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,

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