The Secret to Saving Money on Kid Apps

Aubrey here, sharing my top 5 favorite ways to get iOS apps for cheap or free!

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I have unapologetically used my iPhone as a distraction mechanism for my little ones when we’re shopping. It’s usually my last-resort, but it works like a charm. So I like to keep it loaded with fun new apps that I switch out periodically…
I’ll be sharing some of our favorite kid-friendly apps with you in the near future (stay tuned!), but I first wanted to show you how I get many apps for cheap — if not free!


1.  App Shopper Social
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This amazing app, App Shopper Social, is my go-to choice for downloading apps on the cheap.  It checks the App Store continually and takes note when anything changes in price! You can search for apps and place them on your wish list by checking “Want It.” When the app changes in price, App Shopper will notify your iPhone/iPad and you can download it. Better act fast, though– while some sales last weeks, others are gone in a day.

With the Social feature, you can search for friends and follow their lists. Find me by downloading the app, tapping on the “Friends” tab on the bottom menu, and tapping “Edit” in the top right corner. Then tap “Add” in the top left, and search for me, aubreyhunt. You’ll be able to follow my list from there! (Be sure you also follow the main board, AppShopper, for all the apps!) Comment with your username below so I can follow you, too!

2.  Buy iTunes gift cards at a discount
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This is an especially fun one around the holidays, when stores often run incentives on their gift cards. At places like CVS, Target, and Office Max, look for promos like “Get $5 back when you buy a $25 iTunes gift card.” It’s a great way to get up to 20% off those apps you can’t find for free!

Pro tip: iTunes, App store, and iBooks gift cards all work the same way: loading money into your iTunes account.  They can all be used to purchase apps (or movies, or music, or books), so if your local store is out of iTunes gift cards but has ones with the iBooks logo, that’ll work!

3. AppySmarts website
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I’m pretty new to this one, but I think the concept is cool! At you can find lists of apps for kids, many of which are reviewed, so you know exactly what you’re downloading. The lists are updated hourly and there are even ones for discounted or free children’s apps!  Follow any of their Pinterest boards for categories like “Free apps for kids,” “AppyDeals,” and age-appropriate suggestions.

(Psst – if you’re not an iPhone user, they also have a Pinterest board for Android apps.)

4.  Follow app developers on Facebook
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Many app developers have Facebook fan pages, and from time to time they put out coupon codes for certain apps.  Day and Night Studios is one that I like to follow — they create quality kids’ apps.  If you know of others, please tell me in the comment section!


5.  Starbucks Mobile App
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You’ve probably seen the little cards sitting out at Starbucks that have a download code for a free song, video, or app.  Did you know the Starbucks app also has a section where you can get the codes for free — no purchase necessary?  Download the Starbucks app, tap on the “Home” icon at the bottom, then on “Messages” in the upper left corner.  Each week, they announce the “Pick of the Week,” and all you have to do is tap on the “Download Now” button to get it for free!  From time to time they offer kids’ apps, but they also have other great offers for grown-ups.  Enjoy!


So, what are your tips for cheap/free apps?  I’m all ears! Let me know in the comments below!

Note: Some affiliate links used because we’re Smart Kids, too! 😉

About Aubrey Hunt
Before hopping on the crazy ride we call motherhood, I studied engineering and taught math and science to middle and high school students. Now, perhaps like you, I fill my days singing The Itsy Bitsy Spider and praying my preschooler will eat a vegetable — any vegetable!

2 thoughts on “The Secret to Saving Money on Kid Apps”

  1. Cathy Shields says:

    LOVE this list. Didn’t know such apps existed. I usually download the free ones from Jumpstart ( Have you heard of them? They used to make educational CDs that we played as kids so I was so thrilled that my little one can do that as well. For varieties sake though, I’m going to try some of these hacks! Thank you so much Aubrey!

    1. Aubrey Hunt says:

      You are very welcome, Cathy! I’m glad you find them as helpful as I do! I DO remember Jumpstart, but I had no idea they were still around. I’m totally checking that out right now. Thanks for the tip.

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