We’ve all been there. Ogling an organic name brand product. Fantasizing about an impulse purchase. All the while, wondering: Can I really afford that condo/wedding gift/glass of wine? The good news: There’s probably an app for that. Read on for our picks.
Aggregators. In a sea of Groupons, LivingSocialDeals, HomeRuns, and more, cash-saving aggregator Yipit.com puts 60-plus sites at your fingertips, custom-tailoring coupon recs based on your lifestyle, interests, and spending preferences.
Barcode Scanning. Don’t rely on the store clerk to tell you if an item is on sale. Use BarcodeScanner (for Android phones) and BarcodeReader (for iPhones) to scan the item and then search the web (and local shops) for the lowest price.
Copycatchic.com. Design enthusiast Reichel B. is as knowledgeable about Horchow mirrored curios and brushed silver Emeco Navy bar stools as she is adept at sourcing identical looks from backrooms, JC Penney catalogs, and chain stores.
Drinks. Use the iBeerEfficiency app to track the calories and buzz each drink you order yields. Track local drink specials using DrinkSpecials. (Both are for iPhones.)
Ebates.com. (Literally) cash in on your usual online purchases at sites ranging from Shopbop to Target and rack up percentage-back credits to redeem for money or more shopping.
Frequent Shopper Cards. Ditch the key-ringed circus and upload all of your membership, rewards, and V.I.P. cards onto your iPhone using CardBank.
GiltCity.com. The members-only fashion, home, and travel portal has pre-launched a city-specific deals service. Blowouts, boot camps, coffee, and more are next up on their curated list.
Know-How. Ever wondered how to build an outdoor movie screen? Make a no-bake cheesecake? Cut someone’s hair? HowCast.com (available as both an iPhone and Android phone app) hosts thousands of free user-generated how-to videos.
Library. Still saving up for a Nook or Kindle? Android app Aldiko and iPhone app Stanza enable you to download thousands of book titles for free. We love their selection of classics from the likes of H.G. Wells and Lewis Carroll. If you want to listen to free audiobooks, we know how to do that, too.
Mall-ternatives. CouponCabin.com, CouponCodes.com, and RetailMeNot.com are all worthwhile coupon code websites that give you discounts on shopping you’d do anyway. (We ranked them and decided which was our favorite.)
Neighborhood-specific Deals. Select your city at HalfOffDepot.com to purchase printable gift certificates for everything from parasailing to pole dancing to steakhouse dinners for 50% to 90% off.
OneKingsLane.com. The invite-only shopping e-mail and site serves up breathtaking pillows, furniture, and home goods for up to 70% off.
Pantry Raid. Have a bunch of foodstuffs on hand that you dare not waste? Allrecipes.com and SuperCook.com let you enter ingredients you’re looking to use—and those that you don’t have/like/want to incorporate—before suggesting cooking ideas.
Quick Math. Frazzled? Buzzed? A little bit of both? When it comes to calculating restaurant tip, universal apps Tip Calculator, Grocery Price Calculator, and Mortgage Calculator will do the brainwork for you.
Sporting Goods. Steepandcheap.com, WhiskeyMilitia.com, and Tramdock.com all put expensive leisure sports back within budget’s reach. Each runs a single daily deal featuring high-end ski boots, diving watches, stylish camping gear, and more at up to 75% off.
Tech. Dealstobuy.com lists searchable, real-time deals for netbooks, ink cartridges, software, digital cameras, and more at the lowest prices around the web. (We even spotted Blockbuster.com and TurboTax trials in their “$0 Deals” section.)
Upgrades. Jewelry refurbishing service PreciousBath.com will plate dull, tarnished and costume accessories with gold, rhodium, or ruthenium so that they’ll last a lifetime. Breathe new life into ratty Ikea furniture with custom slipcovers by Bemz.com.
Wanderlust. Dinner party looming, with no tableware in sight? Hankering for a kimono-style bathrobe or the dirt-cheap-but-stylish stationery set? Check out SoHo-based PearlRiver.com.
X. As in yours. Exboyfriendjewelry.com is a place to unload your old trinkets (and emotional baggage) for a profit.
Yard Sales. Before you gas up your car, check YardSaleTreasureMap.com (which links to Craigslist postings), Yard Sale Mapper (for iPhones), and Garagemaps.com.
Zilok.com. The peer-to-peer listing site and service will help you track down single-use items (Power tools! Extra Wii remotes! Wedding veils!) from people in your area willing to loan them out for the day.