Stretching Your Dollar: Apps that save - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Stretching Your Dollar: Apps that save

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Smart Phones get their name honestly, but now they should be called Saver Phones.

If you are looking to save cash, but hate clipping coupons, you may have to look no farther than your smart phone. 

First, if your key ring is jumbled with those tiny rewards cards, you need to download the free application Key Ring. It's going to replace all of those rewards cards that you have for every store that is filling up your current key ring.

Southern Savers founder, Jenny Martin, explained, "I can just show that in the store. But, I am also going to get special rewards and coupons for that store while I am in there.  So, that is kind of fun."

Martin is a pro-couponer who trains other moms to save money.  Part of what she teaches is to start small and use what you have, like your phone. 

"These stores are really pushing more and more of their coupons on to the mobile world and that smart phone is just going to enable you to have access to every single one of them," said Martin.

She also said you need to download ShopKick.  You rack up points, what they call kicks, for extra savings at stores.  Martin said, "You are going to get an extra 10 coupons that you can use right now at check out. I just show my smart phone and the coupons will be scanned and taken off at the register."

There are several applications that let you scan a barcode of an item and compare prices in other stores or online. 

 With the Amazon app, you can scan the barcode of what you want, or take a picture.  In just a few seconds, it will tell you if Amazon.com has the item for less.

Red Laser App allows you to scan an item and then it checks if stores in the area, or online stores, have the item cheaper.

You may think it is only a 5 cent difference, but you should and can shop around for the best gas price. One research group says the average person drives 29 miles a day.  That's more than ten thousand miles a year. 

At a five cent difference, you would save 500 dollars a year. To easily find the cheapest gas, even as you drive around, download the Gas Buddy app.

Martin loves the app and explained, "It knows where you are, that is the joy of a smart phone. As you drive around, it is going to constantly just show you what gas stations near you have the best price for gas."

Just by checking in on Foursquare or Facebook while you are at a business, you can get five dollars off a car wash or a free appetizer.

Fourth Avenue Car Wash in Columbus does promotions with both 4square and Facebook.  The manager said it gets a lot of people in the door in these tough times.

At Smokey Bones Bar and Fire Grill, general manager Everett Bailey, said using smart phone coupons is not only good for the customer.  "The availability is so wide spread, it doesn't take printing, we don't have to broadcast it," said Everett.  Every 3rd check in on Facebook, you get a free appetizer. That is a savings of about ten dollars.

Lastly, Martin suggests you sign up for Mint.com. There is a web site and a correlating application.  Mint pulls all your financial information into one place, so you can finally get the "big" picture. 

"A lot of us, we are in the grocery store and we are not thinking let me go home and enter this in to the computer and balance my checkbook. Now you are doing it as you check out in the grocery store, done."

Martin continued, "You can scan receipts, enter bills, pay bills on the go. The fact that it is free is amazing, but it is going to help you get your budget under control, help you look at your finances."

After using all of these money saving apps, your finances will look even better.  And soon, your smart phone will start to pay for itself. 

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