Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on 9-11. Volunteer today

Bits & Bytes

Most Popular


Save Money With Your Smartphone

Five ways to save with your Android, iOS, Windows 7 or Blackberry device

five ways to save money with smartphone mature woman shopping in store with smartphone

You could be saving money daily with that shiny new device. — Photo by Uppercut/Getty Images

Your new smartphone can do a lot more than make calls, browse the Web or pick up email.

It can also help you save money when shopping for new products, provide free video calling to friends and family around the world or serve as a replacement for other digital devices.

That's right, while a smartphone might cost a hundred or two with a two-year data plan, that pocket-sized companion could mean less strain on your wallet in other areas.

See Also: Smartphone apps for aging in place.

The following are five such ways your smartphone can help save you money while performing day-to-day tasks.

Talk time

Sure, your smartphone can be used to call people — it is a phone after all — but if you use an application ("app") like Skype (for iPhone and Android) or FaceTime (for iPhone) you not only can make calls anywhere in the world for free, but you have the added benefit of video, too. That's right, as long as you're in a Wi-Fi network you can call other Skype or FaceTime users (on a smartphone, tablet or computer) and talk as long as you like. With Skype — which can also be used via your cellular service — you can also swap files and text with the person you're chatting with. Another iPhone app called Fring lets up to four people video chat at the same time. If you consider all the money you could be spending on long distance calling, free apps like Skype, FaceTime and Fring make sense and save cents.

Deal or no deal

Speaking of apps, there are more than a dozen that can tell you if what you're about to buy is a good deal or not — and these apps work with multiple platforms, such as iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7. For example, with Red Laser, SnapTell or ShopSavvy, use your smartphone's camera to take pictures of product barcodes and within a second or two you'll see which retailer has the best price online or at retail around you (via the smartphone's GPS technology. For example, if you scan a barcode on a $20 DVD you might see it's $13 down the street at another store — and you'll also get turn-by-turn directions there, if you like. Or you'll see that same movie as low as $11 on the Internet, with links to buy it on the spot.


Next: But wait, there's more! >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Social Networking

Step-by-step instructions on how to use some of the Web's most popular networking sites. Go


How to Use Your PC

Guides covering everything from setting up your desktop, to getting the most out of Excel. Go


Protect Your Digital Life

Keep your computer secure, your web surfing safe, and your inbox spam free with these tips. Go


Discounts & Benefits

Geek Squad Computing

Members save on Geek Squad services with Geek Squad® Tech Support & Guidance for AARP® Members.

AARP Discounts on ADT Companion Services

Members get 20% off NEW installation and activation of ADT® Personal Emergency Response System.

AARP Discounts on Consumer Cellular Phones and Plans

Members save 5% on monthly service and usage charges with Consumer Cellular.

Member Benefits

Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change. Join Today


computer questions and tips

Computer Questions & Tips

Pick up some handy how-tos from this savvy group of techies. Discuss


Freebies Group

Favorite Websites & Freebies

Share your top sites for interesting information, helpful resources — and free stuff! Discuss