Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How to Play for Less: What's app?

 Time for another money saving topic....bout the right time, yes?  With the holidays around the corner, it's pretty easy to focus on the gifting and overlook the other large expense associated with 'tis the season - baking and cooking.  And while I hope that my grocery store post helped out, here are a few tips that extend beyond the couponing aspect to make that food bill a littel less hefty.

Since I joined the 21st century and got a droid, I find that apps are so freaking addictive.  and there is no shortage on ways you can save with 'em.  I'm sure there are four hundred zillion apps out there that I don't know about or use, but these are the seven that are on my weekly list - I htink its a happy number, any more might drive me nuts.  (Unless you have a better one.  Then, please share :-)).  Note that all the below with the exception of cartwheel are phone apps - there might be a way around them if you have a dumb phone (not knocking flips, if my company didn't help me with my phone, I would be a dumb phone owner).  all of these aps can be downloaded via google play on your phone. With that, happy saving, friends.

My Top Money Saving Apps

1.  Ibotta - I have to say, this is a recent development for me - they just started taking Tops as a store, so I am all in.  This app pays you to buy specific things at the store.  You do a small task (2 seconds to 30 seconds) to upload the item in your cache, then after you purchase you scan it and the receipt.  Offers range from alcohol to body wash, and the neat thing about this app is they do quite alot of any brand rebates - like cereal, milk, eggs, granola bars, oranges.  So you aren't tied to the super pricey store brand or stuff you don't buy - you just get some money back on things you do.  I usually earn a dollar or two a week, and you can cash out - I pick amazon or paypal - after you earn $10.  Super easy.  You also can shop online or get some rebates at vrestaurants and department stores, just give it a search before you hit up one of those to see if there's anything worth your while.  You also can join teams to earn points faster - happy to have anyone on my team :-)

2.  Checkout 51.  This is another grocery app that is pretty cool in the fact that it isn't tied to a specific store.  With Ibotta you need to go to Tops or Walmart, etc - with Checkout 51 any place that sells the item it is offering cash back on is a-ok.  Again, they do specific brands of food and personal care items, but every week they have at least one produce item.  You select your item, scan the receipt, and you're good.  once you hit $20, they send you a check.

3.  Snap - Very similar to Checkout 51.  It's not tied to a specific store, and if you;re patient, they have some awesome rebates.  a few months ago. they had $1 off any huggies wipes, so I stacked it with a coupon, bought 10 containers of wipes, paid $10 out of pocket and got $10 from snap.  Score.  Once you hit $20, they mail you a check.

4.  Mobisave - Another grocery rebate app, like the two above.  You need to make sure you select your item before you shop, but it will take a rebate from any store - this week they have kelloggs cereal and pop tarts - match em with Tops ad and pay $2 for two boxes of Fristed Flakes and a box of pop tarts.  This app was only available for Apple devices until last week so it's new to me, I'll let ya know what I think soon :-)

5.  Receipt Pal - Now we are into receipts.  Don't ever ever throw them out.  This app asks you to scan your receipts - you get 25 points per receipt, no matter how big.  You can enter 12-16 a week, and you can also forward email receipts from online purchases.  Once you hit 2000 points, you get a $5 amazon gift card or paypal deposit.  The rewards stagger, so it's better to hold out - a $25 gift card is 7500 points.  Slow going, but what are you gonna do with your old receipts?  I save them in an envelope and take pics once a week.  Takes about 6 weeks to get a reward, and about 30 seconds a week to snap pics.  No problem.

6.  Receipt Hog - this is a similar app, but is based on purchase amounts.  You get points by "feeding the hog" with receipts each week, ranging from 5 points to 20 points per receipt depending on what you spent.  at 1000 points, you can cash out for amazon or paypal ($5 gift card).  This app rewards consistency - you get extra points for scanning receipts every week.

7.  Cartwheel - This is a target specific app that is cool in teh fact that if you don't have a smart phone, you can upload offers online and print your barcode to scan in teh store.  The offers change daily and are for 5-50% off specific items or brands.  You can stack the cartwheel codes with target coupons and manufacturer coupons for some pretty sweet deals (ex: diaper deals - Take a 9.99 bag of seventh generation diapers - $2 target coupon = 7.99, -  10% cartwheel = 6.39 - $4 manufacturer coupon = $2.39.  Not too darn bad, especially if Ibotta has a $2 rebate on them (true haul from a few weeks ago.)

Hope this helps ease the burden of the expenses while shopping - I would say that I spend about a half hour on apps/rebates a week and make about $5-$10 a week.  In front of the TV.  Hey, every little bit helps.  This season (since July 2015) I have over $100 from rebates in paypal and $65 to spend on amazon.  Merry Christmas :-)

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