Save Money with Apps on Your Smart Phone

Ways I save money using apps

You have a smart phone, don’t you? We pretty much all have smart phones so why not use them to our advantage and save money using apps? There are many ways you can save money using apps, and while I have not tested them all, I’d like to share the ones that I currently use. I know they work. Using apps to save money isn’t a “get rich quick scheme,” but it is an easy way to get a little somethin’ somethin’ back after you’ve gone to the store.

Let’s start with my favorite money saving app and work our way down. I’m going to share my top 3 money saving apps, and I’ll end with two apps that I USED to use. Due to inactivity, they took my rewards. I understand there are rules, and if you’re inactive, they cancel you. But, I earned those rewards. I should have at least been compensated for what I worked for at the time they deactivated my accounts. But, we’ll get to that later.

If you put even a little effort into using these apps, you’ll save. However, if you put in a lot of effort, you can really make some extra money.

ibotta

I have been with ibotta since the beginning, and while I could have made a ton more, I think I’ve done pretty good. First off, when you sign up for ibotta, make sure to use my link or my referral code which is 4dsuq. You’ll join my team, and you’ll either get $5 or $10 after redeeming your first ibotta rebate. I can’t find a solid answer right now on whether they’re doing the $5 sign-up bonus or $10. Either way, sign up, and you’ll get something.

Redeeming the rebates is EASY. You can search by store. What I do is search by whichever store I’m at (usually Kroger), and I go through the offers to see what I’m interested in purchasing. Side note, if you use coupons, you can STILL redeem ibotta rebates. ibotta doesn’t care if you use coupons. So, you may have a $4 off Children’s Zyrtec coupon, and there’s a $4 ibotta rebate. That’s like saving $8 on some children’s Zyrtec. I have recently done that deal.

ibotta

Go through the offers and add the ones you’re interested in. After you get out of the store, go ahead and redeem your redeem your rebates. That’s what I do so I don’t forget. While I’m loading into my car, I’ll go ahead and scan the items I purchased using the ibotta app, then snap a pic of my receipt and submit. You’ll have your money credited to your ibotta account within a few days.

You can also use ibotta when shopping online. I have used it shopping with QVC, HSN, Lane Bryant, Amazon and more! ibotta also offers bonuses. There’s a monthly team bonus, and you’ll all receive the bonus if your team redeems a certain amount of money for the month. There are random seasonal bonuses where ibotta may give you $5 for redeeming 5 rebates. There are product bonuses. For example, there may be a bonus for a certain brand. If you redeem both of the available rebates for that brand, you’ll get an extra $1. The bonuses are nice, and they do add up. There are ALWAYS generous bonuses around Christmas. Just FYI. Tis the Season.

I currently have $88.24 in my ibotta account. My lifetime earnings are $392.69. Not great, but not too shabby!!  You can request a payout when you reach $20 in your account. They transfer to your PayPal. If you don’t do any others or you want to start with using just one app, I personally recommend this one.

Checkout 51

This app shows a lot of promise, but it just never took off the way ibotta did. I have made enough to get a few payouts from Checkout 51. You have to have $20 in your account before you can request payment. Before you head to the store, see what offers Checkout 51 has. They do have several bonuses as well, and they have store bonuses. I notice they have a lot of WalMart bonuses. I don’t shop at WalMart, but for those of you who do, that will come in handy.

Checkout 51

Once your account reaches $20, you can request payment. Checkout 51 does have a limit to how many redemptions can be made per offer. That means if you see a deal you like, you want to use it quickly. Once enough people have redeemed the deal, Checkout 51 will disable it.

Receipt Hog

Receipt Hog’s motto should be “slow and steady wins the race.” I’ve been a member for like 5 years, and I’m up to $10. However, I’m not as dedicated as I could be. With Receipt Hog, you scan all of your receipts. You can scan grocery receipts, store receipts, gas station receipts, restaurant receipts. ANY receipt. You will receive “coins” that can be redeemed for rewards when you upload a receipt. They offer weekly bonuses so when you upload so many receipts per week, you receive the bonus. They also have a ways to earn “spins” on their slot machine where you have a chance to win more coins.

receipt hog

I don’t have a link for them. You’ll have to find them in the PlayStore or wherever iPhone people get their apps. They don’t have referral rewards. While this app is super slow, I still enjoy it because it makes me feel like I’m doing something with my receipts. Even if I don’t get anything back right now, I know I eventually will. Never give up!

Just look at my sad little hog in the image above. I’ve got to do better!!

Apps I’m no longer using

There are two apps that I used a lot back in the day. For the last year or two, I’ve had a phone that doesn’t have much space. I recently purchased a new phone so I’m getting my apps back. There are two apps that I re-downloaded and signed back into just to find that my earnings are GONE! I understand that when you’re inactive for awhile, your account is deactivated. That’s fine. However, I worked for those earnings. The company received compensation for me completing those offers to earn those rewards so I do think it’s unfair when a company takes away what you have earned.

SavingStar

I had $7 in my SavingStar account. They don’t let you redeem unless you have $20 so it just sat dormant. They took my money after either 3 or 6 months, I can’t remember which one. Rather than just PayPal me my $7, they depleted my account. That $7 went somewhere! I did email them to tell them I thought that was pretty crappy. After talking about it on my blog’s FB page, this has happened to other people as well, and they had more money than $7. Some of them had over $20, but I guess because they didn’t request to redeem it, SavingStar took it. The company did write me back and said they reinstated my $7 into my account, but I’m over it now. I’m not even interested in doing business with them anymore.

ShopKick

ShopKick is an app where you earn “kicks” for purchased at certain locations. I earned kicks at Target, BestBuy and CVS. My girls used to take my phone when I’d be shopping and go around the store looking for specific items to scan and earn more kicks. There are stores you just walk in, and you get kicks. I was kicking it up. I had over 12,000 kicks in my account.

Imagine my surprise when I signed in a few minutes ago to see my kick balance down to 0. I started looking, and they take your kicks when you’re inactive for 6 months. Super uncool because I put in some serious work to earn over 12,000 kicks and have them just vanish. 12,000 kicks is equal to a $50 reward!!! So, that really irritates me. I have emailed them, but I have yet to hear back.

So while those two apps are available, exercise caution. Don’t go inactive because they will take whatever you’ve earned.

What apps are you using? Let us know in the comments!

***UPDATE: Shopkick reinstated my kicks. YAY! They said they would do it just once. So keep that in mind if you sign up for ShopKick. I’m still building up my kicks to redeem for a Coach purse lol. It might take me 10 years, but it’s all good!

 

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About the author : Loreina

Mom. Blogger. Virtual Assistant. Business Owner. Pretty much in that order. When I'm not saving the day, I'm sleeping. It's not an easy life, but someone's gotta do it!

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