For those who drive:
GasBook for the iPhone has an ever expanding database of thousands of Gas Stations in the US. It can do a search within 50 miles of your current location and find the cheapest stations nearby. The same application allows you to log your fuel usage and suggests way to be more efficient. There are similar apps for Android users, namely GasBuddy, which works in the US and Canada. In the UK, there is MyGas for the iPhone and there are many other similar country specific apps available. Most of these apps are based on community feedback, where users report the prices they see. Some offer incentives such as fuel coupons to encourage users to report the latest price movements.
Best Price Shopping:
If you’re already a customer of the huge online mega store, Amazon, why not install their app? You can be standing in your local high street store, comparing prices with Amazon offers – in real-time. Other apps allow you to use the camera on your phone to scan the bar-code of a product for on the spot price comparison with other stores, or even supermarkets that offer the same product. On most devices you can try Google Shopper, which not only lets you scan the bar-code, it can also recognise a picture of the product or you can even type in the product. From toothpaste to Nike cross trainers you will easily hunt down the best price in town. For the iPhone there is ShopSavvy where they claim to be close to having every product in the world. The latest version also features product reviews and prices for stores nearby. Also the RedLaser app which also does store price comparisons; is available on both Android and the iPhone.
If you haven’t heard of Skype and free calls to other users around the world, then I’d like to welcome you to the 21st century. Lesser known however is that you can get the Skype App for most smart-phones. It allows you to make free calls wherever you have a data connection. The Skype app can even be run on freely available wi-fi hot-spots. While you’re at it, why not check out PingChat for the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices. It lets you send free text messages, photos and even video messages. The only thing you are charged for is the bandwidth you use and it’s your lucky day; there is an iPhone app for this as well. Onavo compresses data before sending or receiving. Their website claims up to an 80% reduction in bandwidth in some cases. It can be used while surfing the web or even when using other apps like Facebook. There is also a version for the bandwidth-hungry Android devices.
With all this mobile smart-phone technology, there is no need to be paying top dollar anymore. This list is just the tip of the iceberg and with new apps emerging almost on a daily basis, a quick scan at the app stores will reveal many more. There are similar apps for restaurants, hotels and flights for even more ways to save.
==== About the Author =====
James Agate is chief blogger at the UK money saving website Deals.org.uk.