So I’m a complete pessimist when it comes to these online money-saving schemes. But recently, I’ve been watching my sister, Catherine, and my Facebook Friend and fellow Yelper, Kelly, not only save money but also earn cash back on their purchases. Catherine has been home recovering from surgery, so online shopping at all hours of the night has been helping to pass the time. She’s thrifty in many ways, but also knows what she likes, so it’s been cool to watch her save money on some quality items. Kelly has a little one at home, she’s creative, she’s healthy and she’s just impressive across the board. So if they can save/earn money, so can I. And I am! Here are some of my favorite ways so far…
Have you checked out Ebates yet? This appears to be one of the best options out there! A true cash back app and website. Note that I did not put the words: CASH BACK in quotes. Here’s why… You actually earn cash back! No store credits or gift cards or even points. We are talking about actual dollars and cents. They will mail you a check or put the cash into your PayPal account. Once you’re an Ebates user, you’re immediately earning cash back. I received a $5 credit just for signing up! Plus, it’s free to join. So, click on one of these links, sign up and make sure to do your online shopping through their webpage. It really is that easy! I’ve earned cash from my online shopping trips to Amazon, Kohl’s, Target and Groupon in just a couple short days.
Next on the list is Ibotta. Like “I bought a…”. Ibotta has earned me a few dollars from just one regular grocery store trip. If I had planned it better, I could have saved/earned more, but I’m still learning. I scanned a few things (which I’m doing anyway on my Target Cartwheel App), took a picture of the receipt when I got home and submitted my shopping trip. 1…2…3! I’ve got money building up to be transferred to a PayPal account, a Venmo account or any number of giftcards like Starbucks, Best Buy and iTunes. My brother-in-law, Tim, suggested this one, so he gets all of the credit for my rapidly growing cash balance!
Next is Shopkick. This one was mentioned to me sometime over the last year on more than one occasion, but truth be told…I ignored their brilliance. My head is being held down in shame as I tell you this because Shopkick has also earned me some nifty stuff quickly! I went to Target and as my husband looked at some electronics, I crossed the aisle and looked at the Barbies. Scanned a few items that were on the Shopkick list and BAM – I was in business! You can get “Kicks” for any number of activities. Things like walking into a store (no purchase required), scanning items on a list (no purchase required), flipping through their online ads for “Surprises” (no purchase required), linking your credit/debit card to the app (purchase required, but if you were going to buy the items anyway…this is a no-brainer), etc. I know some people don’t like linking their credit/debit cards, but you don’t have to with Shopkick as it is just one more way to earn Kicks. Founded in California in 2009, Shopkick has been around for a bit…maybe even longer than you’ve been using a smartphone, so be dilligent, watch your bank account and get Kicking.
Checkout 51 was another great grocery app I used to save a few dollars! It was just under $3, but imagine what I could do with a little planning! I am just starting to mess around with this one, but it was as simple as the other ones. I’d say it was worth the two minutes it took to sign up, log on, scan and earn money.
I’m not a huge Wal-Mart shopper…AT ALL, but the Wal-Mart Savings Catcher on their app has proven to be a pain-free way to earn back some money on a Wal-Mart gift card. Just snap a picture of your receipt’s scanable bar and wait. If there is a cheaper price somewhere else, Wal-Mart is going to give you the difference on a gift card. Thanks Wal-Mart (and Tim again!)!
Want to hear about another grocery app? Check out Snap by Groupon! Buy the items they are promoting, “Snap” a picture of the receipt and once you’ve hit $20 in your Snap Account, you can request a check. Quite easy seeing as you’re grocery shopping anyway!
Last, but not least, check out RetailMeNot. There are links to online coupons and in-store coupons. I used it just this weekend to get an extra 20% off a BOGO 1/2 Off Deal at Famous Footwear. I think I’m in love…
I’m not very good at the whole couponing thing yet, but I would love to hear YOUR money-saving-cash-back-earning tips! And, thanks if you use any of my referral links to sign up for any of these sites!!