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Review: 5 shopping apps to get you the best prices

  • FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, file photo, Tashalee Rodriguez, of Boston, uses a smart phone app while shopping at Macy's in downtown Boston. Big retailers, are offering apps that feature a hefty selection of deals. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

— RetailMeNot (Available for Android, iPhone)

This app lets you search for coupons from your favorite stores, so you can instantly save 10 percent, 20 percent or even more on a single item or your entire shopping cart.

You can scroll through the list of hot deals on the home page or search for a specific store. You can add your favorite stores to a list to see the deals more quickly. The app uses the phone's location information to narrow the deals to the ones near you.

I'm not saying these apps are problem-free. At Toys R Us, the cashier wasn't able to scan a 15 percent off coupon. RetailMeNot says many retailers have outdated scanners, but most will honor the discount anyway. That happened at Toys R Us after the cashier called for a manager. Getting the discount took longer than expected, and some people in line behind gave me bad looks. But the deal was worth it.

The app lets you see both in-store and online deals. After walking into a Gap retail store, I found a coupon that works only online. So I left and went to Gap's website. RetailMeNot's 35 percent off coupon code saved me $20.26 on a $57.89 purchase.


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