I don’t know about you, but I feel like every time I turn around I am paying more money for the things I use every day: after dropping so much in the fall, the cost of gas is rising every time I pass a station; the cost of produce is going through the roof; your amazing Camden apartment just sent you a rent increase; the phone bill keeps going up. Sheesh! A dollar just doesn’t go as far as it used to! I wish I had time to be one of those super couponers, but between work, kids, husband and just life in general, I barely have time to squeeze in a shower much less comb through circulars to find a good deal! At the end of last year I was introduced to two phone apps that promised to reward me for shopping at my favorite stores. Despite a great deal of skepticism, I decided to give Shopkick and Ibotta a try just for the month of December. I was pleasantly surprised at the results! Let me tell you a little about my two new favorite apps.
- Ibotta – This is a free app that awards rebates on items you purchase every day.
Ibotta has partnered with major stores that can be found in close proximity to any of our Camden communities. The list in my area includes Kroger, Target, Walmart, Whole Foods, CVS, Walgreens, and many, many more. The list of rebates changes on a regular basis, but it consists of regular grocery items like milk and cheese, but also specialty items such as organic coffee and frozen dog treats. You will find several items that you can submit rebates for on every shopping list you create. You simply unlock the rebates by performing simple tasks such as watching a very short video or answering a quiz. Once you have purchased the items you have unlocked, you snap a picture of the receipt with your phone and upload it to the app. Ibotta says the funds will be deposited into your account within 24 hours, but in my experience it usually takes less than an hour. Once you have accumulated $10 you can cash out your funds by either redeeming them for a gift card to Amazon.com, Best Buy, iTunes, Starbucks and a few others, or you can transfer the total to a PayPal or Venmo account. In just 2 months I have earned a total of $257.30 by just shopping for my regular home staples! I personally have decided to transfer my rebates to my PayPal account so that I can save some spending money for an upcoming Disney World vacation. I love free money!
- Shopkick – This is also another free app that rewards you for simply walking
into your favorite stores and scanning various items while you are doing your regular shopping. Since a visit to Target, Kroger or Walgreens seems to be pretty much a given on any day, it makes sense to earn points while just going about my normal routine. You can also link credit cards to your account to earn points for purchases at store like Best Buy, Macy’s and American Eagle Outfitters. These points can be redeemed for gift cards to many different retailers like Target, Old Navy, Coach, and Tiffany & Co. You can even use your points to buy an iPad or KitchenAid Mixer. Since I signed up in December I have accumulated over 22,000 points which is enough to redeem for almost $100 in gift cards. Again, free money for simply doing the things I do every day!
I know there are many more apps that can either save you money or actually pay you for shopping. Ibotta and Shopkick are two of the most popular and reliable apps out there, but I might try a couple others after seeing the success I’ve had so far! If you have any great recommendations, please feel free to leave them in the comments below! I hope you can find some great, innovative ways to save money! Happy Shopping!