Pinch Pennies and Save with These Money-Smart Apps

With today’s expensive housing markets, high energy costs, and fragile economy, many hard-working parents, retirees and college graduates must pinch their pennies to make ends meet. Luckily, smartphones make it easy to save on your air conditioner, heating unit, groceries, and energy bills. Check out our favorite money-saving apps below:

Kill-Ur-Watts
KeyLogic Systems created Kill-Ur-Watts to allow users to view, manage, and track their electricity usage over time. The goal? To let people make informed decisions about how to reduce their energy consumption and lower their electricity bill each month.
The app downloads data from your local energy provider and creates graphics and tips to help you save money. (Contact your heating and cooling contractor for more information.) The app even compares your carbon footprint to the national average. Use this app to budget your electricity usage and save money.

  • Available for iOS; free on iTunes.

Wiser Home
Wiser Home uses infographics to measure and explain your energy use. This app tells you where you need to reduce energy usage to save money. It measures every energy source within your home, including your thermostat. If you want to save a few dollars on your electricity bill, download Wiser Home and reduce your energy use.

  • Available for iOS and Android; free on iTunes.

Energy Cost Calculator
If you need to calculate how much each appliance contributes to your utility bill (and where you can cut electricity costs most effectively), use the Energy Cost Calculator app. This app breaks up your total consumption by hours and watts, and it even calculates the cost of each appliance per day, week, month, and year. The results will surprise you-who knew the coffeemaker used up so much electricity!

  • Available for iOS; free on iTunes.

Mint
Mint is the perfect all-in-one financial tool: it budgets, it tracks investments, it sends alerts and advice, and it even produces a free credit score. It monitors every account to generate graphs and data about your financial information. It also notes your spending patterns and creates your own personalized budget. As a result, you better manage your cash flow.

But don't worry-it's password protected. Use Mint to powerhouse your way into less spending and more savings.

  • Available for iOS and Android; free on iTunes.

BillTracker
BillTracker syncs with your calendar to remind you of upcoming bill due dates and totals. Its ends you notifications and organizes deadlines by date. This app is fantastic for students and others who have multiple bills to pay, and it remembers everything from your student loan payment to your utilities bill and car insurance payment.
So as you pay your bills on time, you don’t accrue unnecessary late fees and you'll save money over time as a result.

  • Available for iOS; $1.99 on iTunes.

Grocery iQ
Grocery iQ helps you create and manage your grocery lists you don't waste money on impulse purchases. The app has an easy-to-use, simple interface and lets you organize and share your lists. And with barcode scanning, integrated coupons, and store locators, this app practically does the shopping for you. It even sorts your list by aisle. Grocery iQ is perfect for anyone who wants to lower their grocery bill.
Available for iOS and Android; free on iTunes.
Groupon
Groupon makes date night easy for couples who like to save. The app organizes and offers fantastic deals for food, fun, fashion, and wellness.
The coupons come in from over 500 cities around the globe, so you're guaranteed to find deals close to home. Many people save thousands of dollars each year from coupons alone, and you can too.

  • Available for iOS and Android; free on iTunes.

GasBuddy
GasBuddy helps you find the cheapest gas prices around. Over 32 million users regularly update gas prices, so you're guaranteed to find inexpensive gas near you-you just have to search by location. GasBuddy saves you tons of money each month, and every time you report a gas price, you get a chance to win $100 of free gas each week.

  • Available for iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Windows.

Use these apps to cut down on your household bills. Keep in mind that another great way to save money now, and in the long-term, is to regularly maintain your HVAC appliances. Contact your HVAC specialist to inspect your home's heating and cooling units and improve their efficiency.

Because the electricity bill is often the largest for a family, this simple step could save you hundreds each year.

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