Innovative strategies for savings at checkout are nothing new; just ask your grandmother about S&H green stamps. But with this list you can cherry-pick the best of the best shopping apps, and get just what you want without spending a lot.
EAT WELL ON THE CHEAP
Best App: BerryCart (Android, iOS)
Bottom-Line Benefits: Saves you cash on healthy foods. In the crowded world of grocery apps, BerryCart sets itself apart by delivering cash back on organic, healthful and GMO-free foods. Scan current deals and follow app to-dos, like viewing a video to unlock cash-back offers. Go shopping, then upload your receipt. Cash out on PayPal or redeem for gift cards.
FILL PRESCRIPTIONS FOR LESS
Best App: GoodRx (Amazon, Android, iOS)
Bottom-Line Benefits: GoodRx lets you shop around for bargains on prescription medications. (Yes, you can!) Thanks to the app's database of some 75,000 U.S. pharmacies, you're assured of getting a good price. The app also offers coupons and money-saving tips, as well as pharmacy hours and directions.
PUT COUPONS ON LOYALTY CARDS
Best App: Cellfire (Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows)
Bottom-Line Benefits: Lets you organize digital coupons by loading them onto your grocery store cards. Pick and choose the offers you want to redeem each time and send them to your card. When you swipe your card at the store, your savings are included automatically. This app gets an A+ in the easy-to-use category.
COMPARE IN-STORE OFFERS
Best App: Favado (Android, iOS)
Bottom-Line Benefits: Compare prices at nearby grocery stores so you don't miss weekly deals. You can create a shopping list within the app, then add coupons from Cellfire, racking up big savings when you use your store loyalty card. Plus, Favado posts deals from two of our other Top 50 apps: Checkout 51 and Ibotta.
SCAN THE CIRCULARS
Best App: Retale (Android, iOS)
Bottom-Line Benefits: Delivers digital weekly circulars to your device. Retale uses your location to deliver circulars for nearby stores right to your smartphone or tablet. Grab your coffee and "flip" through circular pages on your device, choosing the deals you want. Once you're ready to shop, the app delivers store hours and maps.
TRACK PRICE DROPS
Best App: ShopAdvisor (Android, iOS)
Bottom-Line Benefits: Monitors and tracks price trends. Loaded with 210 million products from 16,000 retailers, ShopAdvisor lets you comparison shop for items you want, and sign up for price-drop alerts.
CROWD-SOURCE A BETTER DEAL
Best App: Smoopa (Android, iOS)
Bottom-Line Benefits: Combines social media and price checking. Find items online or scan bar codes in a store and the app tells you if they're less expensive at any of the participating online or off-line retailers. Create and share collections with friends and follow people whose collections you're interested in to find more great deals.
JUST FOR SERVICE MEMBERS!
Best App: Military Cost Cutters (Android, iOS)
Bottom-Line Benefits: If you are an active-duty military member or a veteran, use this app to find businesses that offer discounts for you. The app can access your location to find deals nearby, or you can search for businesses or deals on your own. You also get to rate companies based on your experience.
SNAG A GIFT-CARD BARGAIN
Best App: Raise (iOS)
Bottom-Line Benefits: Once you've maxed out your price-tracking, coupon and cash-back apps, add another layer of savings with a gift card you got on the cheap. Raise lets you buy gift cards from nearly 1,000 major retailers or buy and sell second-hand unused or partially used cards or store credit (the app charges 15 percent commission on each sale).
APP TIP! Couponing and deal apps follow stores that typically post offers on Monday mornings, Thursdays or Fridays. Watch your apps for a few weeks and note the release schedule so you know when to look for the latest savings opportunities.