4 Green Apps for Money-Saving Moms
Doing the right thing can also stretch your dollar with these simple apps
While you can save money with deals and discounts, the very best way to reduce your expenses is to reduce your consumption; learning to live more efficiently so that you don’t have to spend as much. As you put your budget together when money is tight, your data plan might seem like a big luxury, but if you cancel your contract, you’re saddled with a huge deactivation fee. Here’s how you can put that data plan to use, reducing your consumption in other areas and saving money.
1. Green Gas Saver (iOS)
This app tops the list for the sheer gee-whiz factor. You tell the app the make and model of the car you’re driving, and it uses calculations based on your car’s engine, weight, and data from the phone’s accelerometer to tell you how much fuel you’re using at any given moment, as well as your car’s emissions for the trip. This app can help you correct aggressive driving habits that are costing you fuel efficiency and wearing out expensive parts faster. (Cost: free)
2. GoodGuide (Android, iOS)
Businesses know you’ll pay more for a product that is “environmentally-friendly”, but it can be nearly impossible to verify what exactly that means, or even whether their claims are honest. GoodGuide rates 170,000 products on green credentials, nutrition, and social cost to the regions where they’re produced. The app covers produce, pet food, organic baby food, hygiene products, household chemicals, and other consumer items with a 1-10 rating for each indicator, as well as an overall score. It’s a great way to supplement your own research and get a second-opinion before you pay extra. (Cost: free)
3. Green Outlet (iOS)
If you’re ever surprised by a high electric bill, it can be difficult to identify the culprit(s), and not all drains are equally harmful. For instance, it’s a good idea to unplug your phone charger when you’re not using it, but that waste is completely insignificant compared to the drain caused by an outdated television, or a refrigerator with faulty wiring.
To help you take stock of what’s causing those big bills, Green Outlet calculates what each of your home appliances ought to cost you on your electric bill. If your bill is significantly higher than Green Outlet’s estimate, you know you’ve got a malfunctioning appliance that is draining too much juice. It’s also a good way to get a visual representation of the cost of wasteful purchases and practices. When you know exactly how much it costs to fall asleep with the TV on, or blast your air conditioner when you leave town, it’s easier to rein in those behaviors. If you check with the app while shopping, it can also help you make more sustainable, inexpensive choices when it’s time to buy a new cell phone from T-Mobile or upgrade your TV. (Cost: $0.99)
Julia Peterson is a writer for AndGeeks.com, a popular website that provides up-to-date news, detailed commentary, and unbiased reviews on cell phones and related topics. Julia resides in Galveston, Texas in a cozy little house in the country with her husband, young son, and their Labrador retriever, Darby.