Saturday, October 15, 2016

Update on the Three Apps to Help Save Money Through Shopping

On September 26, 2016 I wrote a post entitled Three Apps to Help Save Money Through Shopping on my using three apps to help save money. Today I wanted to update my progress so far.

The three apps that I'm using are Checkout 51, Receipt Hog and iBotta. The premise is simple, buy the things you need and get paid back by using rebates and uploading receipts. Here is where I stand with the three apps.

Receipt Hog

This app is the simplest one to use. It doesn't require any particular purchases or purchases at any specific retailers. All you do is scan your receipts and get coins in return. Once you reach 1000 coins, then you can cash out for either $5.00 to your Paypal account or in the form of an Amazon gift card.

As you can see from the picture to the right, I am at 615 coins, which is almost 2/3rds of the way to my first $5.00 cash out. In using the app, I have discovered that there are a few limitations to the app.

First, you can only accrue 100 coins through receipts based on their points scale per rolling week. After you reach 100 coins, all receipts regardless of the amount spent will be worth 5 coins.

Secondly, you can only upload 20 coin earning receipts during a rolling week period. After that you'll get a Coin Receipt Threshold notice and have to wait for the amount of receipts you have scanned to pass the seven day mark.

Thirdly, you can only upload up to three receipts from the same retailer on the same transaction date. So if you visit Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks more than three times a day, only your first three receipts will be authorized, so I would recommend that you be selective on which receipts you upload.

You can also earn coins by taking surveys and earning spins on the slot machine. You can earn spins by hitting weekly goals and by uploading receipts from retailers such as Best Buy, Home Depot and Barnes and Noble.

Checkout 51

This app works by buying specific products regardless of the retailer and once accepted, you get credit for the item. Each item has its own rebate amount and once you reach the $20.00 mark, you can cash out in the form of a check.

As you can see from the image to the right, I have earned a total of $23.60 in rebates since first using the app. I want to wait until this week's worth of rebates ends on Wednesday October 19th before cashing out. Gotta maximize that cash out. Right?


This app is the most complex of the three to use. The app requires you to purchase items for rebates at specific retailers. Though many rebates can be redeemed by purchasing at multiple retailers, if you purchase an item at a non recognized retailer, then you can't get credit for your purchases. This app requires that you be very careful of what you buy and where you buy it. But the good thing is that this app starts you off with a $10.00 credit after your first upload and you can accrue money relatively quickly.

This is especially seen if you link your Facebook account to the app. Any of your Facebook friends that use the app will become part of your team. When they redeem rebates, you can reach "team goals" which in turn helps you earn more money.

So as you can see, I have earned $19.75 worth of rebates and once I reach $20.00, I can cash out to my Paypal account or choose to cash out in the form of a retail gift card. Some require you to cash out at $25.00. With Christmas around the corner, cashing out to a retail gift card would help with gift shopping.

So that's all for now. I'll come back to the apps in about a month or so for another update. If you haven't downloaded the apps, I suggest you do so. Give it a shot.

Until next time,

Monday, September 26, 2016

Three Apps to Help Save Money Through Shopping

I really must apologize to everyone reading this page. I really didn't realize that I hadn't updated this page in almost a year and a half. That is really unacceptable. So starting with this post, I hope to rectify that by highlighting three apps that I have starting using in order to save some money WHILE shopping. Ok, I know, that sounds like a contradiction. But if the apps are true to their meaning, money can be made by just shopping. So let's not wait any further and dive head first into these money saving apps.

Checkout 51
While checking out this weekend's coupons and circulars, I came across an ad for an app called Checkout51. This Apple and Android app is pretty simple to use. The app has a number of items that you can earn cash back with every week from Thursdays to Wednesdays. All you have to do is to purchase those items at any location that will issue you a printed receipt. Then using the app, you take a picture of the receipt, upload it and in the app you highlight the item(s) listed on the receipt that are eligible for the rebate. Then once the receipt is approved by Checkout51, your credit is placed in your in-app account. So how does it turn to cash.

Once you reach $20 dollars or more worth of credit, then you can chose to "cash it out" and it will be mailed to you in the form of a check. That's it. Keep in mind that some items have restrictions as to where you can purchase an item to get credit for it. You can shop at the small local mom and pop shop, to chain stores like Walmart and Kroeger's to the big box wholesale club stores like Costco's and BJ's. The key is to get a printed receipt that clearly states the items you purchased.

So far, I've been able to accrue $4.90 since yesterday. We'll see how the rebate deals are in the near future, but for someone who has two hungry teenagers, any ways to save money helps. While talking to my sister about this app, she turned my on to the next two apps.

Receipt Hog
Receipt hog, which is also supported on Apple and Android is also very easy to use. This is how it works. You can scan up to 20 receipts in a rolling 7-day period and depending on how much the receipts are for, you can get coins, sweepstakes entries and slot machine spins. The location of the receipt that you scan determines the rewards you get. And there really is not limit as to what businesses you can scan receipts from. From supermarkets, stores, retail shops, gas station, bars and restaurants, you can upload receipts to earn points. Receipts cannot be more than two weeks old and have to be printed from a register, not hand written. You can also earn coins by linking accounts and filling out surveys through the app.

When you reach 1,000 coins, you can cash out to either a Paypal account or your Amazon account.

So far I've earned 303 coins since yesterday. And since you can scan in receipts from anyone in your household, you have virtual limitless receipts to chose from.

The iBotta app is one that is a bit more convoluted to use. While you can choose from many different retailers, you are only limited to the items they list as being part of the rebates. Most have multiple items that need to be purchased in order to qualify for said rebate. And once you unlock a rebate, depending on the item, it is eligible to be redeemed across multiple retailers. Some rebates are generic so all you have to do is buy the item regardless of the brand, which broadens the amount of savings. You can also link it to apps like Groupon, Best Buy and other retailers Now, the good thing about the app is that upon your first rebate and receipt upload, you earn a $10 dollar bonus.

As with the other two apps once you reach the minimum you can cash out. Where this app differs from the others is that there is a wide array of gift cards that you can cash your money out to in addition to Paypal and Venmo.

What do I think about these apps. Like I said earlier, if they are true to their words, then I think all three have the potential to earn some cash by just being diligent. My sister said she fell off in keeping track of her receipts with the Receipt Hog app so she hasn't been able to cash out a reward. For families this is definitely a godsend. You just have to look at the lists, see what you need and upload your receipts. AND you can still clip and use your coupons as long as the items you buy meet the parameters of the rebates on the apps.

You are only limited by your resilience and imagination. I promise to update where I stand with these apps in a few weeks.

Until next time,