Throw away the printer: 9 Deal Apps you can’t miss

Groupon, Living Social and Halfoffdepot are great, but they all require you to print out your coupon and bring it with you, which I invariably forget to do, thanks in no small part to my forgetfulness and/or laziness. I’ve dug through my car’s center console, only to find an incredible deal for a scuba lesson I bought in 2009. So, if you’re at all like me, you’ll be glad to hear there’s an alternative. All you need to start saving is:

1 smartphone

1 ridiculously overpriced data plan

1. Coupon Sherpa

It won’t carry your stuff up the Himalayas, but Coupon Sherpa will make that price tag go down. On the app, there is one side for retail stores and a whole other world for grocery stores. On the retail side, there are coupons for everything from auto stores and hardware stores to clothing shops and hair salons. As for the grocery side, let’s just say if your grandmother had a smart phone, she wouldn’t need the Sunday paper.

Similarly, check out the Coupon App, which also stores tons of coupons for your disposal. If you have both of these apps going at the same time, you’ll never pay full price again.

2. Foursquare

With foursquare, you do have to share your location, but it’s all in the name of discovering new places and deals. Simply open the app, click Explore, then Specials, and get to shopping. The cool thing about Foursquare is that the deals are on local stores, rather than just big corporations.

3. Facebook

Don’t lie – Facebook is already installed on most of your phones, so now use it for something more than liking your friend’s baby pictures, Farmville and links to cat videos. Go to Facebook’s very own check-in and deals website on your phone to see what’s available in your area — there are lots of check-ins that will save you money. Also, keep your eyes peeled for signs in stores saying “Follow us on Facebook and we’ll take such and such percent off your purchase!” You can also follow your favorite stores on Facebook and take part in weekend sales and special discounts through events and more.

4. Scoutmob

Scoutmob is only available in major cities, but offers an easy to navigate interface and has 50-100% off deals (yes, some offer a 100% free meal to get you in the door) to mostly restaurants, salons, and spas. Just show the waiter your app, click on “use this deal”, and your bill will magically shrink.

5. Key Ring Reward Cards

Instead of having scores and scores of cards on your key ring, scan them into your phone with the Key Ring app. That way, next time you check out and can’t find your Big Lots Super Duper Rewards Card, you won’t have to rifle through your keys, just through your phone. The app also lets you sign up for cards in the store and instantly and offers occasional coupons as well.

6. Yelp

Yelp is less invasive than Foursquare but just as easy to use. Download it on your phone, and when you are out shopping, open it up and hit Deals. The app will show you all the discounts close to you. You can also click on Nearby and then Deals or Check-In Offers. You don’t have to check in at every place, but it doesn’t hurt to look and see if you can save a little bit of dough.

7. Individual Store Apps

True, having a billion apps on your phone can be somewhat annoying and could impair the functionality of your phone, but if you happen to frequent a particular store often (like the CVS Pharmacy on your corner or the Publix down the road), then having a store-specific app on your phone will save you money. Target’s app offers daily deals and the weekly ads. Simply Google your favorite store and “app” afterward, and there’s bound to be something out there!

8. Price-Comparison Apps

There are a lot of apps that offer the chance to compare prices online while in the store. Using an app like Scandit, you can scan the item in the store and see if it’s cheaper at a store nearby or online.

9. Shopkick

The makers of Shopkick have partnered with thousands of retailers across the U.S. to offer points (or “kicks”) for just walking into a store. Then, while you’re searching for the perfect purchase, the app shows you in-store deals, and you can get more kicks for scanning certain items. Once you link your Visa credit or debit card to the app, you get more points for purchases. After you collect a certain amount of points, you can redeem them for movie tickets, Starbucks coffee, donations to charity, and more!

What apps do you use to get deals?

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