When it comes to saving money on groceries and household products, I do recommend using coupons to cut back on your bills. But, coupons aren’t for everyone. They can be cumbersome to haul around and can often be left at home instead of with you when you need them. Thankfully a new era has begun of Apps via smartphones that have the capability of virtual coupon clipping and on top of that, offering you money back on some purchases. Some are as simple as scrolling through offers and “clipping” coupon savings and then typing in a phone number at checkout while others require you to scan UPC codes of products purchased along with a scan of your receipt. While it can take a little extra time, the savings can add up very quickly. I often tell people to think of it this way—if someone offered you a simple task to do that would earn you say $20 for an hour’s work, would you turn them down? Always think of savings in an hourly wage as it will make the time a bit more justified.
So these are a few of my favorite money-saving Apps that I’ve found so far:
Ibotta – They have listings of stores and special offers for each store that you can opt to receive. Sometimes you may have to read a short sentence about a product or watch a 15 second video but it’s super fast to clip the offers overall. Once you have the offers clipped, you need to purchase them and then scan the product UPCs and receipt. Some stores automatically send receipts and it makes it so much easier when you find those places. When you reach a certain threshold, you can “cash out” for a payment or gift card, etc. I often turn mine in for a Walmart or Amazon gift card and save them for during the holidays when I can maximize my savings further. Just using this app here and there, I saved about $200 last year. I’ve been using them a lot more lately and will probably double that figure this year. I was excited when I saw that they also had options for retail stores and even theaters, too. We earned $.50 just for watching the new Star Wars movie!! My favorite thing about Ibotta is that they offer several produce savings each week and randomly offer savings on things like bread and milk, as well. By far, Ibotta is one of my favorite Apps to use. I highly recommend them for additional savings!
Saving Star – It works very much like Ibotta with the virtual clipping of offers and redemption. Each week on Tuesday they have a “Healthy Offer” with savings on a produce item. Randomly, often on Fridays, they’ll offer a 100% cash back on an item. They also have it set up where some stores, such as Jewel, automatically send their receipts so you don’t have to do anything except to key in your number at checkout on the credit card machine. They often will have offers for $5 off $20 of a certain item. What’s nice is that you can usually accumulate the purchases rather than buying them all at once. You need to reach $5 to be able to cash out but it usually adds up quickly. You can get a Paypal Credit, Bank Credit or a gift card option. I like when they have the AMC gift card option as I can treat my kids to a theater outing that way!
Checkout 51 – Very similar to Ibotta and Saving Star. They have a “Pick Your Own” offer each week on produce items. Even if you did nothing but grab those produce offers, you’d earn around $13 a year. You need $20 to cash out but they have been getting better offers lately and it adds up fast. I chose a payout of a check and it arrived very quickly. It was nice to get a paycheck for grocery savings!
Shopkick – Now this App is completely different than the others. You open the App at certain stores and grab “shopkicks” just for simply walking in the door. They will sometimes give you offers for scanning specific items in store. And they will also randomly give offers for purchases in store. You link a credit card to it and then use your card on the purchases. Just the other day I earned a point for each $1 I spent at a store. You need 500 shopkicks for a $2 Target Gift Card. They do have other things you can turn them in for but that one is my favorite to grab. They have several days where you can earn 100 shopkicks just for walking into places like Walmart so you can see how the money can add up. The best place to use it? At the mall! They often have several stores with offers for “walk-ins” and I earned $2 on one mall visit. Who doesn’t like to get paid for shopping?! Always keep your eyes open for those big days where you can earn large amounts for walk-ins and scans! My kids say it’s like a treasure hunt when I tell them we are going to scan offers sometimes. I’ve earned quite a bit through them and wish I had found them sooner!
Receipt Hog – This is an App for scanning all your receipts throughout the week. You’ll earn “coins” for the receipts and sometimes be rewarded spins on the slot machine. I’ve won several coins with my slot machine spins. You need 1,000 coins for a $5 Amazon Gift Card. They do have other forms of payment, as well. I usually scan my receipts at the same time I’m grabbing my Ibotta, Checkout 51 and Saving Star offers so it’s easy money to earn.
The following are other Apps that I’ve found. I don’t use them as much but they are adding up over time:
Mobi Save – They have limited offers but what I love about them is you get instant payment via Paypal, often within 24 hours. You don’t need to wait to reach a certain threshold. If you are new to signing-up, they sometimes will have a waitlist for the program but it’s usually fairly quick so don’t let that stop you!
Shrink – This is a great App if you tend to buy a lot of natural/Organic brand items. They have a $10 threshold for payout. I was surprised to find that some of the items I already buy are listed there. I also like this one as I feel I can try these healthier items and get savings on them overall. If you do sign-up, my referral code is NSJLBO.
Snap – This App is through Groupon. I’ve just recently starting using them so I can’t give a lot of details on their program yet. But I am happy with their produce offers and have grabbed some on onions and apples, etc. and also savings on bread. I love when companies pay you savings on basic needs items!
Store Specific Apps:
If you shop at a larger chain store, take a minute and see if they have an App available. You might find out that you have been missing out on some great clippable savings! Here are a few I’ve found so far:
Meijer mPerks – Don’t even get me started on them! Oh how I love, love Meijer! Ours just opened in July and it’s been like Christmas for me every week. They have the best produce selection in our area for the price. It actually compares to Whole Foods or Trader Joes but with prices similar to Target. Their App is called mPerks and it by far has saved me the most money – especially when paired with savings from Ibotta, etc.! mPerks has clippable coupons – often manufacturer coupons – and they often will give store offers as well. One weekend it was 15% Off purchases! They also have Rewards offers that are fantastic. Some are things like $6 Off $175 purchase that you can earn throughout the month. Others are things like $5 Off $45 produce purchase, $3 Off $30 baby purchase, etc. The offers vary per month and account. The bonus feature I love on their App? Their “Find” button. You can type in a product and it will tell you if they carry it and what aisle it’s at in the store, if they do. No more walking up and down the aisle searching for an item you rarely buy. Kudos to Meijer for an awesome job on their App creation! In order to use their App you set up an account with your mobile number and then clip your offers and then either key in your mobile number and PIN at checkout or have them scan your mPerks on your phone.
Target Cartwheel – Target has also done a great job on their App. You can clip so many offers for extra savings in-store. During the holidays, they usually have a 50% Off a specific toy each day. This last week, I was able to grab their 50% Off spiral ham offer for a very inexpensive meal option. The more you use the App, the more offer spots you’ll unlock. The great thing is, the Cartwheel offers “stack” along with the Target Store Coupons AND Manufacturer Coupons. You can sometimes get triple savings on one item. The way this App works is you “clip” the offers you want and then have the cashier scan the bar code of your Target Cartwheel App at checkout. Easy peasy to use!
Jewel MyMixx – Jewel is a store chain based mostly in Illinois and Indiana. If you do have one by you, make sure you grab the App. They have clippable Manufacturer Coupons and offers through it. Last week I was able to get an Organic Salad Mix completely free using their App. They’ll randomly have free offers that usually have a 2-day window to grab. Keep your eyes open for those. For this App, you just set up your account via phone number and then key that in at checkout on the credit card machine pad under MyMixx.
Walmart Savings Catcher – If you shop at Walmart, you’ll definitely want this App. It’s ridiculously easy to use. All you do is scan the code at the bottom of your receipt. It will then seek out any prices that were lower on items that you purchased and see if a competitor offered a better price. If they find one, they’ll give you the difference back via the App. I use this any time I shop there and I often end up with extra money just with a click click on their App. If only everything in life was that easy!
As you can see, there are several Apps that can save/earn you money throughout the year on your grocery and household purchases. These are just a few that I’ve been using. There are several more out there if you need more. Several grocery store chains that are exclusive to certain areas of the country also have Apps so make sure you check your App store to see if your local store has one. These are such an easy way to earn savings without having to deal with the cumbersome task of carrying coupons with you.
Here are my insider tips on using some of these Apps:
For the Apps such as Ibotta, Checkout 51 and Saving Star, you often have to scan the bar codes of items you purchase. This can feel like a pain when all you want to do is get your groceries put away when you get home. So I do this right away so I don’t forget. Put an * by each item on your grocery list that you need to scan. I usually put a letter of the App afterwards so *I for Ibotta, *C for Checkout51, etc. When I get home, I just check my list for items I ended up purchasing via those Apps and I set them on the counter as I’m unloading the groceries. I then take the two minutes to scan them and my receipt and I’m done. Money earned.
Now when it comes to Shopkick, I often forget to use the App as I’m focused on getting in and out of the store. So I take a minute to see what is offered at the stores I plan on shopping at that day before I go. If I see simple items I can scan, I’ll jot them down on my shopping list followed by *scan after them. I also put “Shopkick” at the top of my list so I remember to open the App and get my walk-in points before I start shopping. It truly helps!
I sure hope this post has helped you learn a bit more about just some of the available Apps that are out there that may help you save and/or earn extra money each week. What are your favorite money-saving Apps that you’ve found that I didn’t list? I’d love to hear what you’ve found, too!