25 free MoneySaving apps to download to your smartphone

25 free MoneySaving apps to download to your smartphone

If you've got a smartphone, it can be a great tool for saving (and making) money. Here's a rundown of some of the best free MoneySaving apps, many of which can be found on MSE team members' phones. 

It goes without saying that banking apps are some of the most popular among the team, as they give you a helping hand with budgeting, saving and managing your cash. But we already have a guide dedicated to App-based banking, so I've put together 19 tips focusing on 25 of the quirkier MoneySaving and MoneyMaking apps we feature across the site. 

Top free apps for SAVING money:

1. With O2, Three or Vodafone? Get freebies and discounts via their rewards apps

A number of networks offer rewards for their customers via apps. The offers regularly change, but we've seen them offer perks such as free coffee and chocolate, along with discounts on beauty products and two cinema tickets for £7.

Important: It's not worth switching to a network just for its loyalty perks, instead check you're on the best deal for you using our 30+ Cheap Mobile Tips.

2. Tesco Pay+: Go wallet-free & get 25% extra Clubcard points

Probably one of the most used apps on my phone, the Tesco Pay+ app lets you store your credit or debit card and Clubcard details, then quickly pay for shopping and automatically collect Clubcard points at Tesco by scanning the barcode in the app. It works at all Tesco stores and petrol stations.

As part of a promo it's running until 31 August 2019, you get an extra Clubcard point for every £4 you spend in store, meaning you'll get five points for every £4 spent.

How to get the app: Download it for iPhone or Android. It's worth noting Tesco checks your card is genuine by making a £2 request to your account – the money won't actually be taken, but in some cases will appear in your transactions and then disappear.

More info: See our Reclaim & boost Tesco vouchers guide.

3. Sat-nav apps: Avoid hefty charges when driving worldwide

There's a nifty way to turn your phone into a sat-nav you can use abroad. Simply download one of the free apps below. While they won't have the bells and whistles of a traditional sat-nav, crucially you can download the maps beforehand so you won't have to use any data when overseas.

  • Google Maps is easy to use, and includes restaurants and reviews. It also offers real-time traffic and train info, though for that you'll need a Wi-Fi or data connection. It's available for iPhone and Android.

  • Navmii offers maps for 197 countries, including the UK, plus route planning, voice prompts, mileage tracking and real-time hazard reporting. It's available for iPhone and Android.

  • Maps.me allows users to add data to maps, such as places of interest or trails, which is why its maps are so detailed. It's available for iPhone and Android.

More info: See our Overseas travel tips guide.

4. Stocard: Never forget your loyalty cards again

Stocard lets you upload your loyalty cards, so you don't need to carry them all with you, and ensures you won't miss out on points. (Don't throw the cards away though, as you usually need them to redeem your points).

Simply scan your loyalty card barcode on your mobile (it takes seconds) – the app logs the barcode, then reproduces it when you show it in store.

MSE Eesha swears by it:

I've found Stocard really quick and simple to use. I've loaded around 15 loyalty cards onto it, which means I'm not carrying around a stack of cards in my purse, and I can collect points in any shop I'm in. I also get a notification when I'm in a store that I've loaded a loyalty card for, so I don't forget to use it.

How to get the app: It's available on iOS and Android.

More info: See Loyalty Points Boosting.

5. Jack's Flight Club: Get bargain-flight alerts on your phone

Jack's Flight Club alerts you when an airline drops prices on particular routes, eg, London to New York. As well as deliberate price cuts, it also flags pricing mistakes or 'error fares' which can be mega-cheap (but are often short-lived).

Its basic service is free, though it also has a premium service which sends out more deals (though we've currently got a free 30 day trial).

You can download the free app to get notifications straight to your phone, or sign up to receive email alerts. 

How to get the app: Download it for iPhone or Android.

More info: See our Cheap flights guide.

6. Citymapper: Master public transport on city breaks

Navigating public transport in an unfamiliar city can be daunting. But the free Citymapper app will have you hopping on and off the subway/metro like a true New Yorker or Parisian. You can use it in 39 cities around the world, including Barcelona and Hong Kong.

The app's 'Get me somewhere' function is easy to use – simply enter your destination and starting point to find the best route from A to B. As well as finding various public transport options (including bus-only, rain-safe and wheelchair-accessible), it will show you how long it would take to walk, cycle or take a cab.

While it's a handy app to use abroad, unless you're able to use your data for free, it's best to switch off mobile data and use Wi-Fi to plan your route (eg, at your hotel or a café). You can then save your journey offline using the star in the top right of the screen.

How to get the app: Download it for iPhone or Android, or you can use the web app.

7. Boots app: Personalised offers (plus 200 free pts for newbies)

Boots Advantage Card members can currently get 200 free bonus points (worth £2) when they download the Boots app for the first time. Once you've downloaded it, you'll need to link your Advantage Card to it, then go into 'My Offers' and load the 200 bonus points offer to your card.

The app's also handy for boosting your points stash (and saving money) as you can load personalised offers to your card. 

How to get the app: Download it for iPhone or Android.

More info: See our Loyalty Points Boosting guide.

8. Mysupermarket: Compare the cost of food & toiletries 

You can compare the cost of items at most major supermarkets, health and beauty retailers and discount stores with the Mysupermarket app.

It looks at all the big supermarkets including Aldi, Asda, Iceland, Lidl, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose, plus Amazon, Boots, Poundland, Poundstretcher and Superdrug. If you're out and about, you can quickly find out which is selling the item you want cheapest.

How to get the app: Download it for iPhone or Android (or you can use the Mysupermarket site*).

More info: See our Supermarket shopping tips.

9. Too Good To Go: End-of-day discounts at cafés and restaurants

Too Good To Go hooks you up with local cafés, bakeries and restaurants which have leftover food at the end of the day. It lets you buy it for between £2 and £4, at a discount of at least 50% (though some by as much as 90%).

MSE Kelvin's enjoyed trying out some of the cafés around MSE Towers:

I've had a few decent meals using the app – a huge salad box (that they let you fill up yourself) for £3, a halloumi wrap for £2.80 and a really tasty pastrami sandwich for £3.

How to get the app: Download it for iPhone or Android. You'll need to create a free account or log in via Facebook to browse restaurants near you.

More info: See our How to get free (or cheap) food guide.

10. Unidays (students only): Get discounts at shops & restaurants

The Unidays app gets sixth-form, college and university students 100s of discounts at shops, restaurants, music-streaming sites and more. You either use the app to show your Unidays photo ID at the checkout, or generate a code for the cashier to use. When shopping online, you get a code to enter at the checkout.

How to get the app: Download it for iPhone or Android (or you can use the Unidays site). You'll need to sign up and verify your student status using either an institution portal login, institution-issued personal email address or institution-issued student ID card.

Want more? The Student Beans app (available on iPhone and Android) covers some retailers which Unidays doesn't (eg, it gets 10% off Boots).

11. Olio: Get completely FREE food in your local community

This app's a bit like Freecycle but for food, so instead of binning surplus food, people sign up to Olio and offer it to their local community for free. For instance, MSE Jenny managed to nab four free raisin buns, originally bought from a posh bakery in North London.

Once you've found something you want nearby, request it and message to arrange a pick-up. People also add other items, such as deodorant, and sometimes ask for a donation to charity.

How to get the app: Download it for iPhone or Android or access it via the Olio web app. You'll need to connect the app to your Facebook.

More info: See our How to get free (or cheap) food guide.

12. Nike Training Club: Get fit without a gym membership

If you're looking for a way to work out without forking out, a free fitness app could be the way forward.

MSE Megan uses the Nike Training Club app, which offers a variety of workouts, covering everything from yoga to cardio. It can be done with no equipment, at home or out and about, and every workout has videos.

How to get the app: Download it for iPhone or Android.

13. In London? Save cash on your lunch with snap deals apps

Discount food schemes and apps flourish in London thanks to the sheer number of participating eateries. You choose the deal you want in the app, then it'll show you a code you take to the eatery of your choice.

  • CityMunch offers daily discounts on a wide selection of lunch and evening meals. Generally, discounts range from 20-40% off. It's available for iPhone and Android.

  • Happiour is a favourite at MSE Towers. Particularly strong in the Soho area, it gives daily deals on lunches – often 50% off or 2for1, though from time to time it lists flash freebies.  MSE Weleid's benefited, enjoying a totally free hot box from healthy food chain Pod. It's available for iPhone and Android.

  • Nez is another favourite, offering discounts and occasionally freebies in the Soho area. The MSE team has snapped up £1 lunches (eg, chicken wraps, normally £5ish), and free ice creams in summer. It's available for iPhone and Android.

Top free apps for MAKING money:

1. Shpock: Flog your unwanted stuff for free

Shpock calls itself a 'boot sale app', which means you can use it to sell your unwanted gear in your local community. You create a listing for each item, and choose who you sell to. Most importantly, there are no fees.

I've had a lot of success selling unwanted furniture, and have been pleasantly surprised at how nice buyers have been in person (it does initially feel a little daunting inviting someone to your home, particularly in London). MSE forumites have also had success selling on Shpock. See their feedback in the forum.

How to get the app: Download it for iPhone or Android (or you can use the Shpock website).

More info: We've lots of useful tips on selling locally in our Facebook selling tips.

2. Jobspotter: Earn Amazon vouchers snapping photos of job ads

The Job Spotter app is a quick and easy way to earn (in vouchers), just for taking pictures of job adverts in the windows of businesses such as shops, cafés and restaurants.

You earn points for each job advert you submit. These are converted into Amazon vouchers and you can redeem them at any time – there's no minimum withdrawal limit. The jobs you spot are then posted on the Indeed website.

While some ads only get you a few points, such as those with big-name retailers, I've found it's possible to make between £6 and £10 an hour in my lunch breaks looking for job adverts around MSE Towers. In fact, I've made a whopping £500 in the last year.

How to get the app: Download it for iPhone or Android.

More info: See our Make Money Online guide.

3. BeMyEye: Earn cash doing mobile market research

The BeMyEye app pays you to carry out quick and simple market research via your mobile. Past requests include browsing shoe shops, buying a drink in a bar and sending photos of how razor blades are displayed in a pharmacy. Simply download and check it regularly for upcoming jobs in your area.

BeMyEye works with big brands such as Coca-Cola, Heineken and Nestle and typically pays £6-£18 per task, depending on the difficulty – that amount may sometimes cover your expenses too.

How to get the app: Download it for iPhone or Android.

More info: See our Make Money Online guide.

4. Shepper: Get paid for odd jobs, eg, Airbnb checks

The Shepper app pays £10-£20 for quick odd jobs. It works with big brands such as Airbnb, Aviva and L'Oreal. Tasks are as varied as spot-checking Airbnb properties, checking billboards for graffiti and helping insurers gather evidence by asking questions about burst pipes.

Shepper says users are fully insured, and it takes precautions to ensure your safety, including reviewing every booking that it receives.

Unlike other apps, you'll need to invoice Shepper each month to get your earnings.

How to get the app: Download it for iPhone or Android. You'll need to show your passport or driving licence, do 15 minutes' training and pass a multiple-choice test.

More info: See our Make Money Online guide.

5. Field Agent: Earn cash doing quick tasks

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to check prices in stores, take photos of products and pen reviews. It typically pays £4.50 per task, but can be between £2 and £10. You can then cash out via PayPal.

You're competing against others for jobs, which are sent out via the app, and won't get lucky every time.

How to get the app: Download it for iPhone or Android.

More info: See our Make Money Online guide.

6. Stockimo: Get cash for your iPhone photos

If you own an iPhone 4 or above, download the free Stockimo app and you can upload photos taken on your handset to sell on the app.

Images sell for anything from £9.99 (for personal use) to £360 (for ads). You'll get 20% – Stockimo pays via PayPal each month you earn more than $10 (£7.60).

A number of Twitter users have reported success with Stockimo, including Ann from Kent, who sold a photo of her cat for £15: "My little cat Lola sold for $20 – happy days😸!"

How to get the app: Download the app for iPhone (there's no Android version currently). It's compatible with iOS 7 and above.

More info: See our Make Money Online guide.