The 8 Shopping Apps That'll Actually Save You Money in 2016

By Kyle James on 26 January 2016 0 comments

Mobile technology is an amazing thing, especially when used to save us money. Here are eight free shopping apps, for both iOS and Android, that will help save you big in 2016. Play around with a few of these to find what works best for you and your busy life.

1. Ibotta

Ibotta lets you earn cash back via "secret rebates" on grocery items. Before you go shopping, simply unlock cash rewards on the app by completing small tasks. Tasks include reading a fun fact about a product, taking a quick poll, or writing a short comment about a specific item. After completing the task, the product is added to your "Checklist" and you earn a cash reward when you buy it on your next trip to the store.

See also: 30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year

Cash rewards include things like $1 back on CoffeeMate creamers, or 50 cents back on a box of Triscuits. To verify your purchase, you simply scan your receipt via the app and get paid via PayPal or gift card when your account reaches at least $5.

2. Coupon Sherpa

Coupon Sherpa is a must download if you hate paying full-price at retail establishments and restaurants alike. Simply search the app for a coupon when you're in-store, show it to the cashier when checking out, and collect your savings without ever yielding a pair of scissors.

The app stands apart from the competition because it's stocked with online coupons, in-store coupons, and location-based coupons that inform you of the best money-saving offers in your area. Shoppers can also select their favorite stores ahead of time and quickly pull up the coupon while standing in the checkout line. Coupon Sherpa founder, Luke Knowles, told me this is easily one of the feature that users love the most. When asked how much money the app can save the typical family of four, Knowles figured a loyal user could easily save $300–$500 a year.

3. Krazy Coupon Lady

The team at Krazy Coupon Lady prides themselves on having an app that's a true consumer tool, especially when combined with other shopping apps like Ibotta, Target Cartwheel, and Amazon mobile. Co-founder Joanie Demer puts it best: "Our team of expert shoppers scours store ads, online coupons, and digital rebates, and hand selects the best deals we know our users will love. Instead of competing, our app actually enhances the effectiveness of other shopping apps."

This app is perfect for new couponers — there's actually a section dedicated to learning how to stack coupons and save strategically. It's also great for those who don't have the time to sort through all of the coupons and store ads one-by-one, as they hand-select the best deals for you. How much money can the app save you? According to Demer, "A typical family of four can save $80 per month by using this app just once per week. But, thousands of diligent couponers who use the app near daily save over $200 per month."

4. SavingStar

SavingStar helps you save on your next trip to the grocery store. Simply browse their current offers, tap the ones you want to use, and they'll automatically be activated. Unlike iBotta, there are no small tasks to be completed. Offers include things like $1 off when you purchase five or more Yoplait yogurts, or 20% off fresh tomatoes. Then shop as you normally would and scan your receipt to collect your savings.

You can also link the app directly to a grocery store or drugstore loyalty card and avoid having to scan your receipt. They let you link with over 75 popular grocery and drugstore chains across the United States. Once your account reaches $5, you'll be eligible to get paid via PayPal, direct deposit, or you can donate to your favorite charity.

5. Checkout 51

"Buy groceries, earn cash back." In a sentence, that is what Checkout 51 is all about. Every Thursday morning, they add new cash back offers to their shopping app. Once downloaded to your mobile device, all you have to do is pick the grocery offers that you're likely to use.

After you purchase those items at your local grocery store, simply upload a picture of your receipt via the app. After your purchase is verified, your cash is added to your account — and once your balance reaches $20, they mail you a check. A few current offers on their app that caught my eye include $1 cash back on Life cereal, $1 back on Glade Plugins, and $1.50 back on CleanSmart Disinfectant Spray.

6. Shopmium

Brought to you by Coupons.com, Shopmium offers exclusive product rebates on many grocery items that you'll probably be buying anyways. Along with rebates on everyday products like bread, dairy items, and beverages, the app also displays "new to market" items with rebates that allow you to try them for free.

Unlike Ibotta, you don't have to perform a task to be eligible for your rebate. You simply buy the item at any store, scan your receipt into the app, and your rebate is automatically sent to your PayPal or bank account, typically within 24 hours. The app is an excellent companion download to Ibotta as the combination of both opens up a large number of product rebates available to you.

7. Walmart Savings Catcher

The beauty of Walmart's Savings Catcher app is that it doesn't require any extra work to collect your money. All you have to do is scan your Walmart receipt into the app, and they'll search for a better price on the items you bought at local competitors. If Walmart finds a lower price, they'll credit you the difference.

I personally have been using the app for the past six months and my balance is already over $20. You only have seven days after your Walmart purchase to scan your receipt, so I've gotten into the habit of scanning it as I walk out of the store so I don't forget. Redeem your balance whenever you want via a Walmart gift card.

8. ShopSavvy

When it comes to taking advantage of retailer's price-match policies, and making sure you get the lowest price possible, ShopSavvy is a must-have. The app allows you to scan the barcode of an item and instantly tells you if it's sold cheaper online or at another retailer located in your area.

The best feature of the app, and what makes it stand out from the competition, is the "Price-Match" feature. After scanning an item's barcode, the app will actually inform you if the store you are shopping at will offer a price-match. But more than that, the app will also display a special "Price-Match" screen that you can show to the store's employee which allows for a quick and painless comparison. No more thumbing through store ads to try and find a lower price, as the app does all of the hard work for you.

What smartphone apps do you use to score the best deal possible when shopping?

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