4 Apps That Will Save You Money

Moms, I know what it's like trying to cut back on grocery spending week after week only to feel frustration at the cost of living. It stinks! And, you can only clip coupons and make freezer meals to a certain extent, right?

These four apps are actually fun to use as you watch your nickels and dimes return to your bank account!

Well, I've done a little research and found 4 apps that will save you money at the grocery store that you won't want to miss out on. Each one has saved me bits here and there, and altogether have given me back a substantial amount.

Let's start with the Cartwheel App by Target.

With this app, users are able to scan through the current week's discounted offers. They can range from 5% off an item to 50% off. You select the deals you plan to purchase and at the checkout counter the cashier scans the barcode off your phone to apply the discounts.

Pros -You don't have to handle tons of coupons that get lost at the bottom of your purse only to be discovered once you get to your car (or is that just me?). -The deals include Target's store brand items which are already cheaper than name brands -You can find good deals on more than just groceries. I use mine for clothes a lot. Cons -You have to remember to apply the deals to your account before (or be like me and scavenge for them while at the store, looking like one of those goofballs that can't get off their phones...no offense to those goofballs) -It takes more time at the checkout -You can only add 17 deals to your barcode.

I really like this app. Paired with my Target card that gives 5% back with every purchase, and I save quite a bit of money at Target. For instance, my last trip was for winter clothes for Jordan, long sleeve shirts for Brian, and some clothes for me (from the 70% off rack) came to about $112.00. With the Cartwheel app and Target card it was brought down to $86.00. Not bad.

Now the Savings Catcher from Walmart.

When you have this app, you do your shopping just like you normally would. It's after you've gotten the receipt that the fun begins. You open the app and scan the QR code at the bottom of your receipt and it searches all the stores in your area to see if they offer a better deal on any of the items you bought. If they find a better deal they give it back to you in an "e gift card"

Pros         -It's so easy. There's no coupons, no extra work at the checkout counter, and not really too much you have to do on your phone. It's as easy as snapping a photo. For someone who has done the whole price matching craziness, this is a nice feature. -Gets you a lot more deals on groceries as opposed to the Cartwheel app which leans a little more toward non-grocery items. -It also saves all the information from your receipt, so if you need to look back at it, but have lost the paper copy, it's there on your phone automatically.

Cons -I'm not sure I trust it. Sometimes I wonder if it did a thorough enough search of all the deals in the area. Maybe that's just my "frugal paranoia". -It takes a few days to see if you got any deals. Waiting is so hard! -Redeeming your eGift card is a little bit of a hassle. They send you an email with a barcode which you have to print and scan at checkout.

I've enjoyed using this app. I have $10.54 of rewards saved up as of now and I intend on using it for Christmas gifts. While it doesn't pay you tons of money, it's so easy that it's worth it for the little bits, especially if you shop at Walmart anyway.

Now, I have to confess, the next two apps I have on my phone, but haven't used much. So, while I've done lots of research, I can't give much of a personal opinion beyond my first impressions.

Ibotta Like the Cartwheel App, this one requires you to search and select the deals they currently have featured before shopping. The deals here present as rebates, such at $.75 for Hellman's mmayonnaise It almost functions as a video game would in that there are extra discounts you can unlock for completing the "challenges". For instance, with the mayonnaise if you tap the "Get a recipe" icon you can earn $.50 in addition to the original $.75. You then purchase the product and take a picture of your receipt using your phone to send to Ibotta. Your rebates are rewarded to you in the form of credit to your Paypal account.

Pros          -The extra "challenges" are as easy as tapping the icon and reading a fun fact or answering a poll question, so it's fun to get the added bonuses. -There is a feature in which you can scan the product at the store to make sure it fits your deal. -You can build a team and earn rebates together. So, when one of your team mates strikes big, everyone benefits. Teams can be built through facebook, twitter, etc. -There is also a $1.00 reward for every friend you refer to this app.

Cons        -I'm a busy Mom and there are a lot of extra steps with this app. Yes, the rewards might be higher than the Savings Catcher, but you have to invest the time. -Rebates do expire, so be sure to scan your receipt immediately. -It only works at certain stores and you have to select the store before shopping.

While I'm a little skeptical about the complexity of the process that comes with this app, I am willing to give it a try. It does seem like fun.

Who wants to try Ibotta with me? If you don't have the app yet use this referral code when signing up: hercvup. Once you are signed up, joining my team is as easy as linking the app to Facebook and being my friend.

Last, but not least: Checkout 51.

Similar to Ibotta, this app works by displaying the current deals for that week (offers go live on Thursdays at 12:00 Am in each time zone and expire the following Wednesdays at 11:59 pm), which you can then select, buy the product, and scan in your receipt. Once you've earned $20.00 worth of rewards they send you a check in the mail.
 
Pros
        -It's fairly simple and the layout of the app is easy to navigate.
        -You don't have to have a smart phone! You can sign up online and it works just as well.
        -It works with any store.
        -The checks you earn can be used for anything, unlike a Paypal credit or eGift card.
Cons
       -I had trouble getting a good picture of the receipt.
       -Slightly limited in the offers, for instance, this week, I only have the opportunity to earn $43.00.
So, as with all of the others you have to weigh out the ease of use versus the opportunity for reward. This one is a little easier than Ibotta, but maybe doesn't have as much to offer. It is really nice that it can be used anywhere because I shop at Aldi a lot and none of the other apps support it.
These four apps are actually fun to use as you watch your nickels and dimes return to your bank account!
I hope this helps you in your money saving adventures! If you've had experience with any of these apps, let me know about it and comment below.