How many times have you walked into Michael's crafts and realized that you forgot the 40% off coupon? If you're anything like me, it happens a lot. Here's the thing, I'm all about coupons. If you can get into the habit of finding them and using them for every available purchase, you can save a small fortune over the course of the year.
The problem is that “couponing” can be overwhelming if you aren't organized. You would need to find a coupon that you would use, and have it available when you went to that store. That rarely used to happen when I was working 50 hours a week, switching shifts and schedules. I was lucky to make it to a store, much less remember my coupons.
Not too long ago, I found several answers to this dilemma. I like to call this the trifecta of amazing money saving apps. With these three apps, you'll never have this problem again. They're perfect for the girl that's just too busy to coupon.
You can save several hundreds of dollars over the course of a year with these apps. And you don't have to buy anything special or extra! Just use the coupons and rebates on things that you would have purchased anyway.
Shopular is a FREE app available on iOS (Apple), and Android OS that lets you save your favorite stores in the app. Your stores will then be automatically loaded with current deals, coupons and rebates. You don't even need to remember to check for coupons! As soon as you get near a store that you've listed as a favorite, the app alerts you to the deals available in that store.
We use Shopular another way. We have a very limited clothing budget while we save our money to pay off the last of our debt right now. We only have $10 a month allotted to clothing for both my husband and myself and we don't regularly go clothes shopping. We wait until we absolutely need to replace worn clothing and then we'll go in one weekend and spend the clothes budget that's been accumulating.
Usually shopping this way means we spend a year of clothing money all at once. We use Shopular to compare deals at each of the stores that we shop to get the best deal. Usually, We can find a 50% off your purchase deal. We head to that store, get everything we need for ½ the price and we're done for a while.
But Shopular isn't just for clothes, it's for pretty much everything! They let you know about deals at all of your favorite stores. Shopular has Home Depot, Lowes, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Sam's Club, Bath and Body Works, Ulta, Subway, Wendy's, Harbor Freight Tools, Office Max, Staples, Best Buy, Babies R Us, Kids R Us and pretty much every other store you can think of. As soon as you get close to the store, the app will alert you with the deals for the store that you're near. You don't have to remember anything. You can get the coupon or coupon code directly in the app to give to the cashier.
Not surprisingly, Shopular has rave reviews in the iOS App store. It's one of the few apps that has a perfect 5 star rating (well deserved!).
Hint: Filter your favorite stores by the popularity of the deal, (usually the biggest discount) or by when the deal is expiring.
Just today, I'm looking at flip flops for the family for $1 each all day at Old Navy, 50% off at Old Navy, plus a $5 coupon off a $35.00 purchase. Each of those deals can be combined for maximum savings. Michael's crafts has the usual 40% off one item coupon, plus a 25% off all regular priced purchase.
The app also shows you the sale items available in that store through a scroll bar, and it can connect you directly to the stores website to make a purchase. They even have a “tips and questions” section for each deal where you can ask other shoppers questions about the deal. The best advice I can give you is to transfer the money you save directly into your savings account, right there in the store. Let those savings add up over the year. Cash them in for a vacation, or to pay for Christmas at the end of the year.
Where Shopular takes care of your clothing, department stores, and specialty shops, Ibotta handles your grocery savings. Ibotta gives you cash rebates on “any brand” (even store brands!) of groceries that you were likely purchasing anyway. Things like bread, milk, shredded cheese, frozen veggies, yogurt, tomatoes and bananas. Each “any brand” item gets a rebate of about 10 cents to 20 cents.
That may not seem like a lot to you, but there's around 3 or 4 dollars available of any brand items each week. Even if you only need half of them, that's a 2 dollar rebate that took you only a few minutes to grab. If you buy national brands of items, you can save even more since they have higher value rebates for those. If you ever do end up with time to coupon traditionally, either by printing online coupons or from those found in a newspaper, you can combine the Ibotta rebate, with a store sale and a coupon, to get rock bottom prices.
Ibotta also rewards you for your teammate's efforts. You want to make sure you join on a team where someone is using the app heavily so that you can qualify for monthly bonuses. Last month, my friend Kerri Anne and I saved over $15 together, so we each got an additional $3 bonus to add to our savings.
You can join my team by signing up under this link. Joining my team, means that my using the app can help you qualify for bonus money each month!
3. Receipt Pal and Receipt Hog
Receipt Pal and Receipt Hog are two separate apps that both do the same thing. They each give you points for each receipt that you upload into the app. You can cash in those points for gift cards or money transferred to your PayPal account. If you're thinking to yourself that the money won't be worth it in the end, I'm here to tell you that you're wrong.
Uploading receipts is easy. You just take a photo of the receipt and upload it. It takes less than a minute.
Hint: Use my referral code when you sign up with Receipt Hog to get 5 bonus spins for coins!
I've been using Receipt Pal for about 2 months, and I have 1,350 points. I can cash in now for a $5 Amazon gift card, or I can wait about another month and get a $25 dollar Restaurant.com gift card. If you store your points up for about a year, you'll likely have enough to cash in for a $100 Amazon gift card. Receipt Pal also accepts e-receipts that you can forward to them directly from your phone. Receipt Pal accepts receipts from almost every store.
Receipt Hog only gives direct points for grocery receipts, but they give you a PayPal transfer instead of a gift card and their pay out for points is a little better. They give you “slot machine” spins to win extra coins for stores that aren't grocery stores, and they won't accept receipts from restaurants or café's.
Hint: Use my referral code (SNUMP641) when you sign up with Receipt Hog to get 5 bonus spins for coins!
In the last two months, we've saved $101 with Shopular, $30 with Ibotta, and $8 between Receipt Pal and Receipt Hog. By the end of the year, I expect to have around $400 in combined savings from these apps. Which will pay for our entire Christmas, plus some, thanks to the $10 family Christmas Tradition.
Small changes lead to big rewards. You don't need to extreme coupon. You need to spend less now then you did before. That's it; it's really not hard.
What would an extra $400 mean to you and your family at the end of the year? What would you do with it?
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