With inflation rising around the world, many households are feeling increasing financial pressure. Food, petrol and energy prices have reached record highs – but fear not! These free apps will help you make some serious savings.
From banking and budgeting apps to shopping, coupon and cashback apps, we’ve included a range of free apps to help you save on your everyday expenses. What’s more, these apps have clever location-based capabilities to ensure you receive personalised deals and updates.
To start making inflation-busting savings, simply download the app to your smartphone, opt-in to share you location and voila! You’ll be all set to save.
Why is inflation so high at the moment?
There are a few reasons why inflation is so high at the moment. It started to rise in 2021 due in part to a surge in consumer spending during the Covid-19 pandemic. As shops reopened after lockdown, some businesses struggled to meet the extra demand due to supply chain shortages.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put further pressure on rising energy prices as countries scramble to find alternatives to Russian oil and gas. Food prices are also surging, with the war in Ukraine – one of the world’s largest corn and wheat exporters – continuing to disrupt global grain production.
To combat the effects of inflation, some employers are facing increasing pressure to increase wages, but to afford this they often have to raise the prices of their products and services. All of this, along with the current uncertainty about future supply has contributed to the sharp rise in the rate of inflation.
Will inflation go down?
According to the Bank of England, the rate of inflation is forecast to keep rising this year, with the Bank warning that it might reach 11% within months.
However inflation is expected to slow down in 2023 and is forecast to reach around 2% in two years. This is because the main causes of the high rate of inflation are not expected to last, and the Bank has raised its interest rate from 0.1% to 1.25% to encourage people to save instead of spend.
What does high inflation mean for households?
High inflation means an increase in the cost of living. Everything from groceries, energy bills and petrol are more expensive than they used to be and many households are feeling the pinch. While the effects of inflation are unavoidable, there are plenty of ways to make savings in your day-to day-spending.
In the following sections we’ll cover the best ways to save including the best free apps to download your smartphone, plus other inflation-busting tips and advice.
The 6 best free apps to beat inflation
Goodbudget – best free app for budgeting
Tracking your spending is the first step in getting your finances in inflation-busting shape. By knowing exactly what you’re spending day to day, you’ll see where your money is going and where you can make savings.
Goodbudget is a free app that lets you plan your household budget by allocating an amount of your income into categories like groceries, rent, debt repayments and more. Based on the ‘envelope budgeting’ method, you should only spend what’s in your digital envelopes. If you overspend in any category, that envelope will flag up as red to indicate that you’ve overspent.
Available on the Web, Android and iPhone, this clever budget-planner app is free to download and use for up to 20 envelopes. You can sync and share budgets, get real-time updates and track exactly where your money goes each month.
Fetch – best free rewards app
Fetch is hands-down one of the best free apps to help you beat inflation, turning your receipts into free cash and gift cards from your favorite brands. It accepts receipts from just about anywhere, plus it lets you link your Amazon and email accounts so it can scan from there, too.
Unlike many rewards apps, there’s no lengthy process involved. Simply do your shopping, scan your receipt and it automatically applies any current offers. What’s more, you get points for every receipt you scan, even if it doesn’t include any redeemable items.
All you have to do is remember to take a snap of your receipt anywhere you shop or dine. You can make purchases anywhere, from retailers and grocery stores, to restaurants, gas stations, hardware stores and more.
Fetch’s sweepstakes, giveaways and in-app experiences give you even more ways to earn points. Just don’t forget to opt-in to share your location with the app to make the most of its smart location-based features.
Mi Home – free energy saving app
Households around the world are facing soaring energy bills, and while inflation is out of your control, your energy usage isn’t. Keep you energy usage down with Mi Home app which has a host of great features to help you save on your energy bills. It needs a kit installed to make full use of the app, but it’s an affordable way to install smart home features in your home.
To get started, you’ll need a few basic smart switches and controls, then you go from there. One of the best features is the app’s geofencing capabilities. These allow you to automate your settings when your phone enters or leaves a designated area so your heating and lighting can be automatically switched on or off when you leave or arrive home.
Vouchercloud – best free voucher app
Next in our lineup of inflation-busting apps is Vouchercloud. This free voucher app allows you to search all the best deals nearby and get voucher codes to use at your favorite UK-based retailers, restaurants and brands. If you’re looking for money off pretty much anything, this is the app for you.
Deals are updated regularly so you’ll always find voucher codes for purchases, whether you’re in the mood for a meal, a holiday or a new outfit. If you want to keep your household finances in check, browse deals on home and car insurance, mobile discounts, annual memberships and more.
This award-winning mobile app is available for free on iPhone and Android devices and uses clever location-based technology to show you the best offers for shops and restaurants near you. To use an offer, all you have to do is show your voucher on your phone and enjoy great savings!
Ibotta – best free app for cashback
Inflation means that the cost of everything is rising, and that includes groceries. Which is why Ibotta makes it onto our list of free inflation-fighting apps. Easy to use, Ibotta is a cashback app that gives you cash back at an array of US-based supermarkets such as Walmart and Target and Walgreens.
Simply browse the latest offers, add the offer to your account then buy the items at the store. Snap a photo of your receipt then scan it through the app and cashback is added directly back into your Ibotta wallet.
With some users saying they’ve saved thousands of dollars a year, there’s no better time than now to get the app. Simply download it to your smartphone for free and opt-in to share your location to make the most of the amazing location-based offers and deals.
Mint – best free app for banking
Take charge of your finances with the free Mint app. The most popular personal finance app, it lets you keep track of all of your accounts, all in one place. See all you accounts at a glance when you link you cash accounts, credit cards, investments and bills. You can track your cashflow easily and see any opportunities to save.
If you’re trying to find ways to offset inflation, then ditching needless sign ups and subscriptions is a good place to start – Mint can help you do that too. And with 256-bit encryption and multi-factor authentication, you’ll can be sure your finances are safe and secure.
Other inflation-busting tips
Inflation is a reality we all have to face, however there are plenty of tips and tricks to help you combat higher prices. Here’s a few ideas to help you budget for periods of higher inflation and potentially find the money to save.
Energy proof your home
Energy prices are one of the biggest drivers of inflation. With soaring energy prices, there’s no better time to think about how much energy you’re using at home and find some simple ways to reduce your usage. These can be simple things such as using energy-efficient lightbulbs, making sure to turn off your lights and heating off when not needed, and sealing any gaps around your windows and doors.
With the costs of gas and petrol at their highest point in years, it might be time to use your car less. Try walking where possible, or think about carpooling to share costs. If you need to use your car, try consolidating your trips and drive at the speed limit and in the highest possible gear to use less gas. The Energy Saving trust says that the best fuel economy is 55-65 mph. Any faster and the fuel efficiency decreases rapidly.
It’s important to budget wisely for groceries when prices are rising. Little changes can add up to big savings over the course of a year. Swap out brand names for generic items, and incorporate more low cost items such as pasta and vegetables into your meals. Look out for special offers like buy-one-get-one-free, and sign up for your supermarket’s loyalty program so you can make the most of any exclusive deals. You can also use supermarket cashback apps to reduce your spend.
Streamline your costs
Think about your biggest outgoings and look into any opportunities you might have to save. If you have opportunities to save on your mortgage costs by refinancing then now might be a good time. It might be a good time to look at your debts too and either pay them off or make them less expensive. For example, if you have a credit card, you could consider a 0% APR balance transfer to give you more time to pay back what you owe interest-free.
Compare insurances and mobile tariffs
Changing insurance and phone tariffs are other ways to save money when you’re budgeting for inflation. If you’re close to renewal look around and compare deals. You can also look at other ways to lower your monthly premium, for instance any extra features or coverage that you don’t really need right now. You can always add them back on when you’ve as and when the pressure eases off.
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