9 must-have smartphone apps

Don't Waste Your Money

Want to save at the mall,  the grocery store or on your holiday gifts? There's an app for that.

We talked to budget-watching college students at the University of Cincinnati to come up with some must-have, money saving apps.

1. Your favorite store

Student Molly McGhee gives us must-have app number one: Your favorite store.

"I have apps from several stores in the mall and they notify you when they have sales or deals."

Example: Target's app, with daily deals and an in-store barcode price checker.

Fellow college student Michelle Miranda prefers the Starbucks app , which lets you pay with a swipe of your phone, or pre order your joe.    

2. Top deal app

This time of year, we are all looking for sales. So must-have app No. 2 is  Deal News , top rated by PC World magazine.

Deal News also has a top rated Black Friday app.

3.  Sale Finding app

Must-have No. 3: Sale Locator, which lists sales near you, showing them on a map on your phone.

4 & 5:   Price comparison apps

To go with it, you'll want a price comparison app.

So our fourth must-have is Red Laser , a favorite of student Kayla Puckett and her friends.

"You can scan the barcodes if you are shopping and kind of compare prices of that," said Puckett.

Coupon blogger Andrea Deckard, of Savings Lifestyle.com,   likes an alternate comparison app, Shop Savvy, which is our must-have app No. 5.

"Let's say you find a Dyson vacuum, it's in a lot of stores, and if you scam the bar code it tells you the prices at each retailer," said Deckard.

6.  No more cumbersome reward cards

Tired of carrying all those shopper reward cards?

Then download app No. 6: Key Ring, which puts them all on your smartphone. You just scan your phone at the checkout lane, instead of your Kroger, Dicks Sporting Goods or other card.

7.  Daily coupon sites

The No. 7 must-have app: Groupon , no further explanation needed.

8.  Coupon apps

No. 8: Coupon Sherpa , which finds coupons for the store you are in.
"It's an awesome thing for me as I'm a busy mom, maybe I forgot my coupons, I need to go into Children's Place for a sale, but now I can go to my phone and see what coupons are out there," said Deckard.

Most of those apps are either free or less than $2.


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