Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve encountered apps. They can be games you play on your phone or maybe your bank has it’s own app or you use a weather app to avoid a Dorothy moment during a big storm. Either way, you’ve used an app or seen an app. What you may not know, however, is that there are apps that can save you money or even make you money and that, my friend, is app-solutely fabulous.
Behold, my top five money saving, or money making, apps:
I can not say enough good things about Target’s Cartwheel app. Using the app, you add offers to your cartwheel which then save you money on the items you’re buying in Target. Your cartwheel app then creates a barcode within the app that gets scanned at the register in the store and the savings come off. It’s pretty amazing. You can find out more about it in my previous “How to Save Money at Target” post.
Ibotta is kind of like an extra coupon on top of your manufacturer and store coupons. Using the app, you perform tasks on offers. The task can be anything from watching a super short video to sharing an item on Facebook. Each task then unlocks a coupon you can use on that item. So let’s say there’s an offer in the app for Heinz ketchup at Target. If I watch a short commercial video about Heinz and also post about in on Facebook I’ll unlock $1.00. I complete my tasks and purchase the product at Target. I then come home, open my Ibotta app, scan the barcode on the ketchup bottle and take a photo of my receipt. Ibotta will then add the $1 to my account. Once I have enough money in my account, I can cash out to my Paypal account. I just earned extra money on the item I was already buying. Plus, Ibotta sometimes offers bonuses in which if you buy a certain item or certain combination of items, you can get extra money added to your account. You definitely want to check this one out. It’s available in the App Store via iPhone or the Play Store for Android.
Checkout 51 works very similar to Ibotta, but usually has different offers. Plus, while the Ibotta offers are valid for up to several weeks, Checkout 51 offers end Wednesdays at midnight with all new offers released Thursdays. Plus, they usually have deals on fresh produce whereas Ibotta doesn’t. Also, with Checkout 51, you don’t have to scan the barcode on the back of the item. You just submit a photo of your receipt which saves you a step and makes things a little easier. Like Ibotta, your money goes into your in-app account until you hit a certain threshold when you can withdraw it. Also like Ibotta, Checkout 51 can be used with manufacturer and store coupons.
Shopmium operates much like Ibotta and Checkout 51 in that you purchase a product and then submit proof of that purchase to earn cash back. The money goes into your in-app account and can be withdrawn once you meet the required threshold. Like Ibotta, you have to scan the barcode on the object and also take a picture of the receipt to get your money. Funds can be distributed to your bank account or via Paypal.
SavingStar is very similar to the other apps, but with a twist. You add offers to your account in the app and then, like the other apps mentioned in this post, you purchase those products to earn the savings. The twist is that for some stores, you can add your savings card information (think Wegmans, Food Lion, etc.) so that the app automatically tracks your purchase eliminating the need to submit a photo of your receipt. For other stores, you’ll still need to go the traditional route and submit the photo. Also nice about SavingStar is that new offers are added frequently, plus they offer a different item free every Friday. You can add that offer in your app, make the purchase and then get reimbursed for the full amount. Plus, they have a healthy offer each week. As an example, this week’s healthy offer is tomatoes. Buy a tomato and receive 20 percent cash back on your purchase.
Perhaps the best thing about all of these apps is that you can use them on top of your in-store savings via sales and clearance prices, plus combine them with manufacturer and store coupons. Every little bit helps!