Alright, so you’re pretty convinced that you’ve mastered the art of couponing; you go to the store armed with your binder and know exactly how everything’s gonna go down; you’re fearless and confident; you keep your cool at checkout and watch proudly as your total drops lower and lower with every scan; it’s second nature to you now. But what if I told you that in addition to this standard couponing technique you’ve come to know so well, there were even more ways to save? That’s right, modern-day technology has introduced us to various new and exciting ways to save money straight from our phones! Here I’ll talk about a few of my favorite apps that have saved me a ton of money over the past couple years. And the best part? They are all completely FREE to use!
My Top 10 Money Saving Apps
How it works: Shopmium is among a series of rebate apps that I like to use; all of which give you money back for buying certain items. All you do is purchase the qualifying item, scan the barcode, upload the receipt and claim your cash! Unlike other rebate apps, you can redeem offers from any store that you shop at. After your offers are approved, the money goes straight into your PayPal or bank account. And that’s it! You can download Shopmium here. If you’d like to receive a FREE Lindt chocolate bar, be sure to use the the code MEKEKEQP when you register!
How it works: This is a very interesting app in my opinion. You will be rewarded “kicks” for scanning certain products in-store. The awesome part is that you don’t have to actually buy anything! You can also receive walk-in kicks by simply walking into certain stores. Just have the app open when you walk through the door and the kicks will be added to your account! Once you reach 500 kicks, you can start redeeming them for lots of different things. My personal favorite is the $5 Target gift card. There are also tons of other offers from various different gift cards all the way up to a Vespa scooter! (1,875,000 kicks) Personally, I’m going for the KitchenAid! 😉
8. SNAP by Groupon
How it works: SNAP is another rebate app that is very similar to Shopmium, but with a couple discrepancies. For one thing, with SNAP you can only cash out once you’ve reached a minimum of $20 in your account. Also, offers become unavailable once they’ve been redeemed a certain number of times. Although it may seem more limited than Shopmium, I have come to find that SNAP tends to have a little more variety with their offers in comparison.
How it works: After you’ve entered in your info, Mint starts to track your spending and sorts everything into various categories. What’s so great about this is that if you’re busy busy like I am all the time, it’s really simple to just open the app up and get a visual of everything you’ve spent for the month. It really puts it into perspective when you see where the majority of your money goes to! Mint automatically sets up monthly budgets for certain categories as well. You can also set your own budgets manually. You can also check your credit score, monitor monthly income, and set up bill reminders so you never miss a payment again!
6. Checkout 51
How it works: Yet another rebate app, this one is just a little different in the way it operates than the other two I mentioned. Offers on Checkout 51 reset every week, starting on Thursday. Some offers stay week to week but usually there are a few different ones. As always, simply upload the receipt and claim your offers! Like SNAP, the minimum cash out amount is also $20.00.
5. Amazon Local
How it works: Similar to Groupon, this app offers discounted goods and services in your area! All you do is browse the deals, from restaurants and bars to hotels and spas. When you find a deal you like, click “buy” and Amazon will send you a voucher for the products that you purchased. This app is great for when you’re traveling and looking for good deals on places to eat, places to stay for the night, etc.
How it works: If you’re unfamiliar with this app, I don’t even know where to begin! Pinterest is by far one of the greatest online resources of all time! It is a great place to find tutorials, from DIY projects and couponing tips and everything in between! There are also tons of great tips for cutting your monthly budget down bit by bit, and several awesome savings plans that are worth a try. All you do is search and pin what you like to your own boards!
How it works: Safeway is a huge store for us up here in the Northwest. If you have one in your area, I would definitely download this app! All you need is an email and password and then you link the phone number that you already use for your Club Card to the app and start loading up offers. The discounts will take off at the register after you enter in your number. Easy-peasy!
This app has a lot of neat features, including the Coupon Center, which allows you load manufacturer and store coupons to your card. But the best part (in my opinion) is the Personalized Deals! This section provides deals to you based on previous purchases that you have made! In addition, you can “stack” these deals with coupons from the coupon center as well! For example, say there’s a $1.00 coupon for orange juice in the coupon center. You notice that you have a personalized deal for the same brand for $2.50 (normally $3.99). You can use the $2.50 price in conjunction with the $1.00 coupon and get it for just $1.50! Awesome, right?!
The Safeway app also allows you to view weekly ads, specific store specials and much, much more!
2. Cartwheel by Target
How it works: To be honest, this app was in the running for the #1 spot. Cartwheel is made exclusively for Target shoppers and it works just like a mobile coupon! All you do is add offers to your bar code and then have your cashier scan it at checkout. All offers are given as percent-off savings and are taken off after Target store coupons but before Manufacturer coupons. You can read more about the Cartwheel here: Couponing at Target
How it works: There’s a reason why Ibotta is the king of all money-saving apps: it’s just amazing all around! Out of all the rebate apps that I use, Ibotta is by far the most diverse in the products it offers! Not only that, but the amount of redeemable offers exceeds that of all the others as well.
One really cool part about this app are the monthly Teamwork bonuses, where you link up with your Facebook friends and earn additional cash by completing different levels. For example, the December Teamwork bonus one year gave the potential of earning an extra $30.00 on top of any rebates you already redeemed. There were three levels and after you reached $10.00 for level 1, $10.00 extra would be added to your account. So, if you redeemed $30.00 in rebates, an additional $30.00 would be added on top of that. Pretty cool, right? Ibotta also offers various bonuses for buying certain items together.
My first experience with Ibotta is actually one of my favorite trips that I have ever done in my two years of couponing. The app had just launched, I had been couponing maybe two months, and to be honest, it seemed like just a big fat scam to me. Yeah right, they’re going to give me money for shopping?! Well… YES! I suppose because it was a brand new app, there were a ton of bonuses and rebates and I saw this deal on one of the coupon sites I go to and decided to give it a whirl.
In total, all of the items pictured came to about $48.00 with tax. Now, at the time we were living on only one income and trying to save up as much as we could for our sweet Hadley’s arrival, so relying on a cell phone app (that may or may not be a total scam) to give me money back was just a little nerve-racking. But, I made the purchase, scanned all the bar codes and submitted my receipt. And then I waited.
After two days of waiting (not so) patiently, I opened the Ibotta app for the millionth time to find that my receipt had been processed and $52.25 had been added to my account! My heart instantly dropped to my stomach. I immediately transferred the cash into my PayPal and it was in my bank account within just a few days. Not bad for my first-ever big trip!
And there you have it! If you’re ready to start stretching your dollar just a little more, be sure to give these a try! 🙂 What are your favorite apps?Post may contain affiliate links. Read full disclosure here.