I don’t know about you, but I have a love-hate relationship with shopping. The love relationship comes from the fact that I actually find it quite relaxing to go to the grocery store, or walk through Target, browsing the seasonal and dollar section. The hate relationship? Well, the fact that I have to spend money! Or if I’m clothes shopping. I really don’t like clothes shopping.
So, I’ve been learning lately about ways to make and save money with your smartphone. If you aren’t really into coupon-clipping or printing, there are actual several ways you can save money while shopping, or at home, using your phone! Since I always have my smart phone with me whenever I’m shopping, I’ve been searching out the best mobile apps that are out there to help you save money. Some of these provide coupons or rebates, while others require you do a simple task (such as snap a picture of a display.) Either way, they are pretty simple, and who knows, maybe you’ll make enough (or more) to pay for your monthly smart phone bill! None of these will probably make you rich, but if you are looking for easy ways to make (or even save) some extra money, these will definitely help.
This is one of my very favorite apps. They’ve partnered with popular stores, such as Target, to give you money back for every day purchases. You get rebates for buying certain products — and these are actually products people buy. These rebates are unlocked when you perform certain tasks in the app such as reading a little bit of trivia, watch a short video, take a poll, or sharing information about the product on Facebook or Twitter. There are several different tasks for each product, and you get a little bit more of a rebate for each one you complete. I like this, because most of the time, I don’t feel like sharing the deal on Facebook, but I am still able to get a little bit of cash back. It may not seem like a lot (usually between 25 cen $1.00 on each product) but it adds up pretty quickly, especially if you shop at participating stores often!
You do have to verify your purchases by taking a picture of your receipt, but if the store you go to has a loyalty card (and they are a partner) all you have to do is remember to swipe your loyalty card, put your card number in your Ibotta app, and it will automatically recognize that you made the purchase there. There are over 70 participating stores (like Costco!). Money is deposited via PayPal or the free mobile app, Venmo. Ibotta is a free app that can be downloaded on both Android and Apple Devices. Please use my code kivuqq when you sign up so we can be on the same team and earn bonuses together.
Very similar to Ibotta, though it doesn’t have a referral program, which I think makes Ibotta better. However, they have a lot of great products on there and you can typically make between .25 and 1.00 back on common purchases!
This is a fairly new cashback app that is very similar to Ibotta and Checkout 51 — it even has similar items. It was launched by Groupon, and regardless of what store you buy the items at, you can get cashback. If you use this, along with Ibotta and Checkout 51, you could potentially earn a lot of extra cash!
Favado: This app was recently launched, but I’m SUPER excited about it. It has all sorts of sweet features, such as price comparison, the ability to search for deals on specific items, you can set it up to personalize what deals you want to see. What I think is one of the most valuable aspects of this app is that it shows you the sale prices and available coupons for different products, which helps you find the absolutely best price. It also has sale information that is put in weekly by top grocery store experts, which means only the best information is put in.
As long as you have the app open, when you walk into certain stores, you get points! Stores include Target, Macy’s, Best Buy, Old Navy, and more. In addition to getting the points for just walking into the store, you can get more points for scanning certain items throughout the store. You can trade points in for gift cards to popular stores.
Cartwheel is a mobile coupon app that Target uses. There are hundreds of discounts on tons of different products available, and, best of all, you can combine it with RED card discounts and other coupons, to get even better discounts. Even if you don’t clip coupons, this is a great way to save a little extra at checkout. All you have to do is select the discounts you want, and let the person at the cash register scan the barcode. Super, super simple.
So this one isn’t used while shopping, but while watching TV or listening to music. Basically, all you do is turn the app one whenever you are watching TV Or listening to music, and you get a point for every minute you do of each activity. You can also accumulate bonus points. Most of the prizes do require a decent amount of points to redeem, but really, what have you got to lose?! You are basically getting paid to watch TV.
This is more of a game, than anything, that can make shopping just a little more fun. You fill out a short profile, and after that, you can view jobs available in your area. When you find a job that you qualify for, you have to submit it within two hours for verfiication of your work. They usually pay between $2 and $12
Tasks usually are pretty simple — such as, going to a store and taking a picture of a product on the shelf, or taking a quick survey about a store. I don’t know that I would necessarily go out of my way to use this app (though it might be fun if you have nothing else to do), but it’s worth checking to see if there are jobs at a location you are going. I saw a review of the app, where someone said they have made over $7,000 during the three years they have used the app. Not too shabby for just doing simple tasks while you are out and about!
If you are good at keeping your receipts, you’ll definitely benefit from this app. You just load up your recipes from any grocery store, super center, club store, dollar store, drug store, etc., and you get points. And while you can’t get points from places like restaurants yet, that is in the works. The breakdown for how many points you get is simple — up to $10 = 5 coins; $10-$50 = 10 coins, etc. You can scan up to 20 receipts a week. 1000 coins = $5, 18,000 coins = $10, and so on. So as with most of these apps, it might take awhile to accumulate, but you really don’t have to do a lot beyond keeping your receipts.
With this app, there are a few different ways to make money. The first way, is to scan barcodes on products while you are at stores — the grocery store, malls, etc. You can also earn points by watching videos. You can redeem points for Amazon and Walmart gift cards, flight miles with American Airlines, and electronic devices.
This app seems a bit more gimmicky to me than others, but it seems to have good reviews, and scanning barcodes really isn’t hard to do! I imagine that if you buy the product, you can just scan them when you get home.
This is similar to Field Agent, because you fill out a profile and find “gigs” that fit your talents — such as taking pictures of photo displays, taking surveys, mystery shopping, and more. The jobs do pay quite well (between $6 and $220) and you can get notifications whenever a new job appears in your area. I actually haven’t ever used this, but once again, it has pretty good reviews.
I know, I know, I said there were seven ways to earn money with your smart phone in this post…but I tricked you. There’s eight! I recently became a part of the the Google Screenwise Panel. You basically just download the app onto your phone and browser, and it just collects data about what times of day you browse, what sites are popular, etc. You don’t have to do anything but sign up, and you make around $2 a week. Not a lot, but hey, for doing nothing, why not?!
Feel free to share any apps I missed in the comments below! I love reading your thoughts.