Top 10 apps that will save you money

From shopping to eating out, many apps can offer instant discounts - and some can even save on your phone bills or data bills, by cutting out 0870 numbers and streamlining your phone's data use.

There really is an app for everything – from food to fashion, travel tips, insurance deals, even how to get the best deal on a mortgage. If it costs money, the chances are there’s an app to make it cheaper whether it’s through discounts, price comparison or special offers.

Different apps tackle this in different ways. Some offer codes you can use to get in-store or online discounts, others require you to sign up (for free) to daily deals, while some are single use with long-term benefits. The great thing is that you can use them all together to manage budgets and cut outgoings and tailor them to suit your specific needs.

Here we’ve put together a list of our favourite money-saving apps to make the most of your money in these cash strapped times.

Shopping and eating

Vouchercloud
Cost: free
Android, iOS, BlackBerry OS

Discount site Vouchercloud delivers real world discounts direct to your phone. Stuffed with big name and independent brands, it uses your phone’s GPS to offer discounts local to you.

Simply organised, categories include everything from restaurants, pubs and bars to entertainment, health and beauty, travel, retail, automobile, property and finance. Once you find the voucher you want,  download it and use it there and then or save it to your phone for later.

O2 Priority Moments

Cost: free on O2
Android, iOS, BlackBerry

Solely for O2 customers, Priority Moments does much the same job as Vouchercloud, offering deals and short-term reductions on everything from food and drink to shopping, entertainment, travel, health and beauty. 

Groupon
Cost:
free
Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry

Groupon uses bulk buying to secure great deals against anything and everything - from restaurants to clothing and holidays. Deals pop up on the Groupon app daily (and you can sign up for email and alerts), and as long as a designated number of people buy, everyone gets it. If not, no one does.

Location sensitive, not all deals are available everywhere, but with so many there’s almost always something of value. The best thing about Groupon tends to be the size of the discounts – typically 50 to 90 per cent off.

Food shopping

mySupermarket
Cost: free
iOS

The mobile version of the popular website is a stripped down but still worthwhile addition to your money-saving arsenal. Take a product off the supermarket shelf, scan it in using the inbuilt scanner and it will tell you comparative prices in most big street supermarkets or pharmacists.

It also shows cheaper in-store alternatives for the stuff you’ve scanned, and other products currently on offer.


Driving

NavFree and CoPilotGPS
Cost: free
Android, iOS,

With Google Maps’ recent replacement by the widely lambasted Apple Maps on iOS 6, you may be searching for a new sat nav. Both NavFree and CoPilotGPS deliver offline navigation with pre-downloaded maps.

Turn by turn instructions, voice prompts (not CoPilot), automatic re-routing, postcode and POI search and driving or walking navigation are all included – and none of it needs a data connection, so it doesn’t cost a thing.

Nosey Parker
Cost: £2.99
iOS
No it’s not free to download, but helping you find the nearest free or cheap car park Nosey Parker will soon pay you back in dividends. It has a comprehensive database of 1.8million parking spaces in 14,000 car parks around the UK, so there’s usually something nearby.

Communicating

Skype
Cost: free
Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry


The internet’s best-known communication tool is also its best communication tool. Write, share files and photos, chat and video call other Skype users for free over WiFi. Or add some credit and call landline and mobile numbers for vastly less than using a normal phone – a service that really comes into its own when overseas.

Whatsapp

Cost: free
Android, iOS, Windows Phone,
Cross platform Whatsapp is the ultimate replacement for text messaging and lets you chat and share audio and video messages, files and even your location with friends in real time.

0870
Cost: free
Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry
With 0870, 0800 and 0845 numbers rarely included in mobile phone plans, this app saves you money from the start. A database sourced from user input offers local number alternatives to overpriced premium rate numbers. Not every number is there, but the list is growing daily.

Bill-cutting data apps

Onavo Extend
Cost: free
Android, iOS
Lauded as one app everyone should use, Onavo simply compresses your data through its own servers meaning you can use more data for no more money. Install it once and it can compress your data by up to 500 per cent meaning more time online, more downloads, more everything. It also breaks down your data use so you can see what you spend where, which should also help you watch the pennies.