9 best shopping apps to save money
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.
Everyday purchases are the ones that add up and blow your budget. Items like food, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and soap can end up costing you the most.
Many thrifty shoppers have turned to shopping apps to save money and help them stick to their monthly budget.
There are so many smartphone apps out there that can help boost your savings, it can be difficult to sift through them all to find the ones that will make the biggest difference and are the easiest to use.
We polled our experts to identify the best shopping apps to save money on your daily expenses.
All money saving apps listed are free and can be downloaded on Android and Apple phones.
Ibotta is loaded with discounts for shopping at almost 150 major retailers, mostly where you earn cash that you can withdraw once you hit $20. You can either deposit the money into your PayPal account or redeem the money for gift cards.
I always take the money, deposit it in my PayPal account, then transfer it to my bank. Then I withdraw the cash amount and put it in our grocery envelope to increase our grocery fund for the month.
To unlock discounts on this money-saving shopping app, search for the store you plan to buy from to see what discounts they currently have, then tap the plus sign next to any product to add it automatically to your list. Once you have purchased the item, take a photo of the receipt and upload it to Ibotta. Fact!
The Ibotta shopping app also works with loyalty cards and does not require the above steps after purchase if you link your cards to your Ibotta account. Rebates are deposited into your account within 48 hours, but I received some almost immediately. You can also take photos of your receipts and earn money on qualifying purchases.
As a bonus, you can earn money for each friend you invite and access monthly teamwork bonuses for your team members. I put my dad on this app and we compare notes on our savings every week. This shopping app really saves you money!
2. Target circle
Target is one of those places where I walk in with a specific list of things to buy and ALWAYS walk away with more than I expected. But it helps that they still have things on sale and clearance, as well as this great app called Circle.
This money-saving app gives you access to Target Circle deals and lets you scan barcodes to add deals while you shop. You will also be able to take advantage of additional offers and easily see their weekly advertising offers. The app also offers other time-savers, like the ability to see what items are in stock and the ability to order with drive-up or order pickup.
Often I just use the app in the store rather than ahead of time because I find it saves time to do it that way. I really like the functionality of this app the best.
Walgreens is my favorite pharmacy app. Not only is it easy to use, but I usually get some of the best deals with this shopping app.
The home screen layout is easy to navigate; I usually start with the “Weekly Ads and Coupons” section. When I find products I like, I immediately hit the “Clip to Card” button. This adds it to my rewards card for me to use the next time I’m in the store.
If I’m looking for specific products, I’ll use the “Shop Products” part of the app to see if they have it and the prices.
Using this app, I was able to get Cottonelle toilet paper for $4, Seventh Generation dishwashing detergent for $0.99, and Puffs facial tissue for $0.75, to name a few. This app allows me to collect reward points which turn into money.
So when I combine the cash rewards, the coupons I clipped into the app, and the Ibotta discounts, that’s really when my savings explode!
This app contains Kroger’s weekly flyers, as well as digital coupons. But the best part is the free products. That’s right, I said FREE! Kroger offers a Free Friday on select Fridays each month, which means they offer a digital coupon for a free item.
Each coupon lasts two weeks. You can also use the app to clip other coupons to add to your customer’s card.
The best part for me is that my dad and I buy from both stores and redeem free items, if we know we won’t use them, but the other will. Sometimes I go to my store just for these free items and get nothing else.
A new feature of the Kroger app is that you can now buy items from Bed, Bath & Beyond and Buy Buy Baby and get free shipping as well as fuel points.
5. Receiving Pig
This shopping app is one of my new loves. Receipt Hog doesn’t care what store you shop at. He just wants you to take a picture of your receipts and rate your visit. There are different levels of rewards for big box stores, gas stations, specialty stores, grocery stores, etc. You will also be able to take surveys to earn extra coins.
You can take a photo of any receipt within two weeks, and it will be credited to your account. Once you reach 1,000 coins, you can redeem them for a $5 gift card or get the amount deposited into your PayPal account. If you hit 2,900 coins, that turns into $15. 4,300 coins turn into $25 and 6,500 coins turn into $40.
6. Collect Rewards
The Fetch Rewards app works almost the same as Receipt Hog, except it’s even simpler. You earn points by taking photos of your receipts. Simple! Each receipt will earn you a minimum of 25 points, and eligible items listed on the app will earn you more.
Once you have enough points, you can redeem them for a gift card. They have dozens of retailers to choose from – even Visa gift cards are available. The number of points needed to redeem for a gift card varies slightly, but in general you’ll want the number of points to equal the dollar amount. So 5,000 points for a $5 gift card and so on.
Formerly known as Ebates, Rakuten is a staple in the cashback industry. The app offers cash back on over 2,000 of the world’s top retailers and lets you choose whether you receive your money by check or via PayPal.
You can even get cash back for Lyft rides! The Rakuten app also offers in-store coupons, app-exclusive cash back opportunities, and 5% cash back on thousands of restaurants.
8. Swag Bucks
Swagbucks gives you points for taking surveys, watching videos, shopping online and more. You can redeem your points for gift cards from over 100 retailers, including Walmart, Amazon, Target, PayPal and more.
Swagbucks is a free app. It is probably one of the best-known rewards apps and has awarded almost $600 million to members. (Avid users call themselves “swaggers.”) Some people save the points and gift cards they earn from Swagbucks to use for holiday shopping.
Shopkick is a fun app that rewards you with points that can be redeemed for gift cards at your favorite stores. Shopkick rewards you for entering stores and scanning items and purchases.
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