Your time is more precious than money—don't waste it hunting for a good deal when there are a number of phone and web apps that will do the legwork for you. Download these six, and you'll never have to resort to paying full price again.
Coupon Sherpa is a smartphone app that makes it easy to find coupons for both online and in-store retailers, no clipping required. And there are a few different ways to use it. You can search for stores nearby to see which brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurants offer coupons: 40 percent off at Michaels, 25 percent off at J.Crew, for example. Once you’re in the store, simply show the cashier your phone, and they’ll enter the code Coupon Sherpa provides. This takes no time at all—you could even look up discounts while you’re waiting in line.
You can also search for retailers individually or by category. The app will tell you which stores and sites have coupons available, and you can save your favorites.
Let’s say you finally buy that expensive robot vacuum cleaner you’ve had your eye on, then Amazon drops the price a week later. If you email them, they may refund you the difference—but that requires noticing the price drop and reaching out to Amazon. Paribus will do all of this work for you.
Of course, Paribus has to make money somehow, and that means it takes a 25 percent commission on whatever amount you’re refunded. Not a bad price to pay for zero effort, though (and a partial refund is better than no refund at all).
Get it: Paribus
Cash back sites let you earn points for purchases, which is awesome. Problem is, you have to remember to navigate through their shopping portals to get those points. Shopkick, an app for iPhone and Android, eliminates this step by automatically applying points to your account whenever you spend.
In order for this to work, you do have to link your credit card info to the app. Once the card is linked, Shopkick will detect when you make a purchase at a participating store and will automatically award you points. You simply spend as usual, and after a while, you’ll accumulate enough points to exchange for items or gift cards.
You can often find a coupon code for your online purchases, but it requires some searching and digging. Unless you have Honey. When you download this browser extension, it automatically searches for coupon codes when you’re checking out online. It will also find and apply the best one automatically.
Beyond finding coupon codes, you want to make sure you’re getting the best price when you shop online, and InvisibleHand can find it for you.
Once you download the browser extension, it will pop up automatically when you’re shopping. Whenever you’re looking at an item online, whether it’s on Amazon, Target, or even airline websites, the InvisibleHand will appear and let you know if that product or flight can be found for less money elsewhere. This way, you can comparison shop without any extra effort.
Loyalty cards are a must if you want to get a store’s “discount” pricing, but keeping up with all of those cards can be kind of a pain. To save you from wallet or keychain overload, CardStar saves all of your loyalty cards in one spot: on your phone.
Once you download the app, simply link all your store loyalty cards. From there, you can access your digital cards in-store, then simply have the cashier scan your phone. The app also keeps track of in-store deals and discounts.