- Personal Finance»
- Frugal Living
Ibotta, Shopkick, SnipSnap, and more: saving money through couponing and money-saving apps
There are ways to make money through apps, and there are ways to save. While some stores offer money-saving apps specifically for their flagship brands, there are apps available on the market to help save you money through coupons, deals, and special offers. These coupons and deals can be used all over, and if you use multiple apps and combine with other offers, you can really save some dough.
Shopkick, make and save money
Shopkick is an app that not only allows you to make money, but to save it as well. By visit stores and scanning products, you can earn Shopkicks that you can redeem for gift cards and items.
In addition to this money-making feature, Shopkick also has a selection of offers and coupons that can be redeemed in participating stores such as Target, Walmart, and Best Buy. These deals are ones that are either exclusive to the app or not well-advertized, and you can browse the deals before you go into the store--and earn points for doing so.
Shopkick is available for Android and iOS devices.
The Coupons App, offering a huge database of coupons
The Coupons App is exactly what you'd expect: an app with links to lots and lots of coupons.
The Coupons App offers real-time coupons for local and big-box merchants. Coupons can be shared via text or searched with voice commands. Coupons can be linked up to calendars as well, and with its bar code scanner, The Coupons App allows you to comparison shop from the ease of your phone.
In addition to these features, The Coupons App also shows you local gas prices, helping you to find the cheapest gas in your area.
The Coupons App is available on all devices.
Ibotta, an app with rotating deals for small tasks
Ibotta is an app that offers up deals for a variety of products. You select the deals you want to use, purchase the corresponding product, and snap a picture of the receipt. The Ibotta app credits your PayPal account with money.
The deals rotate on a consistent basis, so if the offers aren't appealing at first, you can wait until the deals refresh. As you use the app, over time, you'll be offered deals and offers that better suit your purchases.
To earn cash back, you select the products you want to view offers for. There are usually three tasks available, including social shares, viewing a fact, watching a video, or taking a small quiz. Each task comprises part of the coupon. Even if you don't want to involve yourself in liking things on Facebook or tweeting about products, you can still earn small amounts of money fairly easily.
In addition to the normal deals, there are also bonus offers for specific stores or offers that you unlock for completing goals such as saving a certain amount of money within a month or completing certain offers during a certain window of time. The Ibotta app rewards consistent use, and depending on the products you buy, the savings can be great.
One similar app that used to be available for download is Endorse, but as of late June 2013, they are no longer offering the service.
Ibotta is currently available for both iOS and Android devices.
Saving Star, a way to save on groceries
Saving Star is an app that links up with grocery store loyalty accounts to help you save further money through eCoupons. You buy groceries as you normally would, taking care to use your loyalty card. The Saving Star app automatically uses the eCoupons and credits your account with the accumulated savings.
By going on the Saving Star website, you can input your ZIP to see which grocery chains are participating in your area. Saving Star is also connected with drugstore chains all over the U.S., including Rite Aid and CVS. As of this writing, current offers include coupons for everything from Greek yogurt to cleaning supplies to foam board.
There is a minimum payout of $5, but once you reach this threshold, you can have the money sent to your PayPal account.
Saving Star can be downloaded from both the App Store and Google Play.
Receipt Hog, rewarding you for photos of your receipts
Currently in a limited-run testing phase, Receipt Hog is an app from a marketing coupon that rewards you for scanning and sending them photos of your grocery store receipts. They use your purchases in their analysis of shopping habits, and as a reward, you get paid for your market research.
Receipt Hog uses coins as a reward, and these coins can be redeemed either for cash or for charitable donations. On the site, Receipt Hog even has information on how to leverage the app for organizing donations for small-scale efforts such as church and school fundraisers.
Receipt Hog is only available for iOS devices at the moment, but an Android-device version of the app will be released in the near future.
Yowza!!, location-based, paperless couponing
Yowza!! is an app that uses your location to send you personalized, location-based coupons. You can specify how far you're willing to drive to further customize what coupons Yowza!! sends you. The coupons are all digital, and the bar codes can be scanned in-store on your smart phone.
Yowza!! gives you maps to let you know where the deals are, and you can configure the app to send notifications whenever a favorite local store has a new deal to check out.
Yowza!! is available for both iOS and Android devices.
SnipSnap, making sure you never forget a coupon
How many times have you forgotten to use a coupon, either through misplacing the coupon or forgetting to use it in the store? With SnipSnap, you'll always have coupons on hand.
With SnipSnap, you scan the coupons--either through a bar code-scanning app or via your camera phone--you want to keep and store them on your phone. The app is designed to snap most any coupon. SnipSnap will remind you about your coupons when you enter the store, and with its database of expiration dates, you'll never miss the window of validity for a coupon.
Unfortunately, many grocery stores do not accept digital coupons, so SnapSnap is not a solution to that problem. But for other stores--especially for people who aren't couponers but still want to save--SnipSnap can be a useful addition to the money-saving arsenal. It's great for big-box stores and restaurants.
SnipSnap also has a social component. Friends can connect with each other and share coupons.
SnipSnap is available on all devices.