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We all have to spend, so why not save where we can? Here are 5 apps you can use to save money with immediate discounts or great rebates and cash back! I use all of these and absolutely love each one.
This is a great feature found within the Walmart app. Inside the app, select Services and then Savings Catcher. This will let you upload your Walmart receipt by scanning its QR code, or by typing in the TC# and date found on the receipt. (Don’t worry, the app is super simple and has a diagram showing exactly where to find this info.)
Once you submit the info, the app will compare the prices with Walmart’s competitors and gives you back the difference directly to an egift card. This is awesome because you can turn around and use the gift card to help pay for your everyday groceries. Or something I love to do is let the savings balance build up on my egift card over time and use it to help buy things for special occasions. (Think Christmas, birthdays, baby showers…) Or you could use it to buy a special treat that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. All fun options!
I’ve been using Savings Catcher for around a year and a half now, and I have a current balance of $9.50 on my egift card. And my lifetime rewards earned is $86.33! And that’s just from weekly grocery/household shopping, no huge items. That’s money I would never have known I was missing without this app. Love it.
Okay now on to Target. Oh Target, how you call to me with that mesmerizing Target eye of yours. Thank goodness for their Cartwheel! Cartwheel is a feature within the Target app that lets you choose from available savings offers and pool them all together to be scanned with one barcode at the checkout.
This is perfect for using while you’re writing up your grocery list. Just run each item through the search on Cartwheel and see if there’s an offer available. You can also load these savings to your Cartwheel through their website for convenience, and the barcode will show up in the Target app on your phone preloaded with the savings offers you selected.
I’ve saved a lot with Cartwheel in the past, but I haven’t been shopping at Target as much lately in favor of Walmart (I love that Savings Catcher). But I’m thinking of trying out this method again now that I have a Target REDcard. You get 5% off each transaction with that little gem, so I’m thinking using Cartwheel with that will really increase the savings. Also, these savings don’t build up over time; they’re applied right at the time of purchase for an instant discount. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Bonus tip: There are coupons available within the Target app too, so don’t miss those!
Ebates is another app/website that offers cash back on online purchases. They offer some in-store cash back as well, but most of the better deals seem to be for purchases made online. Also, you can earn more rewards when you refer your friends.
The cash back is usually offered in percentages, and the amounts may be different for different shopping categories. Like right now they have 10% cash back on clothes at Walmart, but only 1% on their electronics.
We have two accounts on Ebates, one for my husband and one for me. The lifetime cash back on his account is $32.45, and my lifetime cash back is $10.65. That’s close to $45 in checks mailed to us, thank you Ebates! Sometimes they even have rebates for stores like Walmart that let you order online and pick up in store to avoid shipping costs. Win-win!
This is another rebates app that I’ve fallen in love with. You use the app to find cash back offers on stuff you’ve already bought then take a photo of your receipt after shopping. They have LOTS of cash back offers for name brands as well as “any brand” on some purchases, and even fresh produce offers at times.
I want to say the average on general grocery and household items is about 25 cents to 50 cents cash back. But there are times when I’m able to get $1 to $2 off something though. HIGHLY recommend this app, and they have offers from lots of stores. When you have enough to cash out, you can have your balance deposited to your PayPal or Venmo account, or redeem for a variety of awesome gift cards.
My lifetime earnings so far: $34.12. And I only started using Ibotta about 6 months ago. Look at that, all these savings are adding up, now!
5. Checkout 51
Checkout 51 is similar to Ibotta and is an amazing way to get cash back. I feel like the average rebate on general items is around $1 or so, but the brand selection seems a bit more limited to me. Still, I love this app. I feel like I might not be able to collect on as many rebate offers, but when I do, they’re for a larger amount.
I’ve only been using this app for about 6 months also, and I’m only 85 cents away from being able to request my $20 cash-out check. Exciting!
Important note: For apps like Ebates, Ibotta, and Checkout 51, you usually have to reach a certain amount of cash back before you can redeem your savings–most of the time it’s around $20.
More sweet deals: Some of these apps offer sign-up bonuses which are super nice to get. I got $10 bonuses for signing up for both Ebates and Ibotta! Some of them also offer bonuses for friends that sign up through the referral links you can send via text or email to invite them to join.
I also use Shopkick, but they’ve recently stopped granting kicks for scanned receipts from Walmart without the purchase of a very few, select items. For that reason it’s not very practical to me. Plus, to get walk-in kicks, you have to have your Bluetooth turned on, and I don’t like to leave mine on because it drains my phone battery. And I can’t ever remember to turn it on so it’s not worth it to me, but lots of people love it, so definitely worth giving a try. (In 6 months I have 892 kicks, and 6,250 are needed to redeem a $25 gift card.)
FetchRewards is a new find for me. It’s basically one snap of your receipt and you earn points for the amount spent. However, it takes a TON of points to get even the smallest gift card. (3,000 points = $3.) I’m giving this a try just because it is SUPER fast and easy to do, so maybe it will be a nice surprise later on when I can redeem them for a decent amount. I have 1,559 points so far after 6 months.
Another app I have NOT tried yet is Groupon. I want to try this bad boy out, but it doesn’t seem to have too many offers for general, everyday groceries. Or if they do, they’re in kind of large quantities. Maybe a good value, but not the best plan for someone like me who is on a tight budget.
All the savings
Spending is part of life, I mean, we gotta get those groceries and household goods, but the instant savings and rebate opportunities out there can make a huge difference. Using these 5 shopping apps has saved me over $200! It adds up slowly but surely, and it’s definitely worth the little bit of extra time it takes to cash in on these babies.
Which savings apps are your favorites and how much have you saved? What’s your experience with Groupon?
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