Smart phones can do everything. Seriously, they can do it all. And perhaps one of the coolest functions of modern smart phones is the way that they double as a scanner and can now read barcode labels.
Have you ever used a barcode scanning app before, or have you ever thought about what one could do for you? Well, here are just 4 apps that use this technology on your smart phone in ways you never thought of. Be warned – these apps could change your life as you know it if you choose to start utilizing them!
For people who have ever wanted to use or have already began using their smart phone as a barcode scanner, RedLaser is known as the all-encompassing place to start. It’s a free app available in the App Store that simply allows you to scan any barcode, anytime, anywhere.
For starters, RedLaser lets you scan the barcodes of products that you’re wishing to comparison shop for. Scan the product into the app, and it pulls up a list of other stores that sell the same product and the price that they sell it for. Then, when you select a product at a particular store, the app will also generate a map showing you where it is in relation to your current location, and how to get there.
RedLaser is like a super app that even lets you create shopping lists to share with family members or roommates, and even wish lists to send to family and friends prior to big holidays or gift-giving celebrations.
Another free app in the App Store, Fooducate makes it easy to scan a barcode on any food item, search for items or even categorize items that you’ve recently searched for. On top of just scanning the item, though, and helping you to do a bit of comparison food shopping, Fooducate will also pull up all of the little nutrition facts that not even the manufacturers of the product want you to know about.
Many people use Fooducate to help them make healthy shopping decision and manage their weight as a result. And with each product that you scan, you receive a letter grade that the app generates (A, B, C, D) based on research by dietitians, scientists and parents who use the information the most to tell you how healthy your choice really is.
Fooducate will also warn you when a food contains too many trans fats, too much sugar or too many simple carbohydrates – all of the things that are essentialy bad for your nutrition.
Weight Watchers Barcode Scanner
A similar app to other food barcode scanners, the Weight Watchers app is specifically designed to help you manage your weight by making smart and healthy food choices based on the popular Weight Watchers point system.
All you have to do is scan a product and the app will tell you how many points the food is worth toward your daily point total. You can then keep track of all of the foods that you consume directly within the app for a more accurate way of recording your points.
It’s a free app, and when it works, it really works great, but be warned – a few of the customer reviews on the App Store do mention it crashing every once in a while. So if you’re on the Weight Watchers program and you plan on utilizing this app, it’s probably a good idea to scan the item you’re looking at and back it up to your Weight Watchers account so you can access its information in the future even if the app crashes.
Another comparison shopping app that utilizes the barcode capability of your smart phone, ShopSavvy is yet another free app (everyone loves free things!) that allows you to scan the barcode of any product and compare its prices in the store you’re at with prices elsewhere across the world.
One of the best things about this app, and what sets it apart from others like it, is that it’s community-powered. They do take pride in their inventory of products that they have barcodes for, but if you scan a barcode that isn’t in their system, you can add it, and it will be available to everyone, everywhere for future access.
When you find the price that you want for the product that you want, the app will direct you either to a store near you, or give you a place where you can purchase it directly online, which means no additional effort on your part to get a lower price.
Patricia Goldblum is a writer who is fascinated with new and different ways to save money. She recently downloaded an app on her phone to read Camcode barcode labels that helps her save money while keeping her business well-organized, just the way she likes it!