Finance

Best Money-Saving Apps

Best Money-Saving Apps

I used to coupon. I’d scour the grocery ads, cut out way more of them than I would ever use, and make a detailed grocery list for several different stores. I thought I was going to save SO much money!!

But what actually happened was that I frequently forgot to take the coupons with me. Or I got distracted and rushed at checkout and forgot to give the coupons to the cashier. Or I missed some small detail and ended up unable to use the coupon because I didn’t have exactly the right item.

So I gave up. It just wasn’t worth it.

Cue enthusiastic infomercial voice, “There has to be a better way!” Well there is!! Haha. Seriously though.

I’ve tried a bunch of money-saving apps and rounded up a list of my favorites. They are quick, easy, painless, and effective.

1. Ibotta

This is my favorite app of all time! It is super easy to use and has rebates on items I already buy on a regular basis. All you have to do is select the items you purchased and take a picture of your receipt. Ibotta will verify your purchase and credit the rebates to you. As soon as you reach a $20 minimum (which has never taken me more than a few weeks), you can cash out via PayPal or Venmo. You can also redeem for gift cards.

Ibotta has rebates on grocery items, beauty products, cleaning supplies, and more. They even have “any item” and “any brand” rebates. For example, any brand gallon of milk, loaf of bread, or any one item. They also work with several grocery stores and lots of non-grocery retailers, including Kohl’s, Joann’s, Lowes, the Gap, and Dollar Tree, plus restaurant and travel savings.

Plus, right now if you sign up here through my referral link, and redeem a rebate (excluding “any brand” items) within 7 days, you’ll also get a $10 sign-up bonus. Then you can refer your friends, they’ll get $10 and you’ll get $5!!

2. Coupons.com

My second favorite app is Coupons.com. You may already be familiar with their website, where you can print off coupons from a huge selection of items. The app is similar, except you don’t have to print the coupons ahead of time, take them with you, or remember them at checkout.

I've tried a bunch of money-saving apps and rounded up a list. Quick, easy and effective. Click To Tweet

Like Ibotta, you simply select items and take a picture of your receipt. They will verify your purchase and credit your account. And you don’t have to reach a minimum amount before you cash out. You can link your account (I use PayPal) and it will immediately send you the amount after the item has been verified. 

You can also find and save printable coupons from the app for even more savings, and as long as it doesn’t specify not to combine with other offers, you can use the coupons right along with the ibotta rebates to save even more.

3. Wal-Mart Savings Catcher and Grocery Pick Up

I love Wal-Mart. I know some people think it’s not the place where the cool kids shop, haha,  but seriously they have the best price and selection on the grocery items I buy. Target is great for other things (home decor mostly), but with four kids there is no way I’m paying Target’s milk prices.

The Savings Catcher app will do all of the price-matching work for you. Take a picture of your receipt and the app will do all of the hunting and comparing. If any other store in your area has a lower price on any of the items you purchased, they’ll credit it back to you. You can cash in anytime for Wal-Mart gift cards, sent electronically through your email. What could be easier?

Well, maybe one thing. How about never setting foot in the store in the first place? Did you know Wal-Mart has a grocery pick up option? Order your groceries through the app, choose a time slot, and they’ll be ready when you arrive. You don’t even have to get out of the car. Major time-saver.

They also have a referral program so you can easily get free groceries.  When you sign up through my referral link, you’ll get $10 off your first purchase and I’ll also get a bonus! Then, you can refer your friends for even more free groceries for both of you.

easy ways to save and earn cash

There are only two things I don’t love about the grocery pickup. One is that someone else is picking out my produce. If there is a specific item that you like a certain way, you may want to go in and get it yourself. 

The other is that they don’t give you a receipt with your groceries, so I haven’t found a way to use Savings Catcher or ibotta with this option. 

 But sometimes the trade off for letting the toddler nap longer, or not dragging kids through the store is totally worth it! Not to mention the time saved.

4. Swagbucks

Swagbucks is great because it’s an app with a lot of options. You complete tasks and are rewarded with points, referred to as swagbucks. Once you accumulate a certain number of swagbucks, you cash in for gift cards to great places, like Amazon and Target, or send the cash directly to paypal.

You earn by watching videos, taking surveys, answering the daily poll, entering swagcodes (bonus codes usually found on facebook), and by using Swagbucks as a search engine. You won’t get swagbucks with every search, but you’ll be randomly rewarded with various amounts.

Also, if you do your online shopping through them, you’ll earn lots of swagbucks with your purchase. And if you choose to print coupons from coupons.com, go to the coupons.com website via Swagbucks. You’ll get bucks for every coupon printed and more for every coupon redeemed.

This one is lower on my list because it requires a bit of time and effort, which I don’t always want to commit to. But the good news is you can really get out what you put into it, so if you are actively using the app, you’ll build up your swagbucks quickly. A lot of people use it to pay for Christmas for their families, so the earning potential is definitely there.

You can also sign up through my link, and once you reach 300 swagbucks, we’ll both get $3. Then if you refer your friends, in addition to the $3 bonus for both of you, you’ll earn 10% of everything they earn. For example, if they earn 500 swagbucks, you’ll earn 50, without doing anything.

 

5. Checkout 51

If I’m being completely honest, I like this one the least. The selection of items is often not what I plan on purchasing. However, I still like it better than a lot of other apps I’ve tried. Here’s why.

The more produce items you purchase, the more produce rebates you can unlock.

Often the items I find will correlate with ibotta and/or coupons.com for even more savings.

It is super easy and similar to use as Ibotta and Coupons.com. Check off items, take picture, get cash back. So if I’m going to be scanning in my receipts anyway, then I might as well use them here too. It may be adding up more slowly, but for practically no extra effort, it is still adding up.

Happy Saving!

 

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