Today’s article is going to focus on how to save money, regardless of your income, your purchases, and where you live. After all, increasing your wealth and net worth starts by saving money. It seems that in the past few years there are no less than several thousand apps out there designed to save money in various different ways. I’ve done it all too, from BillCutterz to SavingStar, I have tried and tested more “money saving” apps than I can count. None of these programs cost me a dime to try, however, some did take up quite a bit of my time and had little to no results. Rest assured, there are actually some apps out there that do what they claim. If you want to save money on things that you already do, and on stuff that you already buy, then pay attention to the money saving apps below…they will actually help!
Ibotta is probably the most prominent and legit grocery saving app out there! It’s easy to use and actually provides a nice cash back reward. First, you simply download the app to your phone, which is compatible with just about every operating system out there. Next, you choose the products you would normally purchase from the product gallery. Then you go to the store and buy those products, come home and scan your receipt, then Ibotta will deposit the savings/rewards into your account! My advice is to choose every product in the gallery and load it up onto your phone, then simply go and shop for whatever you normally would purchase. Once you get back home and scan your receipt on your phone it is bound to save you money on at least a few products. For families of four that routinely grocery shop this can add up to some real savings. While Ibotta isn’t going to turn you into a millionaire overnight, it will save you money on stuff that you are already buying.
Paribus is a new app that I am highly impressed with! Their method is simple, but unique, they work with a few dozen stores that have varying policies when it comes to price drops. For example, if you make a purchase at Wal-Mart, and then that purchase drops in price within their 30 day window you are eligible for money back on that purchase. The problem is that, as consumers, we make several dozen purchases every month through several dozen different retailers, and each one has their own price drop policy. Then you typically have to visit the store, or their website, and fill out paperwork and provide your receipt. This simply isn’t time efficient or easy to track in order to submit for your money back. This is where Paribus comes in. They automatically link to your email account and your credit cards that you used to purchase the items. Provided you aren’t a privacy freak, and you don’t mind linking up all those accounts, Paribus works automatically and seamlessly to track ALL your online purchases for each store and to reimburse you any money you are eligible for. They have a nice succinct dashboard that shows you where your refunds are coming from and based on what purchases you bought. The only real downfall of Paribus is that they only work with online purchases, and they still need to ramp up the number of stores that they work with. Considering they are still in beta mode I can see improvements coming to both areas. For example, they work with Costco online, so I don’t see why they can’t implement a tracking method for in-store purchases as well.
Retail Me Not
Retail Me Not isn’t anything new, in fact they have been around for quite a few years now. Regardless, I still see very few people taking advantage of all of their services. First and foremost, you should NEVER make an online purchase without visiting their website to see if they offer a coupon code before you checkout. Every single time I make an online purchase I first make a pit stop on their site to see if I can save any money. I have gotten a ridiculous amount of deals just by browsing their coupon codes. This even includes deals on ordering pizza online through Pizza Hut, Domino’s or Papa John’s. Most people would never think about searching online coupon codes for ordering a pizza but there are a ton out there. Even Amazon has deals, that includes free shipping, or maybe even an extra 10% off of a purchase for no reason at all other than you found a valid coupon code out there.
While a quick search of online coupon codes is the most prominent use I have found for Retail Me Not, they have some other nice features as well. If you download their app and initiate the location tracking feature there are a slew of other ways to save money. For example, when I walk into a restaurant the GPS will recognize where I am and offer up a coupon to my phone that I can provide to the server. I have randomly received 10% off or even free appetizers just by looking at my phone notifications after walking in. Now, if you go to a large strip mall or even indoor shopping mall, the app will pull up every available in-store deal within the entire complex. This might actually encourage you to buy more stuff than you normally would, but if you have self-discipline it can be a nice feature for finding deals at stores you were already planning to shop at.
Walmart Savings Catcher
I know, I know, most of you are morally opposed to stepping foot into a Walmart…yet, they seem to always be vying for #1 retailer in the universe, so it stands to reason that quite a few of you must be shopping there from time to time. Also, it might seem odd that a retailer would have their own app that can actually save you money. This app only matters if you are a Walmart shopper, but if you are, then it’s a no-brainer to download and use. The gist of this app is that you simply login, scan your Walmart receipts, and for the next 7 days they will automatically check all local competitors ads for cheaper prices on the items you purchased. If they find the items cheaper in any of those ads then you will receive the difference back on a Walmart gift card. The two major benefits I see is that you don’t need to be afraid to pull the trigger on a major purchase because Walmart is essentially guaranteeing you the lowest price available at any given time. Second, this app isn’t only for buying large scale items like televisions, it also works on everyday items like groceries as well.
For those of you that are still shopping at brick-and-mortar retailers, I simply cannot figure out why more of you aren’t purchasing discounted gift cards before you go shopping !?!?!? Hell, these gift cards can even be used to make online purchases on their sites as well. Raise is probably the most powerful site for buying and selling gift cards these days. They do for gift cards what Kayak does for travel bookings, they compare any and all sites and find the best deal for you on every retailer in existence. Do you like going to the movies? If you go to AMC movie theaters then you should know that Raise currently has discounted gift cards up to 15% off. That means you can go see a movie and hit the concessions and all of that will be at a 15% discount! Are you making any large home improvement purchases at Lowe’s or Home Depot? You can get a built in 8% savings right now just by going online and buying gift cards ahead of making any purchases. Restaurants like Subway are offering up to 13% off, and Dunkin’ Donuts has up to 7% off right now. These are all retailers I personally go to on a weekly basis! I simply go online and buy up a few discounted gift cards throughout the year and use them up as I go. I haven’t paid full price at Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Home Depot, Kohl’s, or even Walmart in years!
The best part of discounted gift cards is that they are just like CASH! That means you can still use any coupon codes, paper coupons, and special discounts, or even combine with clearance items to double your savings. Despite these obvious benefits I am always surprised by how few people I know that utilize these discounted gift cards.
There are plenty of other “money saving apps/sites” available out there. Most of the others I have found either don’t work, encourage you to buy shit that you otherwise wouldn’t, or are simply too much of a hassle and waste too much time to make them worthwhile. The ones above are the most solid 5 apps that I have found that actually work. What’s even better is that they have a “set it and forget it” approach, so other than downloading and setting up your account, you don’t really have to do anything to save money after that.