I always said I would not get a smartphone unless I could earn/save money with it. Two years ago my husband decided it was time to get me an iPhone as we were starting to travel more and he knew I really wanted one. I hedged.
I really didn’t want the expense, but my cellphone was crap. I had this awesome Samsung flip phone for 5 years and allowed my daughter to talk me into an upgrade. A few months later she took over her phone contract and got a smartphone; I was stuck with my crappy, slow, and irritating “upgrade” and seriously wishing I would have stayed in the dark ages with my ever-reliable Samsung. So, once my upgrade date came I walked into the Verizon store and picked up my shiny new smartphone.
Determined to make this thing earn its keep, I immediately started looking for apps to help me save money and earn gift cards. This is my list of must have (and must use) apps.
Ten apps that save/earn money:
1. Checkout 51 – updates its offers every Wednesday and has a $500 weekly giveaway for uploading any $60 or more grocery trip receipt. You need to earn $20 to get your check.
2. Coupons.com – allows you to print coupons from your smartphone (or tablet), link credit cards for savings when you shop, add in-store coupons (I add these to Passbook) to show when you checkout, and get codes for shopping online.
3. Ibotta – has offers for groceries, apparel, movies, pet supplies, and more. They also offer bonus cash opportunities. Items must be purchased at the stores listed. Cash out with as little as $10 in your account. Cash options include PayPal, Venmo, and gift cards. Use Ibotta with coupons to save even more on the things you need. Referral bonuses offered.
4. SavingStar – updates its offers periodically and has a freebie Friday offer each week. Just shop at a participating store, buy the required item(s) for their offer, scan your items and upload your receipt. Once you’ve saved $5 you can cash out by eft to a bank account, PayPal, or donate to a charity.
5. Receipt Hog (use referral code DUV78800 to earn 5 spins when you upload your first receipt) – offers points for each grocery receipt you upload and opportunities for spins to earn more points. Upload non-grocery receipts to earn spins. Once you earn 1000 points you can cash out for $5 via PayPal or Amazon.com gift card. Earn more points for bigger cash outs. Not a huge moneymaker, but if you’re scanning receipts why not earn some points for a little extra cash back. Referral bonuses offered.
6. Shopmium (use referral code GMKAMUPH during sign up for a free Lindt chocolate bar) – lists specific items for cash back. No minimum for payout. Every time you redeem an offer you are paid immediately via PayPal. Referral bonuses offered.
7. Snap by Groupon – lists items available for cash back (milk, bread, cereal, fruits, veggies, etc). Check the app often and snag your deals (milk, bread, and produce offers go quickly). You need to earn $20 to get your check. Referral bonuses offered.
8. Ebates – offers cash back for shopping online and lists coupon codes and offers. Ebates pays out quarterly for earnings of $5.01 or more. You can opt to receive a check, get your payout via PayPal, or donate to a charity (or send the payout to a family member. Referral bonuses offered.
9. ShopAtHome – similar to Ebates. You earn cash back for shopping online and find coupon codes and offers. The two differences are: 1) you can also earn ShopGold Rewards to redeem for gift cards and 2) you need to earn $20 for a payout. Before shopping online be sure to check both Ebates and ShopAtHome to find your best cash back option. Savings are sent by check monthly as long as you meet the $20 minimum.
10. Shopkick – offers points (called kicks) for checking in at participating stores, scanning select items, finding bonuses within the app, and for referrals. Redeem kicks for gift cards for apparel, gas, or other items (Target, Macy’s, Tiffany, Best Buy, ExxonMobil, etc). Referral bonuses offered.
Retailmenot is a great resource for coupon codes, offers, and in-store coupons and deals. Sometimes people also list Victoria’s Secret reward codes they don’t plan to use.
Extra Bonus App
CuckooForCouponDeals – Deidre offers a weekly giveaway, lists the best deals, and even sends alerts for hot deals that will go fast. This is my favorite deals site and, now, my favorite deals app.
Coupons.com, CuckooForCouponDeals, Ebates, Retailmenot, SavingStar, and ShopAtHome can be used from any computer as well, so be sure to check them out before you shop.
I was not compensated in any way from any of the apps listed above. Regardless, all opinions are my own. Some links contain referral information. You do not have to use my links or referral codes, but it would be awesome if you did.