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How to save time and money with apps

By Valens Quinn | 10:31 am 06/10/2012

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, but spend any time in the phone queue for tech support and it can feel more like a barrier to what we really should and want to be doing. Here are five apps that have helped make our daily deeds easier to manage, and saved us time and money into the bargain.

1. Jamie’s Recipes (10 Minute Meals)

Jamie Oliver's 10 Minute Meals app banishes the dilemma over what to have for dinner.

Fancy a taste of Jamie Oliver’s cooking but you’ve only got a few minutes to spare? The Jamie’s Recipes app is beautifully designed and full of mouth-watering photos, step-by-step recipes and helpful video tutorials. Jamie also gives you tips about mastering the basics, such as knife skills, and there’s a handy shopping list tool.

The app is free to download and comes with a few starter recipes, and you can choose from a selection of paid-for Recipe Packs, starting at $1.99. For the time poor, go for Jamie’s 10 Minute Meals – a pack of 10 simple and delicious recipes so you can whip up a food fix in no time.

For iPhone and iPad. Free to download. Recipe Packs range from $1.99 to $2.99

2. TransitTimes+

If you use public transport, or plan on doing some sightseeing overseas, TransitTimes+ is a great way to get from A to B quickly and cheaply. TransitTimes+ can plan your route across bus, train and ferry routes, and can even give you directions via Apple’s new Maps in iOS6. TransitTimes+ will tell you when the next bus, ferry or train is due, and warns you about service alerts issued by transit agencies.

You can download transit schedules for up to 50 cities across the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, and you can view them without a mobile connection. Currently, TransitTimes+ is available for Adelaide, Canberra, Perth and Sydney, with more locations to come. It can also provide real-time vehicle positions for cities in the USA and Canada, but this feature is yet to come to Australia.

For iPhone and iPad. $4.99

3. Shoppernova

Find deals and bargains near you with Shoppernova

Shoppernova is handy little app that lets you know about group-buy type deals in your area. It works in conjunction with Apple’s new Passbook feature, to store your digital redemption vouchers, tickets and passes.

Shoppernova uses your location to determine the best deals around you. You can adjust how far you’re willing to travel, and take a look at deals that will become available over the coming days, as well as see where the deals are on a map. The offers themselves can be anything from apparel to alcohol and travel, sunglasses and more, with some pretty decent bargains to be had.

Available in Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney.

For iPhone. Free

4. Valuables Vault

For insurance and tax purposes or just your own records, Vauables Vault stores all your important receipts.

Made by the NRMA, Valuables Vault is a handy little tool that collects and stores information about the things you own. So if the worst happens, like a break-in, flood or fire, you’ll have all the information you to make an insurance claim – which sure beats fumbling through an old shoebox in the hopes that you kept your old receipts. So when you buy a new pair of those fancy, red-soled heels or yet another mega-expensive camera lens, simply fire up Valuables Vault, name your item, add the product type and owner, and then snap a photo or two.

You can also record your receipt details (or take a photo of your receipt) add serial numbers, purchase date and plenty of other information. There’s also an option to email the information for safe-keeping, and if the worst happens, at least you won’t have to worry about being able to prove that you owned your goodies in the first place.

Available on iPhone and Android Smartphones. Free.

5. Woolworths

The Woolworths app makes mobile grocery shopping quick and easy.

For many of us, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to get things done. A great way to trade in chores for beach time is to do your shopping on your mobile.

The Woolworths shopping app makes it easy to do your groceries from just about anywhere, and at anytime. Apart from being able to buy your groceries and have them delivered to your home or work at a time that suits you, the app can also improve your instore experience.

Create ‘smart’ shopping lists that are organised into isle order at your local store, and add new items with the barcode scanner. You can share your shopping lists as well – a sneaky way to get your other half to collect the goods – and the app also connects you to the latest specials and recipes.

Even if you’re the type who likes to pop into the shops to squeeze the fruit and vegetables, the Woolies app is a convenient way to have your weekly staples delivered, and it will remember your shopping list for the next time.

Available on iPhone, iPad and Android Smartphones. Free.

Which apps help your every-day run more smoothly, save you time or money? Share the good stuff and add your recommendations with a quick description to our Comments section below.

 

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