I’m always looking for a good way to save money; usually it’s on the web, with one of the of many web apps and sites I use to find deals. However, within the last couple of years, location-based mobile apps have become all the rage. Luckily for us, a lot of these apps are geared towards getting us to visit businesses when we are near them, and the best way to do that is to offer discounts or other deals! Below are nine apps that can help you get the best discounts, in your area and beyond.
The social media giant does more than just help us connect to other people: with the launch of Facebook Places, it helps us connect to other businesses. Simply log in to Facebook and check in at your current location. If the organization is offering a deal and you qualify, you’ll get a notification on your phone.
There are four different kinds of deals: Individual, Friend, Loyalty, and Charity. You can read more about them here. Right now deals for Facebook Places are in select locations in the USA, with more rolling out constantly.
Foursquare is another Android app that incentivizes checking yourself in to a location, and it seems there are a lot more locations available for discounts on Foursquare than Facebook. You use Foursquare to check yourself into a location; if that location is offering a discount or special through Foursquare, you’ll get a notification on your phone, which you can then present to the cashier (or whoever takes your money).
They also offer several different types of specials that foursquare offers, ranging from single, to swarm (a lot of people), to loyal customers. You can read them all here.
Remember those big books of coupons that boy scouts, girl scouts, local youth leagues, and other organizations used to sell every year? I loved them, so I was pretty happy to see there was an Android app.
The app works in conjunction with the book (or any membership), which you will still need to get the discounts. Once you log in, the app will get your location and then plot on a map nearby businesses. On top of contact information, you’ll see what the Entertainment Book offer is, and if you so desire, you can bring the physical book along and make it work for you!
AAA members are privy to all kinds of discounts when they present their card, if they know where to look. Up until this point, you’d either have to look online, in the member’s guide, or look for the AAA sticker. With AAA’s Discounts app, you’ll see what discounts you can get based on your location. You can also put in an address or city and see the AAA discounts you can get there. Press on a location on the map to see the business’ contact info, as well as the discount.
We all know about Groupon, a social coupon site that gives you localized deals. The Groupon Android app takes the site one step further, giving you groupon deals closest to your location, as well as the ability to view your groupons. The nicest part about the app is that it will tell you if you’re near a location where you can use one of your groupons — a really nice touch for the heavy Groupon user.
In a pre-Google world, the Yellow Pages were the place to look to find local businesses. Now in the year 2011, Yellow Pages has stepped their local business game up with their Android App, YP Mobile. Not only can you view business information specific to your location, you can see the weather, events held by local businesses, and — of course — deals.
Simply go to the Deals screen, where you’ll see discounts and deals organized by how close the business is to you. Save a deal by long-pressing it and choosing ‘Save.” You’ll then have a nice list of local deals, right at your finger tips!
Seize the Deal is a social coupon site much like Groupon. The app gets your location and offers you a deal closest to your area. Unlike Groupon, which offers several deals for an area, Seize the Deal takes a woot!-like approach in offering a deal a day.
On top of that, the app offers some extra info about the business, reviews of the business, and how many people have taken advantage of the deal.
Living Social is an app that, like its web-based counterpart, offers you a set of deals for a specific area. Unlike Groupon and Seize the Deal, Living Social offers several different types of deals: Daily, which are your standard deals, Instant, which are deals with a time limit (usually a couple of hours), and Escapes, which are affordable vacations near you.
If you create an account, you can also get notifications and keep track of purchases made using Living Social as well, taking advantage of this full-featured app.
Best Deals is an incredibly comprehensive app that gives you not only local deals, but deals from all around the Internet, including websites, Facebook, Twitter, stores, and even the Sunday fliers. While the app is a little rough around the edges — it will take you to full, non-mobile friendly sites — there is no doubt that this app can save you some serious cash.
Google Shopper is bar none my favorite app to shop with. On top of offering similar functionality to the above mentioned apps (good deals online, nearby deals, etc), you have the ability to scan in an item and do an instant price comparison. I use this all the time when I’m out to compare books, music, etc. and it’s saved me a ton of money. Some stores have even offered competitive prices based on what I show them. I highly recommend it!
This is obviously just a small sample of the apps that can save you money through deals and discounts, but that have proven themselves to be very helpful (especially Google Shopper, AAA Discounts, and YP Yellow Pages). If there’s an Android app you use to save money, let us know about it in the comments!