I’m always looking to save a little bit of extra money when I’m shopping, whether it be for clothes or groceries. Thanks to technology, clipping coupons or checking the paper are a thing of the past. Now we can use our phones to save money. There are so many money saving apps out there! I narrowed this list down to my five favorite and most used. These apps help me earn cash back, save money when shopping or just track my expenses. If you’re looking to save a little money, you definitely need to look into these five money saving apps.
My 5 Favorite Money Saving Apps
I’ve been using Ibotta for a few years now. It’s an app where you can earn cash back on your purchases at places like the grocery store, Target, clothing stores and more. I mostly use it for grocery shopping. Every week after we get our groceries I browse through the offers for Kroger and add any that apply to my account. Then, I submit pictures of the receipt and scan the barcodes for my items. I usually have cash added to my account within a few hours!
Other stores that work this way in the app include: Target, Wegmans, Publix, Walmart, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. There’s also a long list of online retailers that you can earn a small percentage of cash back with through the Ibotta app. Simply open the app, find the retailer and shop their site through Ibotta. It’s basically shopping through an affiliate link, except YOU get the kickback. I do this a lot when I order things from Amazon, because that’s an almost weekly occurrence.
You can also earn money back by paying with Ibotta. You basically buy a gift card to a store or a place like Starbucks through the Ibotta app, then use that gift card to pay. Then Ibotta issues you cash back for your purchase. There’s a variety of different bonuses that you can earn. These are based on redeeming a certain number of offers or shopping certain brands. I try not to obsess over the app or use it constantly. But it’s so nice to get a little bonus money to treat myself every now and then. If you want to try out Ibotta sign up at → https://ibotta.onelink.me/iUfE/1005cd3f My referral code is “rtdrvvv” if you’re interested.
Target Circle is Target’s customer loyalty program. As an avid Target shopper this is the king of money saving apps for me! When you shop at Target and scan the barcode in the app, you earn 1% cash back to use in the future. This includes purchases at the in-store Starbucks! We go to Target almost once a week, so even though 1% is small, it’s better than the 0% I was getting before.
If you were a Cartwheel user, those offers and coupons are still there! You can search the app and manually add them. Or you can scan items as you add them to your cart. If there is a coupon available, it will pop up when you scan the item and you can add it to your wallet for check out. Scanning items as you put them in your cart, or before you check out, also shows you the price of the item online. If the item is cheaper online Target will PRICE MATCH. I personally didn’t know this until a few weeks ago, but I’ve already saved at least $40-50 by price matching.
Target Circle makes this process so easy since all you have to do is scan the item to see it’s online price. The price differences for clothes and toys is usually only a few dollars, but that can add up over time. I saved a bunch when Belle outgrew all of her PJ’s recently and needed all new ones because they were $2 cheaper online and I bought 6 PJ sets. Another handy feature for Circle is that you can add gift cards to your wallet in the app, so you don’t need to carry those around with you. And lastly, you get a 5% off coupon added to the app for your birthday. Who doesn’t love a shopping discount on your birthday?!
This probably seems like a no-brainer, but using the apps associated with the grocery store where you do most of your shopping can help save SO much money. Since we do the majority of our shopping at Kroger, that’s the app that we use. Most of the grocery store apps have digital coupons for you to add to your loyalty account. Many times these coupons include special offers just for you based on the items you buy regularly. All you have to do is spend a few minutes scrolling through all of the offers on the app and adding them to your account.
If you grocery shop using ClickList they will usually have the word “Coupon” in the upper right corner if there is a coupon available. This makes things SO much easier! Though it doesn’t hurt to give the coupon section a scroll just to be sure you’re catching the best deals. I know that adding one more thing to your to-do list is a hassle, but it can be worth it. We do our grocery shopping once a week, so it’s usually a fairly large haul. Coupons save us an average of $3-5 per trip. That’s almost $20 a month! That savings is money that can go toward saving for something bigger or an extra takeout order for the month.
ShopKick helps you earn cash just for shopping in certain stores. If you have the app open when you walk into places like Target or TJ Maxx, you automatically earn points or “kicks.” You can also earn kicks for scanning in your receipts for select retailers or scanning the barcodes of certain products. If you shop certain retailers online through the ShopKick app, you can also earn kicks. The amount you earn depends on the retailer. For example, if you buy something from shopDisney, through ShopKick, you earn 1 kick per $1 you spend. It usually takes 1,000+ kicks to earn a $5 gift card, so depending on where you’re shopping it may not be the most lucrative app, but for me every little bit helps.
A $5 Starbucks gift card saves me money for the month and is a nice treat. Or I could save up more for a larger gift card to save on some of the more expensive products that I like at Sephora or Aerie. You can also link your credit or debit card in ShopKick and earn kicks on any purchase through a retailer. I honestly don’t do that because it’s not my jam to link my cards with a lot of apps. The small kick backs are enough of a treat for me. Download the app here: https://www.shopkick.com/download and use code KICK924964.
Expense Keep is different from the other money saving apps because it’s actually a budgeting app. It’s the app that I use to keep track of my expenses on my phone. There is a free version and a paid version, I stick with the free one. You can have up to five accounts listed on the free app and you keep track of all expenses and savings on your own. At the start of every month I put in how much money I have for Fun, Clothes/Beauty, Blog, and Family Entertainment. I use my fifth account when I’m saving up for a big trip or concert. As I make purchases I subtract what I spent, so I always know what I have left. Seeing that reminder helps me not overspend or make unnecessary purchases.
This app is not the “official” way we track finances. We use a budgeting spreadsheet and track all of our family’s savings. This is just my way of tracking stuff for myself, so I don’t have to try to remember how much money I’ve got left in my budget if I’m out shopping or a friend wants to grab dinner last minute.
These five money saving apps help me in a variety of ways. Whether it’s earning cash back on purchases I’m already making, providing coupons and special offers, or simply helping me keep track of my money. If you aren’t already using a few money saving apps, I’d encourage you to try one out!