Save time and money: shop smarter with your iPad or iPhone

Shop smarter with your iPad or iPhone

Finally, whatever you buy online and wherever you choose to buy it, waiting for delivery is frustrating. Make sure you download package-tracking app Delivery Status Touch (£2.99, Universal).

It allows you to track the progress of deliveries from dozens of different couriers, including FedEx, UPS, and TNT.

Type in the tracking number provided by, say, Amazon or Apple, and Delivery Status Touch will display your package's current location on a Google Map.

It will also give you an expected delivery date, and a link to the shipping company's website in case you have any questions or concerns.

Saving money

Tracking down bargains is half the fun of shopping, and if you have your iPhone with you when you hit the high street, it will be much easier. There are numerous apps designed to help you find the best prices and take advantage of deals offered by retailers.

Shop smarter with your iPad or iPhone

We've already seen how RedLaser helps you track down the best online price for a product you've found on the shelves, but it can do a great deal more than that.

The app also lets you find coupons and voucher codes for the product whose barcode you've scanned, track down the best price at a local shop, see daily deals, and find products that are popular with other RedLaser users.

It will even suggest items based on those you've searched for before. As long as you don't mind holding your iPhone up to the barcode of, say, a DVD or book, it's a great way to save money.

Vouchercloud (Free, Universal) only works in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Malta, but it allows you to find local shops, restaurants and venues that are running promotions, and to download vouchers directly to the app or use them immediately.

You can view offers by geographical proximity or by type (eating, retail, leisure, days out and so on). The app will then learn your preferences from vouchers you use and, suggest more special offers that might interest you.

Shop smarter with your iPad or iPhone

MyVoucherCodes Vouchers (free, iPhone and iPod touch) does more or less the same thing.

It's slightly more polished and shows local deals on a map rather than as a list, but you can't access saved deals from a web browser on another device as you can with Vouchercloud.

In the US, Coupon Clipper (Free, iPhone and iPod touch) and Coupon Sherpa (Free, iPhone and iPod touch) help you to find similar deals, and download and redeem coupons.

ValPack Local Savings (Free, Universal) allows you to find deals at local retailers.

If you live in Australia, The Specials Board (Free, iPhone and iPod touch) and Screencoupon (Free, iPhone and iPod touch) are essential for finding voucher codes and coupon deals.

Shop smarter with your iPad or iPhone

Groupon (Free, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) allows you to access the crowd-buying service from your iPhone or iPad, and will send new deals to you each morning.

It covers both regular Groupon offers and the Getaways travel bargains. You can buy deals and redeem them within the apps, and keep track of those you've purchased but not yet used.

If daily deals are your thing, you should also try LivingSocial (Free, Universal). It's more geared towards restaurants, bars, and days out than tangible goods, but if that's your thing, it'll send you a local deal every day.

For loyalty card lovers in the UK, the Nectar (Free, iPhone and iPod touch) app is essential. It will show you which retailers in your area give Nectar points, display daily deals, award you bonus points, and let you check your balance.

ShopSavvy (Free, Universal) is similar to RedLaser. It works in North America and Europe, and allows you to scan barcodes to find the best price locally or online. Cleverly, it also lets you add details to its database if it doesn't have a record of the code you scan - and if you find a better deal than those in the app, you can add that, too. It helps you find voucher codes as well, and lets you see price-matching policies, enter contests and check stock.