Clipping coupons may not be a thing of the past, yet, but it certainly has slowed down a lot thanks to a new wave of apps hitting the market. We’ve all heard the saying “there’s an app for that” and it’s true. There is. Anything you can think of has an app, including coupons. There are apps that clip coupons for you, apps that organize them, apps that alert you when you enter a certain store if you have a coupon saved in your phone for that place, apps that reward you for sending them pictures of your receipts, and apps that allow you to send free gift cards to your friends on special occasions.
The most talked about in recent times is Ibotta. Ibotta rewards you for buying certain products and you can choose how big of a reward you want to get based on what you are willing to do. At this time, they have $1.75 reward for Liquid Plumr broken down into three categories. $0.50 for learning a fact, another $0.50 for a second fact, and a whopping $0.75 for watching a short video. Most rewards aren’t that high but it does add up quickly if you planned on purchasing the items featured on Ibotta. They update pretty often and I’ve heard of users earning over $20 in one week.
Endorse is quite a bit like Ibotta but the interface isn’t as pretty and a lot of users complain they can’t get their receipts to upload. I’ve had issues with that as well and have never actually earned money from Endorse because of this. Still, some people report good results and have earned money from it so it deserves a mention. A tip: if you buy anything from the list on Endorse, put it on a separate receipt. Short receipts can be put all on one picture while longer ones must be split up and pieced together within the app. This is what makes it hard to get the receipt to go through as the picture abilities are a bit off in it. Endorse gives you the option to upgrade from 10% cash back to higher percentages cash back just by sharing the offer on Facebook. If your friends use the app, you can patrol their pages and click offers you are interested in for higher percentages than what you can get through the app itself.
SavingStar is a rewards program that allows you to add coupons to your stores already existing rewards program. You enter the store and reward card number and then add any offers that interest you. When you go to check out, the cashier will scan your card and the savings will instantly be applied. Be warned though. This is NOT a coupon. You don’t save that money upfront. The way SavingStar works is that they will take the money you saved and give it back to you after you reach a certain threshold or you can choose to donate it to charity. This could be a good way to slowly save money or to finance your children’s allowances without having to come up with it out of pocket. Some people use this feature to save money towards a larger purchase by choosing to not cash out until they have the amount needed.
Jingit is somewhat like SavingStar in that you don’t immediately see the savings but the similarities stop there. Jingit uses your location to offer you savings. You choose the ones you want once you are in the store and then find the product. Snap a picture of the bar code to prove you have the right package and then answer a few simple questions. It takes about 30 seconds for each one and the questions are generally like “Do you use this?”, “Have you ever bought this before?” “Will you be buying this today?” You don’t have to type in any answers, they give you multiple choice. If you click yes for buying the product, when you get home you’ll see a new money offer on the screen for you to snap the bar code again and earn more. They do use your location so you can’t say yes and snap it again while still in the store, you have to actually purchase it and take it home. Jingit sends you a debit card in the mail after sign up and you can load the money you earn directly to the card via the app after you’ve earned it. I love that feature!
While looking up details for this article, I came across two I had never heard of so I don’t know much about them. I figure they deserve a mention, though. Snip Snap, according to an article I read, allows you to take pictures of the coupons you have and stores them on your phone. It then sends you push notifications when you enter a store that carries the products those coupons are used for to remind you to use them. Their website says you can show the cashier your phone and use the coupon like that but as I live in a small town, no one around here does that yet. Personally, I would just use it to store a picture of the coupon so I’m not constantly digging through a binder to see if I have one for a particular item. I love the idea of doing that. Then when I found what I was looking for I could just hand the phone off to the boyfriend to dig that coupon out as I place the item in the cart.
For Canadian readers, I found Checkout 51. It looks just like Endorse where you choose the items, purchase them, then send in a picture of your receipt.
Don’t forget to use your smartphone in other ways. A lot of companies have started sending coupon codes via text straight to you. You just show the cashier the code and the discount is automatically applied! I use this for Brookshires, Hancock Fabrics, Target, and Redbox. Each month I get several texts filled with discounts on specific items that I would probably be buying anyways.
Just so you know, yes that is my phone’s screen at the very top. And yes. That IS David Tennant telling me I’m beautiful every day. And yes, you may steal that idea for yourself if you want it. Just leave me a comment and I’ll direct you to where the image was originally found.