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App Friday: Money saving apps

Feeling the pinch? Pay day looking more and more remote? We’ve rounded up five of the best money saving apps out there to give you some food for thought – literally. Read on to find out how to get cheaper meals using your mobile, as well as save yourself money on fuel, apps and more.

Vouchercloud (iPhone)

We love Vouchercloud. Instead of having to print out a rainforest’s worth of vouchers in order to get money off coffees and meals at your favourite eateries, simply download the Vouchercloud app, search for the relevant voucher and show it when you’re paying the bill to get your discount. Vouchercloud also uses GPS to notify you of participating vendors near where you are.

Participating chains include Prezzo, Strada, Pizza Hut and Coffee Republic, Dorothy Perkins, Moss and Jessops. New retailers and chains are signing up all the time so it’s constantly improving too. Best of all this great money-saving app is free.

Cost: Free. [Link to app]

BargainBin (iPhone)

If you’ve got an itchy trigger finger and find yourself unable to resist downloading hundreds of apps for your iPhone, then use BargainBin to reign in your app spend. BargainBin watches the prices of other apps and lets you know when they fall to a certain, specified price (say $0.99) or become available to download for free.

You can also set the app to notify you when apps drop in price and it links straight to the UK app store. The only real snag with BargainBin is that prices are all in US dollars and sometimes (but not always) an app which might be listed as free in the US App Store won’t be in the UK.

Cost: Free. [Link to app]

WhatGas Petrol Prices (Android)

Like the AA Fuel Prices UK app for iPhone, the WhatGas Petrol Prices app for Android uses Google Maps to search for the cheapest petrol prices within a certain radius. A simple press of the menu key on your Android phone brings up the option to search for the best prices. Unfortunately the only types of fuel listed are standard Unleaded and Diesel along with LPG – only really a problem if she needs Premium, dude.

Again like the AA Fuel Prices app, this would be improved immeasurably with the addition of a postcode checker. Get around this by zooming out and finding your home manually to search for the cheapest price there, allowing you to plan your journey home via the cheapest stations, all on your lunch break.

Cost: Free. [Link to app]

Mobile Allowance (iPhone)

iPhone owners on O2, Orange and Vodafone contracts can now easily keep track of how many minutes and texts they have left with Mobile Allowance. Remaining talk time is helpfully displayed in hours and minutes – you probably don’t think in terms of hundreds of minutes (unless you’re a total Metric pervert) so it makes sound sense.

The only way that this could be improved is if there was a third counter for data. Not all iPhone contracts come with unlimited data and going over your limits can be pretty pricey, so it’d be very useful to see how much data to avoid an astronomical bill.

Cost: 59p. [Link to app]

NetCounter (Android)

NetCounter for Android allows you to keep tabs on your data usage. This helps you to avoid getting your connection throttled if you exceed the ‘fair use policy’ of your unlimited plan, or seeing yourself stung with out of bundle charges if you’re on a limited plan.

By long-clicking on the ‘Monthly’ part of the Cell data chart, you can change the monthly start date to concide with the start date of your data plan. Then you can set up an alert which will notify you if you’re coming close to exceeding the limit you’ve set for a given time period. So if you set the duration period to one month and then set the limit to something just under your data plan’s allowance, you’ll be able to avoid any unpleasent suprises when your end of month statement comes through.

Cost: Free. [Link to app]

[WhatGas Petrol Prices app image courtesy of AndroLib, thumbnail image credit: Alan Cleaver]