For an updated version of this post, see Make Money From Receipts with 4 Easy Apps.
It’s no secret that I’m passionate about saving money. It’s exciting to walk out of a store with a receipt that shows that I saved 60% or more on my purchases. I’m by no means an extreme couponer, but I do use coupons and check sales ads to do my best to take advantage of any deals I can.
Another way I save money is through rebate/coupon and receipt scanner apps. I began using these apps in April, when I made the transition to being a stay at home mom. Over the last three months, I’ve tried multiple apps. I found that a few just aren’t a good fit for me. They only offered rebates on items that I didn’t care to buy, or they required a little more work than I was willing to do.
I’ve found the apps listed below to be user friendly, and I’ve seen great results after using them for just three months!
The Best Money Saving Apps
I use ibotta mostly for grocery trips, but ibotta offers savings on much more. Just select the category you want and check for savings offers.
How it works:
Each week you’re offered rebates on different products. When you open the app, select the category you want (I use this primarily for the grocery category), and then select a store. I like to look through the offers while I’m making my grocery list to see if anything matches. If I see an item that I plan to buy in the future listed, I’ll go ahead and add it to my list since the rebates can expire. For example, this week I saw a $0.50 rebate for the dish detergent we use. Though we still have some detergent left, I went ahead and bought some while this rebate was active.
Once you make your purchases, you’ll “unlock” the rebate by watching a very short video or taking a short survey (usually less than 3 questions). Once the product is unlocked, you’ll be directed to scan the barcode on your product to verify the purchase. Do this for all items on your receipt that a rebate is offered for, and then use the app to take a picture of your receipt. Ibotta will process your receipt and send you an email once the money is added to your account. When you have earned $10, you can cash out through PayPal or venmo. I just cashed out this week with $10.45 after three months of using the app to buy things I would have bought anyway!
One other great thing about this app is that, in addition to brand specific products, they offer rebates on things like eggs, frozen veggies (any brand), shredded cheese (any brand), and fresh produce. Sign up for Ibotta here. (Affiliate link. To learn more about affiliate links, visit my disclosure page.)
2. Receipt Pal
Too busy to check for rebates and verify items? Then this app is for you! Not only do they accept receipts from a variety of places (just check their FAQ page to see if your purchase qualifies), but all you have to do is take a picture of your receipt and you’re done!
How it works:
When you open Receipt Pal (after creating your account initially), you’ll see four blue squares with a white camera icon. Click on the first icon to take a picture of your first receipt. The box will turn green once your receipt is captured. Once you’ve completed all four squares on the “card”, you’ll earn 100 points.
You can use your points to redeem prizes, such as gift cards for Amazon.com and Restaurant.com. I redeemed 1550 points for a $5 Amazon.com gift card. I instantly received an email with the code to redeem the gift card. The longer you let your points bank, the greater the value of the reward, so next time I plan to let my points build to 17000 to use on a $100 Amazon.com gift card.
3. Receipt Hog
Receipt Hog is similar to Receipt Pal in that you submit a picture of your receipt without a specific rebate being offered. There is an extra step on Receipt Hog however.
How it works:
When you open the app, you’ll see a camera icon in the center of the bottom panel. Click on it to take a picture of your receipt. Next, select who went on the shopping trip (adult male, adult female, boy or girl). Then, rate the trip out of five stars. That’s it! With each receipt you earn coins to use on either an Amazon.com gift card or cash through Paypal.com.
The minimum amount of coins to cash out is 1000 for $5 dollars. Like Receipt Pal, the more you bank, the larger the reward. 4500 coins will trade for $30. Unlike Receipt Pal however, the transfer of your reward isn’t instant. I submitted the request to cash in my coins for a $5 Amazon.com gift card a day before I requested the Receipt Pal reward, but it took a few days longer to receive the e-gift card. It arrived in less than a week though.
4. Checkout 51
Checkout 51 is similar to ibotta, but you will only see rebate offers for items you would find in a grocery store. Many items are brand name products, but there is often a “healthy offer” available that allows you to choose one item from a list of about five produce items.
How it works:
Like ibotta, I like to check the offered rebates before I shop. Some rebate offers require you to buy two or more of the product, so make sure you read the details by clicking on the product you plan to buy.
Once you’ve made your purchases, click the “Upload Receipt” button at the bottom to take a picture of your receipt.
Then, select all of the items that you’ve purchased on that receipt and click “Claim It”. Once your receipt is processed, you’ll receive an email letting you know the money has been added to your account. You can request a check once your account balance reaches $20. After three months, I’m currently at $9.50. If you buy brand name products often, you will probably find it easier to earn at a faster pace.
5. Walmart Savings Catcher
Walmart has great prices, but due to some of the issues I’ve had when shopping there, it is far from my favorite store. Despite the fact that their website clearly states they will price match competitors and that no ad is necessary, I have been told that my store is unable to price match, even if I have the ad stating the price of the product. So, I go to Walmart only for products that I know will be more affordable than elsewhere. I do like a feature of their app, however.
How it Works:
You’ll find the Savings Catcher when you open the Walmart app. Click the green “Savings Catcher” tab, and scan a Walmart receipt.
They will compare it to advertised deals from other stores in the area. If something that you bought is advertised as being cheaper elsewhere, they will add the difference to your account. You’ll see the amount in a green bar at the bottom of the screen. When you select “Get it Back”, you’ll be given the option to create an eGift Card. And that’s it!
Though I’m diligent about checking all ads and purchasing items from the store with the best price, I always scan my Walmart receipts through the Savings Catcher just in case I missed a deal. So far, I have $1.45 in savings. This app is also useful if a store in your area is out of an item being offered at a lower price (though this only works if the price of the product at the competing store is being advertised in their weekly ad). You can buy the item at Walmart, scan your receipt, and get the difference back on a gift card. *Receipts must be scanned within seven days of your purchase with this app.
What apps do you like to use to save?