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8 best shopping apps to save money

Everyday purchases are the ones that add up and bust your budget. Items like food, toilet paper, cleaning supplies and soap can end up costing you the most. Many frugal shoppers have turned to shopping apps to save them money and help them stick to their monthly budgets.

There are so many phone apps that can help increase your savings that it can be hard to weed through them all to find the apps that will make the biggest difference and are easiest to use. We canvassed our experts to identify the eight best shopping apps to save money on your everyday expenses.

All of the money-saving apps listed are free and can be downloaded on Android and Apple.

Grocery Apps

Ibotta

Ibotta is full of rebates at nearly 150 mostly major retailers, for which you earn cash that you can withdraw once you hit $20. You can either have the money deposited into your PayPal account or you can redeem the money for gift cards. I always take the money, deposit it into my PayPal account and then transfer it to my bank. Then I withdraw the cash amount and put it in our grocery envelope to increase our grocery fund for the month.

To unlock the rebates on this money-saving shopping app, find the store that you plan to shop at to see which rebates they currently have, then hit the plus sign next to any product to automatically add it to your list. Once you purchase the item, hit “Verify Purchases,” scan the product barcodes of items you purchased for the rebates and then take a picture of the receipt. Done!

The Ibotta shopping app also works with loyalty cards and doesn’t require the aforementioned steps after purchase if you tie your cards to your Ibotta account. The rebates are deposited into your account within 48 hours, but I have received some almost immediately. You can also snap photos of your receipts and earn cash back on qualifying purchases within 24 hours. 

As a bonus, you can earn $5 for every friend you invite and access teamwork bonuses every month for people on your team. I have gotten my dad on this app and we compare notes weekly about our savings. This shopping app really does save you money!

Target Circle

Target is one of those places where I go into with a specific list of things to purchase and ALWAYS leave with more than I intended. But it helps that they always have things on sale and clearance, as well as this great app called Circle.

This money-saving app gets you access to Target Circle offers, and allows you to scan barcodes to add offers while you shop. You’ll also be able to cash in on extra offers and easily see their weekly ad deals. The app also provides other time savers, like the ability to see what items are in stock and the option to order with drive up or order pickup. 

Frequently, I will just use the app in the store instead of ahead of time because I find it saves time to do it that way. I really like the functionality of this app the best but it doesn’t always get me better deals than the pharmacy stores.

Learn more ways to save at Target.

Walgreens

Walgreens is my favorite drug store app. Not only is it easy to use but I usually get some of the best deals with this shopping app. The home screen layout is easy to navigate and I usually start with the “Weekly Ad & Coupons” section. When I find products I like, I immediately touch the “Clip to Card” button. This adds it to my rewards card for me to use the next time I’m in the store.

If I am looking for specific products, then I will use the “Shop Products” portion of the app to see if they have it and the pricing. Using this app, I have been able to get Cottonelle toilet paper for $4, Seventh Generation dish detergent for $0.99 and Puffs tissues for $0.75, just to name a few. This app allows me to rack up rewards points that turn into money. So when I combine the rewards cash, the coupons that I have clipped in the app and the Ibotta rebates, that is really when my savings go through the roof!

Kroger

This app has Kroger’s weekly flyers on them, as well as digital coupons. But the best part is the FREE goods. That’s right, I said FREE! Kroger has Free Friday on select Fridays each month, meaning they offer a digital coupon for a free item. Each coupon lasts for two weeks. You can also use the app to clip other coupons to add to your shopper’s card. 

The best part for me is that my dad and I both shop at both stores and trade off free items, if we know that we won’t use them but the other one will. Sometimes I go into my store ONLY for these free items and get nothing else.

Receipt Hog

This shopping app is one of my newfound loves. Receipt Hog doesn’t care which store you shop at. It just wants you to take a picture of your receipts and rate your visit. There are different levels of rewards for big box stores, gas stations, specialty stores, grocery stores, etc. You’ll also be able to take surveys to earn additional coins. 

You can take a picture of any receipt within a two-week period, and it will be credited to your account. Once you hit 1,000 coins, you can redeem them for a $5 gift card or get the amount deposited into your PayPal account. If you hit 2,900 coins, it turns into $15. 4,300 coins turns into $25 and 6,500 coins turns into $40.

Best money-saving shopping apps - Man and woman find deals on phone apps when shopping at the mall

Photo: Deposit Photos

Fetch Rewards

The Fetch Rewards app functions almost identically to Receipt Hog, except it’s even simpler. You earn points by taking photos of your receipts. Simple! Each receipt will get you a minimum of 25 points, and qualifying items that are listed on the app will earn you more. 

Once you have enough points, you can redeem them for a gift card. They have dozens of retailers to choose from — even Visa gift cards are available. The amount of points needed to redeem for a gift card vary slightly, but generally you’ll want the point amount to equal the dollar amount. So, 5,000 points for a $5 gift card and so on. 

Rakuten

Formally known as Ebates, Rakuten is one of the staples of the cash back industry. The app offers cash back on over 2,000 of the biggest retailers around, and lets you choose whether you get your money by check or through PayPal. You can even get cash back for Lyft rides! The Rakuten app also features in-store coupons, app-exclusive cash back opportunitie, and 5% cash back on thousands of restaurants. To get started, you can sign up here and get an extra $25 when you make your first purchase through Rakuten. 

Swagbucks

Swagbucks gives you points for answering surveys, watching videos, shopping online, and more. You can redeem your points for gift cards for over 100 retailers, including Walmart, Amazon, Target, PayPal and many others. 

Swagbucks is a free app. It’s probably one of the best known rewards apps out there and has awarded almost $600,000,000 to members. (Avid users call themselves “swaggers.”) Some people save up the points and gift cards they earn from Swagbucks to use for holiday shopping. 

Shopkick

Shopkick is a fun app that rewards you with points that can be redeemed for gift cards to your favorite stores. Shopkick rewards you for walking into stores, or around stores if you’re in a mall, scanning items and purchases.

Shopkick is similar to

” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>Ibotta, except you don’t have to buy anything at all to get rewarded. Yes, really, all you have to do to get rewarded by Shopkick is walk around a store, which makes it a great way to get extra exercise and get paid for it.

Shopkick also rewards you with “kicks” (points to redeem for gift cards) on tons of grocery items, from yogurt to wine to coffee.

Have you tried any of these apps? If so, which one is your favorite and why?

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