the rewards.
The list of supported retailers’ cards is plentiful, believe me.
What app are you most apt to use? Let me know in the comments — especially if I left off any that you think are worthy.