I’m going to highlight the four mobile apps that I use to save hundreds each year. Yes, hundreds!
1. All Grocery Store Apps
This one isn’t a single app, but a suggestion. Every major grocery store has a mobile app, 75% of which have coupons built into their interface. Target, Kroger, Whole Foods, Giant, Harris Teeter, Safeway, Walmart, and Publix are a few of my favorites when it comes to grocery shopping.
First, you just search the store on the App Store, download it, and create an account. Target, Kroger, Giant, Harris Teeter, Safeway, and Publix all release new coupons each week (or more often!) and all you have to do is log into your account, click the coupon section of the app, and “clip” them by adding them to your account number. Then, you shop like normal, and when you check out, show your cashier the barcode of your account number (or, if you live in a bigger city, you can scan it yourself at self-checkout). Any coupons you have “clipped” prior to going to the store are automatically subtracted from your total cost.
Now, if that wasn’t easy enough, some apps (for example, Target) allow you to scan any item in the store and it will tell you if it’s on sale. If it’s not on sale, it will suggest a similar product that IS on sale. Too easy, right?!
You may think this doesn’t matter that much, and it’s just cents here and there, but that is false. In 2018 alone, I have saved $159.01 at Giant, $36.00 at Target, $12.89 at Harris Teeter, $11.09 at Publix, and $18.28 at Kroger. That’s nearly $240 just by creating accounts on each grocery store’s app and “clipping” coupons. It takes less than 10 minutes every week and has saved me a ton of money.
Outside of that, there are additional apps that have benefits that I find super valuable. The best part is – you can use these other apps in tandem with the previously mentioned apps. Daily double! *enters Alex Trebeck*
Ibotta is a cash-back app that works with nearly every product sold in stores. While most of their “coupons” are focused on grocery store purchases, they have recently been rolling out cash back opportunities at Amazon, Uber, CVS, Under Armour, Gap, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Lowe’s, Home Depot, and even LIQUOR STORES!
Basically, you log into the app after creating an account, and click on the stores you shop at regularly. Once in that store’s section of the app, you will see hundreds of cash back opportunities, anywhere from 10 cents to $5 for a single purchase. The savings are organized by area of the store, e.g. frozen, meat, dry food, dairy, pet, etc. The savings change frequently (about each month), and you can use each one more than once! They have areas for wine, beer, and spirits as well, in addition to “combination” purchases. For example, if you purchase a 12 pack of Bud Light, hot dog buns (any brand), and frozen burgers (any brand) right now, you receive $7 cash back!
The best part is Ibotta connects to your social media accounts, allowing your purchases to be a part of a larger team effort with friends who are also using the app, leading to bonus cash in your account. Once your cash back amount exceed $20, you can cash it out in the form of a check, Venmo, or PayPal. Too easy!
To date, I have extracted $120 in cash back with Ibotta. Shameless plug, my referral code is ctnxybn, which drops an automatic $5 in your account once you start using the app! (And I get $5 too! Thanks in advance!)
Fetch Rewards allows you to search based on brands you are interested in and purchase. All you have to do is “clip” which item you are planning to buy, shop like normal, and take a picture of your receipt once you finish. Fetch will notice the brands you purchased and award you points based on those purchase amounts. Once you get to 1,000 points, you can start redeeming them for gift cards and certificates. (5,000 = $5 gift card at Amazon; Bed, Bath and Beyond; etc).
4. SPENT App
Spent connects to your bank account and automatically rewards you with cash back on any purchases made. Yes, it’s that easy. The same deal applies as with Ibotta: after $20, you can cash your savings out in the form of a check, PayPal, or Venmo. Oh yeah, you can also attach your credit card accounts for the non-responsible spenders 😉
All in all, I say this to really stress the importance of using these cost-saving apps. As a millennial living in a large city, I struggle financially with balancing a social life, traveling, eating healthy, and buying groceries. If I can make one of these cost less, it puts me in a much better place mentally. And all these benefits are out there for free!
In honor of Black Friday, take some time to download some of these apps to begin saving money. You certainly won’t be disappointed! It’s almost too easy!
*Justin once lived in Cazey’s basement illegally and now resides in the Washington, D.C. metro area. You can tweet him or like his photos. If you are interested in guest blogging for ATOB, email us at AsToldOverBrunch@gmail.com.
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