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,