Seven top money-saving apps

Amanda Angus / 09 July 2018

Save cash with our pick of the best money-saving apps.



Rather than making you huge, immediate savings, these apps are all about little savings adding up - the embodiment of 'look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves'.

Incorporating any of of these into your life will bring a few pennies your way - and a lot of satisfaction!

Find the cheapest petrol prices

Gone are the days where you might spend more money cruising around town to find the cheapest petrol - now you can go straight to the cheapest pump, fill up and get on with your day! PetrolPrices.com can save you a packet as it uses to your location to find the lowest petrol prices in your area.

This free app claims it could save you on average £220 a year just from helping you be a bit more savvy about your petrol purchasing; with the petrol prices displayed clearly on a map of your surroundings, you can make a sensible decision about which pump to go for. An added benefit is that if you're in an unfamilar town, it'll also help you find the nearest petrol station, so no more panic-stricken flagging-down of pedestrians!

Get it free for Android or iPhone

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Get money back on your shopping

 There are a few apps designed to get money back on your shopping, but these three seem to be a cut above the rest:

Shopmium

This nifty app shows you all the products that you can get free or discounted and helpfully orders the list of possible freebies by supermarket, so you won't find yourself trying to get money back for something you bought in Tesco if it only qualifies for the deal if you bought it in Sainsburys, or vice versa.

You can add the deals that catch your eye into your shopping list, and if they expire before you manage to get to the shop they simply disappear.

Before you buy anything, check the bar code to ensure you haven't been caught out by an offer that's only available on the 500g pack rather than the 250g pack. After you've paid, simply send a picture of your receipt and the money will be sent to you via Paypal - and there is no minimum amount you need to accumulate to be reimbursed, so even if you've only saved £1 you'll get it back within one or two days. 

It does only offer a small selection of products for free or discounted, so be careful that you don't end up buying something you don't actually want or need for the sake of it. Think of it as a way to try free samples, unless something that was already on your shopping list comes up.

If you recommend it to a friend, you'll qualify for a £4 bonus and a jar of Nutella!

Get it free for Android and iPhone


CheckoutSmart

CheckoutSmart follows the same business model as Shopmium, but has different offers, so if you use them together, you'll have more offers to choose from.

However, whilst there is a minimum amount of only £1that you need to accumulate before you can claim anything back, if you claim back before you've accumulated £20 worth of savings, you'll be charged 5%.

Get it free for Android and iPhone

Green Jinn

Instead of offering freebies, Green Jinn only offers money off coupons - but there is a much wider selection, and you could conceivably do an entire shop and get a fair amount back, simply by consciously choosing a certain brand over another when you buy your everyday groceries.

At the time of writing, the money off vouchers under just the Sainsbury's tab included such day-to-day items as shower gel, toothpaste, instant coffee and peanut butter - and not outrageously priced, premium brands either, but Original Source, Oral-B, Nescafe and Whole Earth, so products you might have opted for even without the money off.

At the moment Green Jinn only works with Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose, so if your usual supermarket is Asda or Morrisons, you're out of luck - although word on the street is that more supermarkets will soon be joining in.

As above, you don't need to worry about your coupons at the till; simply pay as usual, then take a photo of your receipt once you're at home for a stress-free transaction.

You'll also need to accumulate at least £1.50 to get money back, but you should hit that after buying roughly four products, so this shouldn't be an issue. 

Get it free for Android and iPhone

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Get discounts

Vouchercloud sends vouchers direct to your mobile from a mix of high-street and independent brands. All of these coupons can be used immediately and the app uses GPS to let you know then and there about any special offers happening nearby. 

A good habit to get into is to automatically check Vouchercloud before you go out for dinner or go shopping to see if there are any good deals that you can take advantage of.

Get it free for Android and iPhone

Find a cash machine

One of the best pieces of advice I've ever been given is 'Make sure you've always got a fiver'. We might be living in an increasingly cashless, card-dependent society, but if you're faced with a minimum payment on a card and all you want is a bottle of water, you don't want to end up buying £4 worth of junk food that neither your pocket nor your waistline will thank you for.

And with the rise of contactless payments on our phones, cash machine operators are actually struggling to make ends meet; in June 2018 the Guardian reported that cash machines in the UK are closing at the rate of 300 a month - making them harder to find, and increasing the possibility that more will charge a fee. 

The Cash Machine Locator app is free to use but includes ads; the premium (ad-free) version is £1 which is worth doing as it'll save you money in the long run but be less annoying as it does so. 

Get it free for Android (or get the premium version for £1)

XE Currency

The app for the all-important holiday conundrum “how much is that exactly?”. It converts on the go using live exchange rates, and stores the last rate, so still works when the internet doesn’t. 

Get it free for Android and iPhone



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