6 Apps that Will Automatically Save You Money
Simple Apps = Money back
A few years ago, I was divorced, living alone and attempting paying off over $11,000 in debt while keeping up with rent and bills. After 9-years of having a partner to split all expenses with, it was suddenly all up to me. Each purchase became important and anything I could do to minimize cost and maximize my budget was huge.
That's when I discovered the world of money-saving apps.
I found that I could get cash back, discounts or even free shipping on the majority of my purchases if I just did a little research ahead of time. And "work" might not even be the right word to use here, cause honestly saving money is a lot of fun. Before I hit the "purchase" button I'd open these apps and let the savings roll in.
Oh yes. Ebates. The OG in cashback programs with over 2,000 partner stores. I love Ebates because they have an app and a browser plug-in that notifies me when I'm on a partner site. They'll even automagically attach any relevant coupon codes to my order when I'm checking out. (Something that both frightened and delighted me the first time I saw it in action). It's now a regular part of my online shopping routine.
When you reach a certain threshold, you can either have your bonus paid out in cash or a gift card - usually with a bonus for going the gift card route. I recently cashed out on an Ulta gift card for 15% more for cash. Of course I stacked that with a couple of coupons and got MORE cash back.
Ebates is free and you receive a $10 Bonus for signing up.
My Favorite Retailers: Ulta, Shoes.com, Asos, Groupon
As in "I bought a *insert item here*". The differentiator for Ibotta is that you can earn money for both online and in-store purchases. Simply scan your receipt. You can also stack discounts with electronic and paper coupons from the grocery store. This is a great way for better-than-free items and deep discounts on items you were going to purchase anyway. There's even a feature that allows you to scan items in store to see if there is a relevant coupon.
I signed up for Ibotta in May 2017 and I've earned over $350 in cash back since then. I've used it on everything from groceries to hotel rooms to my regular Amazon purchases.
Ibotta is free and you receive a $10 bonus for signing up.
My Favorite Retailers: Safeway, Expedia, Whole Foods, World Market, JoAnn's Fabric, Etsy, Target
You may know Acorns as a micro-investing app that rounds up your purchases and invests your change to grow your savings. But did you know you can earn free cash on purchase? Not only does the money you put in grow and earn interest, so does the "found money". Earn "found money" for your investment account by shopping a variety of companies including Uber and Amazon. You can even get found money for becoming an Airbnb host!
I like this app because I can log in daily and see my money grow. I'm less likely to spend all of the money I am earning. With compounding interest, the possibilities are limitless.
My Favorite Retailers: Birchbox, Dollar Shave Club, iTunes
Paying for shipping is a bummer. And oftentimes a deal breaker. According to Bigcommerce, 58% of shoppers will stop an online purchase due to shipping cost*. With Shoprunner, that will never be an issue. A subscription gets you free 2-day(!) shipping from 100+ retailers plus free returns. It's like Amazon Prime, minus the Amazon.
I've found that many credit card companies offer free memberships for card holders (hello American Express friends).
My Favorite Retailers: Lancome, Neiman Marcus Last Call, American Eagle, Eloquii, Ebags, Sam Edelman
Honey is a browser plug-in. Like Ebates, it automatically applies coupon codes to your online purchases. Unlike Ebates, Honey will track price trends for specific items and notify you when the price drops, guaranteeing you'll get the best price. Plus, you'll earn points for each purchase that can be redeemed for gift cards.
A friend of mine saved $200 on some artwork that would've normally been $400. That's a huge savings!
My Favorite Retailers: J.Crew, DSW, Shopbop, Kate Spade
If you're a savvy Target shopper already, you likely know all about Cartwheel. This app, specific to Target stores, gives you a percentage off items all over the store. Simply scan the barcode on the item and the discount is loaded up. Not only do these discounts add up, but you can stack them with manufacturer's coupons AND discounts in Ibotta. Talk about savings! Just have the cashier scan your cartwheel app at checkout.
Hint: If you have kids make a game out of scanning items. They'll love it, it'll keep them busy AND you'll save money. That's a lot of wins.
If you sign up for all these apps using the codes above and you're already $25 ahead! From there, you can sit back and watch your money grow (and grow, and grow). Trust me, there's something grossly satisfying about saving a ton of money just by clicking a link before making a purchase.
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Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. I stand behind each suggestion and the dollars saved are real!