In desperate need for a new weed eater, I headed to Lowe's to see what my options were.
What man doesn't enjoy shopping for some new yard tools, right?
Thinking I found the perfect one, I grabbed it and nearly began heading to checkout aisle.
Hesitating, I decided to bust out my iPhone and use the RedLaser app that I once saw highlighted on Oprah.
Wait, did I just openly admit that out loud? Uhh….I mean my wife had saw it on Oprah and shared it with me. Yeah, that's right…..
Anyway, using that App I could quickly see that the exact same weed eater was cheaper on both Amazon and another local hardware store. Amazing!
To this day, I'll always use that app before making a major purchase to see if I can save some money.
Consumers and business owners have quickly figured out that smartphones aren’t just convenient tools to check email or get directions. There are some clever smartphone apps out there that can help you find everything from drink specials to cloud computing solutions.
Whether you’re looking for the best price on household items or ways to cut down on commuting costs, here are the best apps to save money, time and effort.
1|Use a Quick Response code
With a QRCode app such as GlobalQRC, users can scan product barcodes with their phone's camera and find the best prices and delivery options on virtually anything. You can also search for an item by voice, find nearby businesses and see a list of offers and specials from restaurants and retailers nearby.
Similarly, there are regular shopping apps like Google Shopper and Shop Savvy that you can use to read product reviews, compare local prices and view online purchasing deals. Shopkick also gives you points just for walking into stores like Macy’s, Target and Best Buy, which you can later redeem for discounts.
3|Hit the Town
Drink Specials and Night Out give you real-time updates on drink and restaurant discounts using your device’s GPS or city name. The apps are available in app stores and work faster on the new Android Jelly Bean operating system.
4|Find fine wine
Check out Wine Spectactor WineRatings+.This fine vino app enables users to learn about wine varietals by regions around the world, and there’s also a news feed that provides the latest in wine news. It's offered in free and premium versions; premium users can access wine ratings for more than 270,000 bottles, including prices, tasting notes, recommended drinking options and expert picks.
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5|Streamline grocery shopping
Grocery Gadget helps you organize lists, coupons and recipes. Add Grocery Smarts Coupon Shopper or the Coupon App to provide you with coupons on local deals that you can save and share with friends.
6|Get cheaper gas
For those looking for a better deal on gas prices in their vicinity, the consumer favorite is GasBuddy. In addition to saving money on gas, you can also use GasBuddy to get directions to the nearest gas station offering the cheapest gas. Given the increasing role that gas prices play in our budgets, this is a fantastic way to make a big difference over time.
7|Have face time
Staying in touch with friends and family is easier (and cheaper, if you're still on traditional long-distance calling plans) with Skype, Tango or ooVoo. These apps enable you to have face-to-face conversations through your phone's camera, and can eliminate the cost of traveling, a particularly useful tool for business. You can use the apps to get free, unlimited Skype-to-Skype or Tango-to-Tango calls, and, for making calls to those not using Skype, for example, you can purchase inexpensive data plans that reduce the size of your bill.
8|Work on the cloud
Cloud computing has become the de rigueur for business in 2013. Dropbox for Teams has two additional features, enhanced sharing options and revision history, that make the file-sharing service Dropbox so useful for businesses and teams.
StratPad v2 takes business strategy development to the next level, according to Forbes.com. In 2012, it was one of the highest-rated apps of its kind, and it's the first iPad app to be integrated with Yammer, enabling people to collaborate on business planning activities online in real time.
The app also generates reports and tracks results with an intelligence tool that graphs KPIs, trendlines and targets. This spring, StratPad v2 for SMBs will also ship, allowing SMBs to synchronize files in real time across all devices. StratPad is currently available on the iPad in a basic version for free and in paid editions ranging from US$9.99 to $54.99.
10|Manage mobile devices
Finally, for companies looking to manage and secure their employees' mobile devices, there are a variety of mobile device management (MDM) products available. These let IT pros fingerprint devices and users and apply network access policies automatically. Installing MDM software on mobile devices has also become a popular way of managing security configurations and keeping track of devices. Popular solutions include Cisco Systems’ Identity Service Engine, Enterasys’ OneFabric Edge for Mobility and BYOD, Aruba Networks’ ClearPass.