Forget clipping coupons from the Sunday paper. Nowadays, being a savvy shopper is more about managing your smartphone. With features like price comparisons, product reviews and electronic couponing, apps will help you snag deals while you shop at your favorite stores.
Here are the top store apps that deserve a download.
Looking to save up to 50% on products from Target? Look no further than Cartwheel, the retail chain’s mobile savings app for iPhone and Android, which allows users to choose from updated offers in nearly every department.
Simply search an item or compare brands to see which products have offers available, and add the coupons to your cart with just a tap of the screen. While you’re in the store, you can use the app to scan product barcodes to check if there are any deals available.
Once you’ve filled your literal and digital carts, head to the checkout line. Don’t forget to show your app to your cashier, who’ll scan a mobile barcode so that you can cash in on your savings. Cartwheel will keep track of your total savings from purchase to purchase, so you can see how much you’ve saved since you started using the app.
Two things to note: The app allows users to claim only up to 10 coupons at a time, unless additional coupon spots are unlocked after repeated use. Also, each individual deal must be added manually to the app, which may be time-consuming.
For a slightly different take on saving, download Savings Catcher. With it, Wal-Mart promises to eliminate the time and effort of store cross-comparison. Instead of comparing prices before you make a purchase, this app does a post-purchase comparison of competing retailers in the area.
All you have to do is download the app onto your iPhone or Android device, make a purchase at Wal-Mart and use the app to scan your receipt. If the price you paid is higher than it would be at a Wal-Mart competitor, you’ll get a Rewards eGift Card for the difference. But if you’re looking for instant savings, know that it may take a few days for you to receive your eGift Card balance.
You can now enjoy “the magic of Macy’s” with the department store’s official app for iPhone and Android. When you download this app, you’ll receive access to special deals, including discounts and in-store savings passes. Simply choose the “offers” tab from the navigation menu.
There’s an additional benefit to this mobile savings app. Ever find yourself in a store, wishing you knew whether a product was worth the splurge? Now you can save money by figuring that out in advance. Use the app to scan a barcode, and you’ll instantly see customer reviews.
With the Sears app for iPhone and Android, not only can you shop from anywhere at any time, it also allows you to check product ratings and read reviews to make an informed decision. You can save money on shipping by searching for items that offer free in-store pickup.
Plus, with the app’s “deals & coupons” and “local ad” features, you can forget ever handling a physical coupon again. This app lets you search for and save coupons, browse digital versions of weekly ads and access special in-store deals.
If you’re a member of the Sears Shop Your Way rewards program, the app allows you to earn and redeem points on purchases. You won’t earn these points if you’re not a member, but if you want to join, a Shop Your Way membership is free.
You can use apps to save on more than clothes and household supplies. For deals on health, wellness and beauty products, consider the CVS Pharmacy app for iPhone and Android. It allows you to view weekly ads, create your own shopping lists and shop from your phone. CVS also promises to suggest deals based on the products you buy the most.
If you’re a member of the CVS ExtraCare rewards program, the app will help you unlock even more savings. For convenience, use the My Mobile Card feature to create a digital ExtraCare card, so you don’t have to carry the physical card with you. The digital card can be scanned at most registers and coupon centers. Plus, you can load deals and rewards onto it.
If you’re not an ExtraCare member, you can use the app to join the program for free.
Woman shopping with mobile phone image via Shutterstock.