The battle against paying full price for just about anything is more intense than ever these days.
Everywhere you look, retailers are offering a way to save a buck here or there, and consumers are grabbing them up as quickly as they can point-and-click on their computers or tap a screen on their phones.
Thanks to a long list of money-saving apps for smart phones and other touch devices, saving your hard-earned cash has never been easier. We tried out 10 apps that promise to put money back in consumers' pockets and make the shopping life a little bit easier. No coupon-clipping required.
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With more than 5,000 stores, from grocery to retail, in the Coupon Sherpa database, this app allows iPhone users the ability to score great deals without the mess of clipping coupons. Just set your place of location, and the app will immediately start giving you coupon offers from area stores. Show the coupon to the cashier when checking out, and voila! You've just saved more than you spent on the app.
Details: Free for iPhone and iPod Touch devices, coming soon to Android and BlackBerry; www.couponsherpa.com
Much like the Coupon Sherpa app, GeoQpons offers a mobile coupon application that promises to bring awesome savings straight to smartphones. With coupons available for more than 280 brands in 100,000-plus locations across the nation, GeoQpons currently serves most major smartphone devices and allows you to share (or not share) your deals with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.
Details: Free for iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry devices; www.geoqpons.com
Featured in publications like The Wall Street Journal and Forbes magazine, this app takes shopping for deals to a whole other level. Search by topic or by bar code; the app locates the product you are looking for in nearby stores, and lets you compare the prices so you know you're getting the best buy. Need directions or want to call the store directly to check stock? This app allows you to do that and more.
Details: Free for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android; www.thefind.com
With a wide selection of designer brands -- and exotic vacations -- HauteLook allows users to score up to 75 percent off on everything from the latest trend in women's and men's fashion to home decor and travel getaways. Updated each morning with new deals, HauteLook might feature a trip to Mexico, kids' clothes and gadgets for guys all in one day.
Details: Free for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android and BlackBerry devices; www.hautelook.com
This location-based mobile coupon app uses push notifications to notify you when your favorite stores add a new deal or coupon. Even better, Yowza!! lets you track your total savings, so you can brag to your friends about just how much money you saved on your latest excursion.
Details: Free for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad; www.getyowza.com
Many people know about the GasBuddy website, which tells you which nearby gas stations have the lowest price at any give time. But there's also an app for that. When it comes to scoring deals, gas might not be the first thing on your mind. But when you're on the go, the GasBuddy app will quickly "shop around" at the nearest gas stations and let you know their current prices.
Details: Free for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Windows, Android and BlackBerry devices; www.gasbuddy.com
Deal-shoppers who tote around a keychain cluttered with money-saving "loyalty" shopping tags can find relief in the CardStar app. It allows you to add your shopping card number to a database of merchants by scanning or entering the number of the physical card in your wallet or on your keychain. When you shop, and instead of scanning your card, the cashier can scan your phone. It can help you to cash in on major savings without any hassle or clutter.
Details: Free for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Windows, Android and BlackBerry devices; www.mycardstar.com
Have you ever run into the grocery store with the intention of grabbing only one or two items but ended up leaving with $60 worth of groceries? Grocery iQ helps you cut down on impulse buying. This app lets you organize your shopping list (and coupons) by aisle, and it scans and records favorite items for future reference. You can also synchronize your list with those of other users, so spouses can avoid coming home with the same purchases.
Details: Free for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android; www.groceryiq.com
It can be stressful finding someone to repair your vehicle without overcharging. With the RepairPal app, users can get accurate repair and service estimates, as well as comparable prices from area businesses, no matter where they find themselves. But that's not all. The app also serves as roadside assistance by helping you locate and notify the nearest service truck.
Details: Free for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android; www.repairpal.com
With all the talk about apps, it's probably no surprise to find out that there's an app for saving money on those, too. While most apps are free, some of the best can cost you. Made only for Android (sorry, iPhone and BlackBerry users), not only does the Amazon App Store app sell apps for cheaper than they are on the Android market, but it also features a free app of the day.
Details: Free for Android; www.amazon.com