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March 03, 2022

12 frugal apps that can save you money

From where I sit, the words frugal and smartphone don’t really fit in the same sentence.

As anyone who has bought one can tell you, the cost of a smartphone is more than just the initial price of the device. You also have hefty monthly payments to deal with, for voice minutes, text messages, and of course, lots and lots of data.  

So, the frugal choice is probably to simply do without. But, once you’ve got one, you might as well as use it the hilt.

And that means tapping into a few of the zillion apps available – many of which are designed to help thrifty consumers save money, says blogger Laurel Gray on Jason White’s Frugaldad blog, which chronicles his attempts to reduce debt and get more bang for his dollars.

Gray offers a few money-saving apps to help you squeeze the most out of your monthly budget and look cool doing it. Aside from well-known services like Skype (inexpensive phone calls), Coupon Sherpa (customized coupons) and Groupon (deep discount certificates), her favourites include:

1. Dinner Spinner – This iPhone app allows you to enter an ingredient and see a list of recipes using that item. Price: Free. (A pro version with enhanced features is available for $2.99.)

2. Carticipate – This carpooling app puts riders and drivers together to unclog the roads, take advantage of rideshare lanes, and reduce pollution. For iPhone. Price: Free.

3. CheckPlease – Much more than a tip calculator, this app also helps you divide up restaurant bills among multiple diners, switch to different currencies, and even skip tipping on sales tax. Available for iPhone and Android. Price $0.99.

4. GroceryIQ – Shopping from a list helps keep your grocery store bill under control by eliminating impulse purchases. This app helps you get in and out of the store in an efficient manner by organizing your list by aisle, and also lets you scan and record favorite items for future reference. Available on Android and iPhone. Price: Free.

What money-saving apps have you discovered? What’s the payback you’ve received after signing on?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...