Finance Fridays: 7 Money Saving Smartphone Apps

February 19, 2016

Welcome back to a second round of Finance Fridays! This week I want to share 7 Money Saving Smartphone Apps with you all. Who doesn’t like to save some money? I sure love to pinch my pennies and earn back cash even if it’s chump change. I’ve been using these apps for quite a while and they have become second nature to me. Some of them suggested by friends & family and others I came across myself. I wanted to make sure I share these simple apps that can save you money and earn you some as well.



Here are my absolute favorite 7 Money Saving Smartphone Apps! If some of these are fairly new to you, I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about using them to the best of your ability. None of these are in any particular order. I keep them all saved in one folder on my iPhone 6, organized in alphabetical order because…well, I’m a nut!



1. Ebates


Do you like getting cash back?! I sure do. I never really believed in this app and all the time I wasted not having Ebates on my phone and computer was a ton of money I basically flushed down the toilet. Like my cousin, Lala, always says, I should always listen to her because she’s always right. And, that she is. Right, I mean.


Once she sent me the link via text for the 300th time, I signed up and started making money instantly and I even made her some money, too. I think I only made her $5, which is still something, because she had already signed up a bunch of people {friends & family} and the first three are the ones that are $25. Can you believe that? You can make $25 for the first three people that sign up using your link and $5 per person after that! The funny thing is that the Ebates is not only making you money when you refer friends and family but makes you cashback from online purchases you were already going to make.


How does it work, you ask?

  1. Shop through Ebates at your favorite stores.

  2. Earn cashback on your purchases.

  3. Get your Big Fat Check or PayPal payment. It is that easy!


For example, when you go on Groupon to buy a getaway trip to, I don’t know, let’s say…Italy on your computer you go onto the Ebates website to buy your Groupon through them. Some days you can make anywhere from 6% up to 20% cashback. I have a post specifically about this whole transaction regarding Italy. Click that link up there for more information on that. Just click here to sign up for Ebates, I know you’re already thinking about it anyway, and start earning cashback today!



2. Ibotta


I already asked you if you like cash back and I am sure you were screaming, “Yes!” because who doesn’t like extra money in their pocket? Am I right or am I right? C’mon I’m right guys and I’m, also, right about Ibotta. It’s the best. What if I told you that you could get rebates for buying groceries that you were already going to buy? Consider it a coupon paid later. This is better than a coupon, really. It’s a rebate and it’s sooo easy, I couldn’t believe it the first time I saw it advertised on Twitter, a few years back. I thought, again, that it was too good to be true but it isn’t!


How does it work, you ask?

  1. Download the app.

    • Download the Ibotta app, available on iOS and Android. The app is required to submit a receipt.

  2. Unlock rebates.

    • Before you go shopping, unlock cash rewards on great products by completing simple tasks.

  3. Go shopping.

    • Buy the products you’ve unlocked at any supported store.

  4. Verify your purchases.

    • Scan your product barcodes, then submit a photo of your receipt.

  5. Get cash.

    • You’ll have the cash deposited into your Ibotta account within 48 hours.


All you need to do is submit your receipt to your Ibotta app after a purchase and mark off which items you purchase. Once your receipt is processed, you will have cash back redeemed into your account which will wire to your PayPal once you have $20 available; it racks up pretty quickly if you remember to use it every time you shop.  They have anything from a rebate of $0.50 for buying generic brand bananas to $10 for a box of wine. It’s up to you to remember and up to your grocery list to have the items available to receive rebates. Set up the notifications on your phone, too, that way you get notified of what is newly offered and don’t miss out on rebates! Are you sold? I knew you would be! Click here to create an account.



3. Checkout 51


When you’re done uploading your receipt to Ibotta, don’t throw it away! This is just another awesome app to upload your receipt to and make back some money. Saving money has never been easier. Many times the same rebates you see on Ibotta are also available with Checkout 51. This app is basically a no brainer. Snap a picture and you’re done!


How does it work, you ask?

    1. Browse your offers and buy products at any store.

    2. Upload your receipt using Checkout 51.

    3. We’ll confirm your purchase and credit your account.

    4. When your account balance reaches $20, you can cash out and we’ll mail you a check.


You see? That is not that hard. Think about the $60 you’ll have in your pocket by the end of this week if you sign up with all three and start saving now! Don’t wait up, sign up here.



4. SavingStar


By now, you should already know the drill, always save your receipt! You could throw it away about a week after your initial purchase but look at all the ways you can save money, like you can with SavingStar. I think we’ve already established the fact that most of these apps work directly with the same retailers. I don’t know the specifics about how their market works. But, I do know that they share a lot of the same offers. Using SavingStar, you have just another way to save using your receipts.


How does it work, you ask?

  1. Select offers on web or mobile.

    • Check regularly for new deals including our Healthy Offer of the Week and 100% cash back “surprise” freebies during the month.

  2. Use card at checkout or take a picture of receipt.

    • For automatic-savings stores, use your registered card at checkout as you normally do. For receipt-scan stores, take a picture of your receipt and submit through the SavingStar app or website.

  3. Get cash in your SavingStar account.

    • Discounts are not received at checkout. Savings will post within 2-22 days depending on the store. You’ll receive an email when they post to your account.


SavingStar has a cool feature that none of these other apps offer, cash out at just $5! You can choose direct deposit into your personal checking account, PayPal transfer or make a donation to American Forests. That’s the coolest part! If you feel like taking a step of faith with SavingStar, you can give back to the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country, advocates for the protection and expansion of forests. How friggin’ cool is that, guys?! I think it’s super.



5. Receipt Hog


Now we’re talking! This is the 4th opportunity you have to upload your receipt and earn cash in your pocket. You could make back four times the amount for buying bananas than you would with just one of these apps, (or no money if you weren’t using them at all) especially if you add in Receipt Hog into your portfolio of money saving smartphone apps.


This is one of the easiest because you just stack up all the receipts you’ve accumulated throughout the whole week and just dedicate yourself to a few minutes once a week to scan in all your receipts to earn coins, which are the equivalent of points, that are redeemable for cash or gift cards down the line. There are even opportunities to earn more with the Hog Slots machine. You get a free spin a day, or something of the like. It’s neat.


How does it work, you ask?

  1. Snap Receipts.

    • Shop anywhere. Buy anything. Then take a pic of your receipt!

  2. Get Bonuses.

    • Win at the Hog Slots, take paid surveys, win free shopping trips, and more!

  3. Redeem Coins for Cash!

    • Trade coins for Amazon Gift cards or cash via PayPal.


My favorite part is the automation of having it transferred into my PayPal account. I basically see it as my own version of, “set it and forget it”. With all these apps linked to my PayPal, especially Receipt Hog, I do basically nothing and get paid money that I send to my favorite personal checking account with Simple. Want to submit receipts for almost no time spent and earn money at the same time? Sign up with Receipt Hog today by clicking here.



6. Shopkick


It gets easier to receive gift cards for stores you usually go to with Shopkick. You’re already going to make your purchases at your favorite retailers, because duh we have to buy things, and you are going to get cash back with all the above. But, because of Shopkick, you will get rewarded just for walking into the store. All you have to do is literally walk into a store to start earning “kicks”, which are the equivalent of points. These kicks add up and are redeemable with many other retailers, including the ones you received kicks from, in the form of gift cards. Pretty nifty, huh?


How does it work, you ask?

  1. Discover deals before you shop.

    • Find the latest trends and daily deals so you’ll never miss a chance to save.

  2. Collect points (kicks) at the store, three ways:

    • Kicks for walking in, kicks for scanning products, and kicks for purchases.

  3. Redeem for your favorite gift card.

    • Choose from a collection of gift cards for Target, Starbucks, Sephora, and many more.


With almost 20 million users all over the country, I think if you haven’t already started earning kicks while shopping, then it’s time to get cracking! If you don’t want to keep up with saving receipts because it’s somewhat of a hassle, I get that. At least download Shopkick to earn kicks for doing practically nothing but what you were already going to do and get done.



7. Swagbucks


Last but not least, Swagbucks! I am sure that you have heard of this one. You can answer quick surveys about yourself that take 60 seconds or less, you can watch videos you would have searched for on YouTube or Google, you can shop your favorite retailers, or you can even try out free trials perhaps even some samples all while earning some Swagbucks, which are the equivalent of points. You can redeem for gift cards of the world’s most famous retailers: Walmart, Amazon, Target, etc. You can even redeem it for a PayPal gift card and shoot the money over to your PayPal account and redeem it just like the other apps on here, straight into your personal checking account!!


How does it work, you ask?

  1. Earn SB periodically by taking part in one or more of the activities listed:

    • Searching the web, trusted surveys, shopping in our Shop & Earn Mall, voting in the daily polls, playing games, watching videos, inviting your friends to join, completing special offers and finding swag codes.

  2. Redeem your SB for hundreds of Gift Cards, Entertainment Coupons, or Swagstakes Entries.


Those are two simple instructions that can lead to several $100 dollars in gift cards, including way to turn it into cash! Don’t forget to download Swagbucks. Seriously, though before you do forget, click here and sign up.



There you go, my currently favorite 7 Money Saving Smartphone Apps. We use these at our house every day to earn cash back, gift cards and all other kinds of incentives on a monthly basis into our personal checking account with Simple.


Trust me, we will be back to the topic of Simple sooner than later. For now, go and download all these apps to start saving and earning cash today. Do you use any other smartphone apps to save and earn money? Care to share them? Comment below with your ideas and input. See you next Friday for another round of Finance Fridays!


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My name is Estefanía but you might know me as chefNia* 


125 lbs gone forever, eHealed is my real life beyond the scale.







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