Your Cleaning Spot

Simplifying Your Life with Free Apps

This article originally appeared on LearnVest.com

There are TONS! of Free apps out there to simplify everything from your grocery shopping to syncing your to-do lists  to using up left overs.  Here are some of our favorites

SavingStar 

 

E-coupon app SavingStar (www.savingstar.com) gives you coupons for stuff you need and want (diapers, soup, snacks) at your favorite grocery and drugstores. You pay the normal price in the store, and the savings from the coupons you choose add up inside the app. Once you reach $5, you can choose to put the savings in your bank account, redeem them for an Amazon gift card or donate them to charity. Think of it as a modern, and more fun, version of the spare change jar.

The Catch: Don’t get lured into buying stuff you don’t need to “save” money. That’s still spending money.

Devices: Apple and Android

 

Key Ring

 

If you live by rewards cards, then you’ll love the simplicity of this app, which stores all of your rewards information and lets you scan your phone in the store instead of carrying around those worn-out cards on your key ring. Even if you’re not a rewards junkie, you can put your gym membership card on here for easy scanning.

The Catch: None. We love it.

Devices: Apple, Android, Blackberry, andWindows

 

ZipList

 

ZipList (www.ziplist.com) streamlines your grocery shopping by allowing you to search the app’s recipe database (there are over 300,000 recipes from popular sites like Martha Stewart and Food.com) and add the ingredients directly to your shopping list. Then you can email it to others, like your spouse, to save you time.

The Catch: Just touching an item “checks” it off, so you might accidentally whittle your list.

Devices: Apple and Android

 

Grocery IQ

Grocery iQ (www.groceryiq.com), powered by Coupon.com, is similar to ZipList (www.ziplist.com) in that it stores and organizes your grocery list, but the app also tallies up your total bill before you get to the checkout counter. Logically, the emphasis is on saving money: It boasts a constantly-updated coupon database, and you can browse and select coupons from your phone, then print them wirelessly, or email to yourself to use later.


The Catch: Some users have complained about extra steps to set the app up on an Android, as well as frequent crashes.

Devices: Apple and Android

 

RedLaser

 BigOven

Named “Best App for New Moms” by Time Magazine, BigOven wants to take the effort out of cooking, and offers a database of 200,000 delicious recipes to help you do so. Need to meal plan? Drag-and-drop recipes onto a calendar for a day, a week, or a month. (Upgrade to BigOven Pro—for $15 a year—and the app automatically generates your grocery list.) You can also share recipes via email, Facebook or Twitter and scan in written recipes that the app converts to digital text. Bye-bye, cookbooks! (We like this app over Epicurious because of the emphasis on basic, easy-to-cook meals, instead of exotic or brand-name ingredients.)

The Catch: None. Hundreds of reviewers couldn’t find a single thing to complain about, either.

Devices: Apple, Android, and Windowsphone

 

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