My 5 Favorite Money-Saving Smart Phone Apps

After holding out for what seemed like forever, I finally upgraded to a smart phone last year.

(My hubby got me the iPhone 4 for my birthday.)

Although I really didn’t think I ‘needed’ it, I’d be lying if I said I don’t now rely on it now.

In my blogging life, I love that I am able to check in, moderate comments and answer pressing questions – while on the go with my family.

In my non-blogging life, I also love all the money-saving and time-saving apps, which I have discovered over the last year.

I’m sure that this is true for the Android phones as well, but I’m not as familiar with them. If you’re an Android user, hopefully you will add your favorite apps in the comments section.

Here are my Top 5 iPhone Apps

Key Ring

I just learned about this app a few weeks ago and it’s been a game changer for me in terms of time management.

With Key Ring, you just scan all your loyalty cards into the app and then just have the cashier scan your phone at check-out. If for some reason the bar doesn’t scan (which as happened to me once – at Office Max), they can just punch in the numbers.

You also get access to exclusive discounts and coupons, which you know I love.

I also love just carrying my car key and the alarm fob, without all those loyalty cards to add weight and clutter to my purse.

One note for all my CVS shoppers – while the cashier can scan your phone at checkout, the “Magic Coupon Machine” is not able to scan from Key Ring. I have a full-size CVS Extra Care card that I carry in my coupon folder. If you rely on your key fob one for the MCM, don’t discard it.



I’ve talked about this app before, but it bears repeating: Shopkick is a FREE iPhone and Android app. It gives you access to exclusive coupons and deals at stores like Best Buy, Target, Macy’s, Old Navy & Toys ‘R Us.

ShopKick also rewards you with points (known as “kicks”) just for walking into participating stores. You can earn even more points for scanning select items (I use the RedLaser app).

All these points add up in your account until you cash them in for gift cards to your favorite stores.

A $10 gift card at Target, for example, “costs” 2,500 points.

Gas Buddy

I assume everyone knows about GasBuddy, but if you don’t – stop everything and download it right now (it’s available for Android, too).

GasBuddy is a consumer-driven database of all the best gas deals in your area. When the price per gallon can vary as widely as $.15 per gallon within just a few blocks – it’s definitely worth it to see where you can fill up for cheap.

We also like to use Gas Buddy to locate gas stations when we’re on road trips. And friends in the Northeast tell me Gas Buddy has been helpful in locating line-free (or less-line) options for filling up post-Sandy.

Kosher GPS

The developer of Kosher GPS reached out to me a while back to check out his app. I thought, “Meh, nice idea, but I live in Kansas City, what do I need it for?”

Well, if you already know all .5 kosher establishments in your city, you probably don’t need Kosher GPS. But if you’ll be traveling or if you live in a city with a number of kosher options, Kosher GPS is a wonder. (It’s available for both iPhone and Android.)

We found great kosher restaurants, delis and markets during our road trip this past summer – everything from Ladino Bar & Grill in New York City (amazing tapas!) to Issi’s Place in Cleveland (we got pizza from them twice in a three-day trip).

Map My Run

This is not money-saving per se, but if you like to run, bike or walk for exercise, you will love Map My Run. It has a built-in GPS, so not only does it “map” your route, but it also keeps track of how long you exercise and how many miles per hour you are traveling.

You can share your conquests on Facebook and Twitter and hook up with like-minded running friends as well. (I don’t do that, but I’m kind of shy about sharing my penguin-like pace.)

Map My Run is totally free and what’s really cool is that other than the running or walking shoes, so is the exercise. Definitely a frugalista’s way to stay in shape!

What are your favorite money-saving or time savings apps? Please share in the comments section!


  1. Perfect timing, Mara. My early Chanukah present arrived the other day 🙂

  2. I like Ibotta. It’s another shopping app. You click through the offers and then buy those items at participating stores. You take a picture of the receipt and they deposit money in your online account that you can withdraw. It’s only for iPhones with androids coming soon.

  3. Pocket is awesome. You know all those articles people send you or you find online, and you want to read them but just not now? Save them to your Pocket app, and you can read them whenever you want, even if you’re offline at the time.

  4. Savingstar and Cellfire are great. Link up your store loyalty cards and Cellfire will save you money (like an e-coupon) at the time of purchase. With Savingstar you get money deposited back into your account wyb certain items. Every Tuesday they offer 20% off of a produce item (buy it by the next Tues) and Friday is Freebie Friday. They will reimburse you 100% of a particular item if you buy it by Sunday. The items are often Gen Mills/ Betty Crocker items that go on sale. You can stack paper coupons along with these offers!

  5. Karavani Irit says

    You can add the ibotta app to your list.

Leave a Comment