Some days it feels like we can run the world from our smartphones, and that is why being armed with the best mobile coupon apps is a big advantage when you need to spend money.
Not only have coupons gone digital, but companies have also figured out that nobody wants to print coupons anymore. Responding to this desire, stores have either upgraded their scanners or added special scanners so that you can scan coupons directly from the screen of your smartphone or tablet.
To be ready for any situation you need to be armed with the best set of apps for mobile coupons and it isn’t easy narrowing them down. Typing coupon into your favorite app store, you will get hundreds if not thousands of results, all promising to be THE app that saves you the most money. To help you clear through all that clutter here are my favorite of all the coupon apps with links of where to grab them.
Top 10 Best Mobile Coupon Apps
Since there are so many great apps, we are not going to number them 1-10. Instead we will focus on the best apps for different categories.
Best Coupon App for General Retail Shopping
There seems to be an app for just about every store out there these days, but if you are looking for one that helps you with a bunch of stores then Retale is going to be at the top of the list. They not only carry mobile coupons, they also can let you see the weekly ad of tons of major retailers. Every store from Ace Hardware to Zales seems to be in the app.
The Retale app includes:
- Shopping lists
- Easy swipe through for weekly ads and coupons
- Search for deals close to you
- Notifications for latest money saving deals, discounts, sales, or specials at your favorite stores
- Opening and closing times, along with address information of your favorite locations
If you are going out shopping then this app will take care of you for finding a good deal on the items you need.
Best Grocery Couponing App
This category has grown significantly since the last time I took a look around. So much so that I will be doing an update with all the best grocery coupon apps. That being said, Ibotta still rises to the top as the best of this group. Every coupon nazi’s arsenal (you know, the ladies with the binders) is not complete without adding Ibotta to their smartphone.
Ibotta works like a rebate. You go into the app, select items that you will be purchasing at the grocery store, and once you have made your purchase you take a picture of the receipt. It is a very smooth and simple process.
I chose Ibotta as my top grocery couponing app because, not only do they cover major brands they also have rebates for general items like milk and produce. This way you aren’t tied in to just the processed foods.
Finally, since Ibotta is redeemed by taking a picture of your receipt, they aren’t dependent on any one retailer. You can shop anywhere to prints out a decent receipt and get your rebate. This makes it the most versatile of the grocery coupon apps.
Top Mobile Coupon App for Restaurants
Like I said above, I love supporting local small businesses. That couldn’t be more true than when I am looking for a restaurant for dinner. The chain store have good food and you can have a great meal there, but there is nothing like hitting THE local restaurant when you are at home or visiting another city.
This is why Restaurant.com comes in as my top app for restaurants. When you purchase a mobile gift certificate from Restaurant.com you immediately get a discount. A $25 gift certificate at most restaurants will cost you $10. There is a caveat in that you have to spend a minimum amount on dinner when you use the gift certificate, most times it is $35. For me and my crew that is never a problem (I have problems keeping fast food under $20 SHEESH!).
Restaurant.com gives local restaurants a chance to advertise and in exchange you get a great deal on your meal. I have saved thousands of dollars over the years using these mobile gift certificates to my advantage.
Best App for Local Retail Shopping
I will be honest, I kind of REALLY like the name. Yowza!! was deisgned to let retailers upload offers and coupons directly to the app to attract shoppers into their stores. While tons of apps support national retailers Yowza!! appears to be really focusing on working with local retailers. Think of it like Groupon, but only focused on coupons and discounts, instead of hogging most of the sale price for themselves.
The interface is easy to use and the deals are pretty good. Since they work mostly with local retailers you probably aren’t going to find as many deals as you would with an app that is focused on national retailers. While this limits the number of deals you find, I really enjoy the app because it pushes me to shop local and I get to know the business owners in my community. That tends to lead to better service and less time spent shopping. As the father of three, spending less time shopping with my rowdy crew is high on the priority list. I also believe it saves me money in the long run because I won’t have to pay for therapy for myself or the kids.
Best Mobile Coupon App for Fast Food Restaurants
I am going to start this by saying there are TONS of great fast food apps out there, but there aren’t any apps that do a good job of aggregating fast food deals and coupons. So if you don’t like McDonald’s go and find your favorite fast food restaurant and download their app. It is probably pretty good.
The McDonald’s app is REALLY well done. They have a store locator and coupons geered toward each store. So if you use a coupon in one place, you can frequently use that same coupon again at another location. They also give you the option of getting one free coffee drink after every five McCafe purchases you make. That is a really powerful set of discounts.
Now I know a lot of people don’t like McDonald’s, but in my area they have the absolute best playground for parents. The playground is three levels, it is indoors in a separate room from the main dining area (no shushing needed!), and there are power outlets in the walls where I can plugin my laptop and get some blogging done. The indoor part is key because on rainy days my kids need somewhere to get some energy out. That way when my wife gets that look on her face that says, “Let’s get rid of them all and start over.” I can quickly get the kids in the van and let them wear themselves out. The app just allows me to save money so we can afford hit the playground on more rainy days.
Best Smartphone App for Window Shoppers
Are you one of those people who goes in and out of stores just to look around? Let me first say that you need to get that checked out, it might be a problem. However, if you are happy just looking at new stuff then why not earn points for doing it?
Shopkick lets you earn points for walking into a retailer. Basically, it is a rewards program for the avid window shopper. Now it is also a deals app. So you are going to get information on the best deals, but the rewards program is where this app really stands out. Never again does a man have to feel the pain of sitting on a bench while his wife shops. He can walk down the mall and rack up rewards points instead.
Best App for Deal of the Day
Have you ever signed up for one of the daily deal websites and then got bombarded with e-mails? Yipit takes the pain out of that and makes it easy to search by your location. The way it works is you are able to search for deals in your area and Yipiy aggregates all the daily deal websites (groupon, living social, etc.) and shows you which gets you the best price.
They also carry online coupons for local retailers and big chains. That is a great feature, but the big savings is in the aggregator.
Best App for Organizing Physical Coupons
I have been guilty of losing a physical coupon from time to time. They inevitably show up under one of the seats in my car. With SnipSnap I can take a picture of my coupons and they store them on my phone. All that is left to do is show the cashier the coupon on my phone and let them scan it. Nice neat and no paper.
The app also features a big database of digital coupons, but those are pretty common when compared to the picture stored coupons feature.
Best Individual Store Coupon App
Target really throws down the gauntlet when it comes to saving money. Not only do they have some of the best clearance deals, they also give you 5% off for using the Target debit card, and now they have the Cartwheel app.
This app finds coupons for you while you are in the store. It also points out all the deals that are new that week and can even be used to check prices for items. It is a really powerful app for anyone who is a Target shopper.
Best Online Coupons App
Retail Me Not has long been one of the best sites for finding discount coupon codes when you shop online. They have turned that awesome platform into an app so you can easily get discounts for online shopping from your smartphone.
This is particularly useful when you are comparison shopping. Let’s say you are shopping at Kohl’s and see an item on sale (cause there is always something on sale at Kohl’s). You go out to price check that item and see it on sale at XYZshopping.com. You can then use Retail Me Not to make sure you get the best deal at either Kohl’s or XYZshopping.com by looking up all their coupon codes. This way you never miss the deal.
Go Check Your App Store
All of these apps are available through both the Google Play or Apple app stores. There are also a TON of other apps to try out that can help you save money. So go out there and find your best mobile coupon app that meets your needs.