10 cost-cutting apps that can save you £3,000 a year
There is now a large number of free apps to help you cut costs – from discounts on trains to money off meals out and magazines. Here are our 10 favourites. Download these to your android smartphone or iPhone for more cash in your pocket at the end of each month.
1. Idealo (free)
If you hate the idea of going shopping only to find you could have bought the item more cheaply elsewhere, then Idealo could be the answer.
With this app, simply scan the barcode and Idealo will give you details of which retailer is selling it for the cheapest price. You can also set up a ‘favourites list’ and get alerts to notify you when a product has reached your desired price.
Best cost-cutting feature: The app is especially good for larger purchases – appliances, for instance – and for those prone to making impulse purchases. It can also serve as a great bargaining tool.
Average savings: In most cases, people using the app tend to save an average of 37% of the amount they would have spent. Average savings could amount to £60 a month. Annual saving £720
2. Shopitize (free)
Use this cashback app to regularly check for the latest offers on your weekly supermarket shop; cash rewards can be unlocked by answering one or two simple questions. You then shop as usual and buy the items on offer, using the barcode scanner to make sure you have found the right product.
Once you’re happy, simply upload a picture of your receipt and forward it for processing. Clever technology will then match up the offers, and give cashback on those items, with savings paid into your PayPal or bank account.
Best cost-cutting feature: Earn cash when you go shopping without being tied down to a loyalty card.
Average savings: On average, Shopitize offers users earnings of around £11 a week. Annual saving: £572
3. Opper (free)
This app constantly analyses billions of flight prices to predict how prices will change; it then notifies you the instant you should buy. It’s like having a super-fast, all-knowing travel agent in your pocket.
Best cost-cutting feature: If Hopper recommends you wait to buy your flight, the ‘watch this trip’ feature will monitor prices for your route and alert you the moment flight prices drop. This will ensure you never miss a deal.
Average savings: In total, the app has saved users £25 million on airfares. The typical user saves around £35 on each flight and makes around three flights a year. Annual saving: £105.
4. Uber (free)
Uber is a hugely popular taxi app, which means that getting a ride home no longer has to be a luxury. You can order a taxi to your chosen location and it should arrive just minutes later; you can then pay direct from your account, so you don’t have to worry about having cash on you.
Best cost-cutting feature: UberPool is a car-sharing service that matches you with another passenger heading in the same direction, allowing you to split the cost. Every UberPool trip is 25% cheaper than a comparable solo UberX trip.
Average savings: In London, Uber is 25% to 40% cheaper on average than its competitors across the city. Based on someone who takes one taxi ride a week costing £20, the saving would be at least £5 and more if the user opted for UberPool. Annual saving: £260.
5. Trainline (free)
With this app, you can plan journeys and make huge savings on rail travel by booking in advance. Once downloaded, use it to glide through the station with real- time departure boards, platform information, mobile tickets (on selected routes) and delay updates. You can even share your journey plans with others via social media.
Best cost-cutting feature: Helps you travel smarter by cutting confusion when buying tickets. Someone using the app will save an average of 43% when booking in advance versus on the day.
Average savings: Based on total savings made by customers in 2015, you could save £122 a year. Annual saving: £122.
6. AA Parking (free to AA members; £1.49 to other users)
If you’re fed up of paying through the nose to park your car, use AA Parking to help you find the cheapest and most convenient parking. You can search using your current location and even get directions to car park entrances. The app also provides Park & Ride locations.
Best cost-cutting feature: Information on the cheapest prices on real-time parking spaces (where available). It’s also a great money- saver if you travel a lot to other cities.
Average savings: Based on using a car park twice a week and saving £1.30 on each occasion, you would save £135 a year. If you then parked on a private drive for £27 a week while on holiday rather than paying £25 a day for airport parking, you would save an additional £148. An even wider range of savings on motoring costs are available to AA members. Annual saving: £283.
7. TablePouncer (free)
This app gives you last-minute deals in restaurants across the UK, meaning you get to eat out for less and discover cool new places to dine. Simply book via the app and look forward to a smaller bill.
TablePouncer is operating in 13 cities and plans to launch in a new city each month.
Best cost-cutting feature: You can save 50% at your favourite restaurants – and there’s no need for vouchers.
Average savings: Based on a meal cost of £30 per head, you could save £15 every time you eat out. For someone who eats out twice a month, this would save £30 a month. Annual saving: £360.
8. Readly (free for a two-week trial)
Readly is a service that gives customers unlimited access to hundreds of national and international magazines –including Moneywise – all on just one app.
Downloading is fast and easy and you can then read magazines online or offline anytime, anywhere. After a two-week trial period, the cost is £7.99 a month for unlimited use.
Best cost-cutting feature: The one-off monthly fee covers use of the service on up to five devices, so it can be shared with the whole family.
Average savings: The average number of titles read each month is around eight per profile. Given that individual magazines cost up to £5, rather than spend £40 a month (or £480 a year), you would only pay the £7.99 fee once a month with this app – totalling £95.88 a year. Annual saving: £384.
9. Hive (free)
With energy bills taking a chunk out of the household budget, take a look at the Hive app to help manage your energy usage.
Once an engineer has installed the Hive kit, which costs £249 including installation, all you need to do is set up an online account. You can then use it to control your heating from your mobile, wherever you are. You can even set a holiday mode, so your heating automatically switches off while you’re away.
Best cost-cutting feature: Enables remote usage. so you’ll never have to heat an empty home again.
Average saving: Up to £150 a year on energy bills. Annual saving: £150.
10. Laundrapp (free)
With this laundering and dry-cleaning service, you can order your clothes to be collected and cleaned, and then set a collection time and place to suit you.
You can get shirts washed and ironed for £2.50 each. A popular deal is its High Five offer where five shirts are washed, ironed and hung for £11 (includ- ing collection and delivery). Dry cleaning a two- piece suit costs £11.The app covers 50 major towns and cities in the UK.
Best cost-cutting feature: Once your clothes are clean, you can have them delivered to you – saving you time as well as money.
Average savings: You would save around £2 a visit compared to other dry-cleaning services. Use Laundrapp once a week, and you would save around around £8 a month. Annual saving: £96.