College-student budgets need all the help they can get, but with so many coupon sites, apps and offers out there, it can be a daunting task. Saving money has practically become a part-time job, one that college students and recent grads clearly don’t have the time for. Take it from a bargain-hunting fiend who has weeded through the mess of resources: These apps will help you stay on budget.
•ShopSavvy: Ever wonder if you’re getting the best deal? ShopSavvy is a barcode scanner that allows you to scan just about any barcode and find the best deal for that product. While you’re out searching for the cheapest price, ShopSavvy can give you listings of where else you can buy the product and for how much. It’s every college shopper’s dream: always paying the lowest price.
•RetailMeNot: This app makes it easy to save when you want, where you want at thousands of stores. Search through its catalogue to find money-saving deals for both online and in-store (its free-shipping coupons are the best!). One of my personal favorites is the “Today’s Hot Deals” feature, which lines up the best of the best of coupons for that day. You can even save coupons you want to use in the future with a simple drag-and-drop feature. Overall, RetailMeNot is by far one of the best coupon organizers out there.
•Eyeona: We’ve all been there; you make a purchase and see the exact thing on sale two days later. Eyeona solves all savings woes by alerting you to price drops as they happen. Log your recent receipts so that when an item you purchased drops in price, Eyeona will alert you to cash in on the difference (many stores will honor recently purchased items that missed the sale). Best of all, you can add items you want to your very own Watch List, and it will alert you when the product is at its best price.
•GasBuddy: When you’ve got wheels at school, one of the most important things is finding the cheapest gas. GasBuddy searches for the nearest gas stations and their prices so you can make an informed decision. Once you’ve picked one, the app provides directions straight to the gas station. The best part? You can sort gas stations by either distance or price. A must-have for all money-savvy drivers.
•Kayak: As a traveler on the go, I can honestly say Kayak is a college student’s saving grace. Just like its website, Kayak’s app can help you find the best hotel rates, airfare and rental-car prices with a push of a button. Kayak compares dozens of sites and takes all the work out of travel searching for you, and the app takes it one step further by mapping things based on your location and allowing you to set up price alerts that will be sent straight to your phone.
•Groupon and Living Social: Where would any money-saving article be without everyone’s favorite deal sites? Those daily emails just became more convenient with the popular companies’ apps that will automatically push alerts to your phone. Now you can peruse your favorited places or your immediate area for deals, which can then be instantly purchased on your phone. If you haven’t already, check out their instant deals, which are sorted by deal type and proximity to you.
There are hundreds of money-saving apps out there, but these have lodged a permanent place in this penny-pincher’s hard drive. The best part about all these apps? They’re free! So give your budget a hand and download a few of these — your wallet will thank me later.
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