3 Unconventional Mobile Apps That Help You Save Time & Money


Jeff Cuellar



Technology is a beautiful thing. Within a span of 25 years we’ve gone from insanely expensive cell phones that made us look like we were radioing for an air strike (ah, the US$4,000 DynaTAC!), to smart phones that practically anyone can own (S$169 for a Redmi anyone?).

More than that, smart phones have evolved to become a necessity in our daily lives – keeping us connected with friends, family, and colleagues around the globe. While you can debate the cultural and social change brought about by smart phones, you can’t dispute the fact that they’ve made our lives a whole lot easier.

Well… unless you’re one of those Facebook slaves who ignores everything going on around you and walks off a pier. But those people aside, if you choose your apps a bit more wisely, you can turn it into a money and time saving device with little or no money!

Here are 3 time and money saving apps you should consider (Apple app store only – forgive me, dear Android users):


1.  Saving You Money on Retail Purchases – Coupark SG

Cost: Free

True, I could have gone with a more “famous” coupon app that claims to deliver 50%-70% in more than 500 cities located mostly on earth (where else does Groupon it offer discounts at? Mars?).

What I like about Coupark SG is that it doesn’t just group its discounts into 4 HUGE classifications (Travel, Featured, Shopping, and Reserve) that require you to scroll down ad infinitum for things you might want to buy – it groups deals in a way that make it EASIER for me to search for things that I want to save money on.

Yeah, that’s the biggest advantage Coupark SG, has over its larger competitor – it just makes it easier for you to search for things you want to buy.

Here’s how Coupark SG breaks down its deals for you:

  • Travel deals (trips & products)
  • Food & Drink deals
  • Explore Singapore (local attractions)
  • Beauty & Health deals (spa, sports, products, etc.)
  • Fashion (clothing, bags, accessories, etc.)
  • Love & Home deals (home & kitchen, romantic activities, etc.)
  • More Products (iPhone accessories, electronics, stationary, etc.)
  • Learning (music lessons, photography, etc.)

The best thing is that the deals are pretty much the same thing you’d see on the global coupon provider who shall not be named. And even better, it only focuses ONLY on Singapore deals, aggregating coupons and promotions offered by Singapore’s many deal providers (Rakuten, Deal.com.sg, Zalora, QooDeal, etc.)


2. Saving You Money on Dining Out – OpenRice Singapore

Cost: Free

I never appreciated the value of a good “dining” app until I tried a few eateries in Singapore that were plainly a waste of money (no, I won’t shame them here, but neither will I forget the culinary atrocities I’ve experienced).

If ONLY I had the foresight to KNOW what den of gastronomic horror I would be stepping into, I could have saved myself hundreds of dollars on purchasing crappy food and medicine to fix those mistakes. I should have put more trust in countless Singaporeans who have sacrificed their valuable time… to write food reviews detailing whether or not a dining establishment is worth the money.

What I love about this app is that it tells you everything you need to know about a restaurant before you even step foot in the door. It’s like a having some electronic foodie oracle in your pocket that can answer these life and death questions:

  • Does the food suck (according to user reviews)?
  • What cuisine does it serve?
  • What’s the price range?
  • Does the restaurant accept credit cards?
  • Is the food Halal?
  • Does it serve alcohol?
  • What awesome food promotions are available?
  • What is the meaning of life (I ah, just added that one in to see if you’re reading)?

As you can see, I’m pretty happy about this app. Sure there are others out there, but to quote one of my favorite Stanley Kubrick films, Full Metal Jacket, “this is my dining app, there are many like it, but this one is MINE!” And it could help you save money on your dining experiences too.


3.  Saving You Money on Your Energy Bill – Energy Calc Pro

Cost: $1.99

Why do you need an electricity calculator? Well, I can think of a good reason – the energy tariff is set to expire this March. Now, do you think it will go up from the current rate of $.27.5 cents (w/GST)?  Yeah, I know, stupid question.

The bottom line is that as electricity rates increase, finding ways to decrease your utility costs will take a more important role in your budget. And this tool does just that so you can see how much money you’ll save by using your energy sucking appliances (air conditioners, plasma TV, etc.) just a little less.

Singapore Power has a pretty good electricity audit tool on their website. As to why it hasn’t created an app version of it, I have no idea. I recommend just going to the website to use the tool on your mobile device for free (the mobile optimization is decent enough to do this).

But if you want to spend less time squinting to read text and mess with drop down bars, this app will do just find and probably save you an exponential amount of money in electricity savings compared to its $1.99 fee.


What other apps do you think belong on this list? Share them with us on Facebook! And to find even more useful information on everything personal finance, visit MoneySmart today!

Image Credits:
Daniel Y. Go

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Jeff Cuellar

I'm known by many titles: copywriter, published author, literary connoisseur, ex- U.S. Army intelligence analyst, and Champion of Capua.