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How to Save Money Using Apps

Save money using apps – smartphones are today’s easiest money savers

Saving money grocery shopping is as easy as turning on your cellphone – literally. Remember when cellphones were only used for making phone calls? Ask a kid, and they’ll you ‘no’. But that’s what they were made for. Some time in the 2000’s, cellphones became more than just a tool for communication, thanks to apps. Today, cellphones are an essential tool in our every day lives.  Just think of how you feel at the thought of losing your cellphone! I lost mine once, and feel panic just remembering all the things I couldn’t do when I couldn’t find it. I replaced it immediately. 

With the invention of mobile apps, the use of cellphones has expanded so much, that today they are no longer just used to make phone calls, or managing  your family calendar. For example, the use of the calculator or the camera in a cellphone has, for some people, replaced the need to have to purchase another electronic device. Besides being a means for communication or taking pictures, your cellphone is also a tool that helps you save money on grocery shopping by using apps. How? The cellphone is a small computer that can be loaded with apps that can have not only your grocery shopping list, but also cashback and grocery apps that cut down your grocery bill expense and save money.  In other words, you save money using just your smartphone.

What apps give you cash back?

There are several apps that you can download and use on your cell that will give you cash back when you buy every day things like groceries, clothes, hotels, car rentals, etc. They don’t all work the same way however. The most popular grocery cash back apps are ibotta, Savingstar, Shopkick, Checkout 51 & Fetch Rewards

How Grocery Apps Work:

Grocery apps are super easy to use. In a nut shell, if you buy something, and there is a rebate for it on the app, simply snap a picture of your receipt and upload it to the app. Once your receipt is approved, you will receive the cash or points indicated on the rebate credited to your account. You can then withdraw the money in your account either through cash, a gift card or gifts, depending on the app. Some apps are even easier to use because you can link to your store rewards program to the app. In this case, you don’t even have to snap a picture.  Savings are automatically added to your account at checkout. Information about this feature is found within each app.

Other cashback websites apps like Mr Rebates, TopCashback, Drop & Rakuten (formerly ebates) give you cash back when you purchase anything online through the store links on their app. These are known as shopping portals. Think of it as a portal to all sorts of online stores like Best Buy, Amazon & more. How do you save money with cashback sites if they don’t directly save groceries? Simple. Cashback websites save money on groceries by shopping at grocery stores like Target, Safeway and others. How cashback apps work: Say you want to buy something at Walgreens. Open Mr. Rebates for example, search for Walgreens, click on the ‘shop‘ link. This will open the Walgreens website. You then shop online as normal, and you get cashback on how much you spent. This process is easy to do and doesn’t take a lot of time. This article explains how it works. Why do this? because its easy money back into your pocket. 

Even department stores, grocery stores, and drugstores like Walgreens and CVS have apps that save money. How?  In addition to getting store ads and making shopping lists on these apps, you can also get manufacturer coupons and additional store coupons that save money at checkout. For example: to save money using the CVS app, all you have to do is ‘tap’ on the coupon corresponding to the item you want to purchase, and you get instant savings at checkout. There is no need to even upload a receipt. For people who don’t have the time to clip and sort coupons, the popular website Coupons.com has an app with e-coupons. Just like with the CVS app, all you do is ‘clip’ the e-coupon on the app corresponding to your purchase. Then, submit your receipt by snapping a picture and cash is deposited to your account, ready to cash out. There are 2 ways you can shop for groceires using Walmart apps. Walmart.com  and Walmart Grocery app. Using the Walmart.com app you can shop for general merchandise like toys, home products, etc. (Within this app was the popular Savings Catcher program, which was unfortunately cancelled in May 2019). Used specifically for grocery shopping is the Walmart Grocery App. This is the app for grocery pick up, in which you ‘shop online – pick up in store‘.  What’s cool about the Walmart grocery app is that you can choose the times you want to pick up your order. Do your grocery shopping during lunch time using the app, and pick up your order on your way home! Awesome time saver. 

Get Cash for Registering 

What all the apps have in common is an ‘incentive’ for new users. Some apps pay you for trying it out, have some type of sign up bonus or a free offer when you register or open a new account. You make money just by downloading the app and registering! 

Signup bonus for new users: 

◾ With ibotta new users get up to $20 

Checkout 51 gives new users $2 after you redeem your first receipt, and the next 3 times you redeem an offer, you’ll $1 each time (total of $5.00)

◾ TopCashback always has a sign up bonus for new members. There are several offers to choose from, which you can see here

◾ Drop gives new users 1000 points (sometimes more if there is a special promo). Equivalent to $1

Swagbucks gives new users $5 Swagbucks or $5.00

Rakuten gives new users $10 

Mr. Rebates gives new users $5.00

Fetch Rewards gives new users 1500 Fetch Rewards. Equivalent to $1.50 They run promos quite often too. 

Shopkick gives new users 250 kicks. 

Walmart Grocery App gives you $10 towards your first online order with a minimum purchase of $50.00 before taxes. 

Receipt Apps

If you feel this is too much work, there are other apps that pay you simply for snapping a picture of your receipt. With these apps, it doesn’t matter what you buy or where you buy, you still earn cash. Receipt Hog, Receipt Pal & Cointout are three such apps, which you can cash out through gift cards or money. There is no limit to the number of receipts you can submit, though some may cap the number of receipts that earn cash back. Thus, the Walmart receipt you submit for other apps also save you money with receipt apps. These include gas station receipts too!

Double your Savings

Quite often, an offer that is available in one app is also available in another app. In addition, if there is a manufacturer coupon for the same product, you can combine offers from all the apps for superb savings. This happens most often with ibotta, Savingstar and Checkout 51. For example, as I write this article, there is a rebate on ibotta for Kelloggs Special K cereal. In the Savingstar app, there is an offer where users earn $5 for purchasing Kelloggs cereals. If you buy Special K cereal, you can submit your receipt in both apps, and get cashback in both apps. 

Another way you can double your savings is with your credit card. Check your wallet! Does your credit card have a rewards program? A lot of them do. I use one that gives me points every time I use it to shop. Since some apps allow you to link a credit card in order to pay for your purchases, using one that has a rewards program means that you will earn with the app as well as with the credit card’s reward program. Chaching! double your savings. 

As you can see, its easy to save money on groceries using apps on your cell. It may require a little bit of footwork, but if the end result is saving you money, then its worth it. There are many more apps that you can load to save money. I listed the ones I personally trust. I’ve used some that suddenly stopped ‘working’ or ‘offering rebates’ and I was unable to withdraw my cash or rewards. If you’d like to add another trustworthy app to the list, please feel free to share so we can all save – leave a comment.  

Happy savings, TaLis


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