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11 Best Apps To Save Money Shopping

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Shopping is a must for everyone, but it can be financially overwhelming. The average American spent $60,060 per year in 2017, yet the average income in 2017 was $44,564 per year.

It’s no surprise that debt and money are major stressors. If you’re feeling this way, you definitely aren’t alone. But it’s crucial to save money on every expense possible.

Fortunately, that’s pretty easy to do with the right tools. This post discusses the 11 best apps to save money shopping. The word ‘shopping’ covers a huge range of expenses here.

Some examples include groceries, household goods, clothing, furniture, and fuel. Read on to see how you can cut costs in every area of your life.

1. Ibotta

About Ibotta – Ibotta is one app we frequently recommend, and it’s easy to see why. This free app allows you to get cash back on everyday purchases. Ibotta features thousands of common household items – produce, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and more. Each item earns you cash back; all you have to do is scan your receipt with the app.

Ibotta partners with hundreds of merchants, so it’s easy to find deals on things you already buy. I use it almost every time I grocery shop or buy household goods. Ibotta is user-friendly, reliable, and has a great reputation. It’s an easy way to earn free cash back with no strings attached.

The best part? You even get a $10 bonus when you redeem your first offer.

Ibotta Unique Features – There are plenty of receipt scanning apps, and each one has special perks and benefits. Ibotta has many unique features that I love. Some examples include:

  • Cash back on any item regardless of brand. Ibotta frequently has ‘any item’ offers for various products. I’ve redeemed offers for any brand of batteries, shampoo, fruit, cereal, toilet paper, and more.
  • Cash back when you shop online. Ibotta allows you to earn percentage amounts of cash back when you shop online. The partner merchants are displayed in the app. Make sure to click the cash back offer, and you’ll be directed to the merchant website.
  • Badges and bonus offers. Ibotta constantly has neat bonus offers, and you earn fun badges as well. For example, there’s a $1.00 Johnson’s Baby badge. You get a $1.00 bonus simply for buying any featured Johnson’s Baby items. You also get cash back on the item itself! There are dozens of these deals under ‘My Bonuses’ in the app.
  • A $5 bonus whenever you refer a new user. Share your unique referral link or code with friends and family. When they scan their first receipt, you earn $5. The new user also earns $10, so it’s a great deal for them.

Ibotta Payments – When you’ve earned $20 in cash back and bonuses, you can redeem your Ibotta earnings. You can use PayPal or Venmo for cash payments, and there are many gift card options as well. Payment via PayPal is super quick for me – it’s never taken more than 48 hours.

Read Our Ibotta Review

2. Coupons.com

About Coupons.com – Coupons.com is one of the most popular sites for printable and digital coupons. The site is super user-friendly and organized, so finding deals you want is simple. They also have a mobile app now to make it even easier. Coupons.com also features promo codes for online shopping and cash back offers for in-store and online purchases.

Coupons, codes, and other deals are divided into relevant categories. Some examples include food, personal care, household, and so on. You can also select ‘All Categories’ to see every deal that’s available. I always give Coupons.com a look before I go shopping. There are often a few coupons for items on my list.

Coupons.com Unique Features – Coupons.com stands out from similar platforms for a few reasons. It’s one of the original coupon websites, but it’s always up-to-date. Here are some features that set them apart from other sites:

  • Save printable coupons with one click. If you see a coupon you like, simply ‘clip’ it by clicking it. It’s instantly added to your shopping list for printing. This allows you to keep browsing deals without forgetting any coupons.
  • Several in-store cash back offers. Coupons.com is great for finding local cash back deals. Type in your zip code, and you’ll see cash back offers for restaurants, cafes, and more. You’ll earn a percentage amount of cash back.
  • Add coupons to store loyalty cards. Do you have loyalty cards for your favorite stores? Coupons.com lets you link loyalty cards to instantly load coupons to the card. When you swipe the card at checkout, coupons you added are applied to your purchase.

Coupons.com Payments – Coupons.com pays via PayPal when you earn cash back. You get paid within 48 hours of submitting a receipt. Their Help page covers everything you need to know about cash back deals. Make sure to check it out before you shop.

Read Our Coupons.com Review

3.  RetailMeNot

About RetailMeNot – RetailMeNot is a comprehensive website and app for saving money on in-store and online purchases. Thousands of businesses are partnered with RetailMeNot, so it’s easy to find deals you want. You get free access to promo codes, cash back offers, digital coupons, printable coupons, and more. Both the app and website are user-friendly and offer thousands of deals.

RetailMeNot Unique Features – RetailMeNot is a leader among money saving sites, and it’s easy to see why. Here are some great features:

  • RetailMeNot has a location-based coupon alert tool. You can get coupon alerts via the RetailMeNot app if you opt-in. The alerts are all based on your location, so saving money is very convenient and easy.
  • RetailMeNot features local deals for small businesses, too. You’ll find deals for local restaurants and retailers, so you can support businesses you love.

RetailMeNot Payments – If you earn cash back through RetailMeNot, you can redeem your earnings via PayPal. 

Read Our RetailMeNot Review

4. Shopkick

About Shopkick – Shopkick is another receipt scanning app, and you earn points called Kicks for buying certain items. Kicks are used to get free gift cards. I like this concept because I use the gift cards to save money on future purchases. Shopkick is more interactive than other apps. You can earn Kicks for more than just buying items. I’ll cover this in the unique features section below.

250 Kicks are equal to $1.00, and digital gift cards are available for just 500 Kicks. A $2.00 gift card doesn’t sound like much, but I look at it them as discounts on future purchases. For example, I’ll redeem 500 Kicks for a $2.00 Target gift card. Next time I spend $10 at Target, I’m getting a 20% discount by using the gift card.

Shopkick Unique Features – Shopkick stands out for many different reasons. Here are a few unique benefits you can enjoy:

  • Earn Kicks just for walking into stores. You can earn anywhere from 25 to 75 Kicks by simply walking into an eligible store. The Shopkick app shows you which stores offer this.
  • Earn Kicks for scanning product barcodes. Shopkick lets you earn for just picking up a product, scanning the barcode, and putting it back. You don’t have to spend a single cent. I like this ‘treasure hunt’ feature, and I use it pretty much every time I shop.  
  • Earn Kicks for every dollar you spend. You can securely link your credit and debit cards to the Shopkick app. When you do, you can earn Kicks per dollar spent at several stores. For example, you currently get 5 kicks per $1 spent at Shoe Carnival.
  • Get bonus Kicks when you refer new users. Share your referral link or code to earn 250 Kicks. The bonus Kicks are added to your account when referred users scan their first receipt.

Shopkick Payments – Once you have at least 500 Kicks, you can redeem them for $2.00 e-gift cards. Options for gift cards include Target, Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks, and more. You can also save up Kicks to get gift cards in $5, $10, $25, and $50 increments.

Read Our Shopkick Review

5. Fetch Rewards

About Fetch Rewards – Fetch Rewards is a well-known cash back receipt scanning app, and it has a solid reputation. The app focuses on cash back for groceries, but the items are pretty common purchases. Fetch Rewards is somewhat new, so it doesn’t have thousands of offers like Ibotta. It’s still worth using in combination with other receipt scanning apps due to its unique features.

Fetch Rewards Unique Features – Fetch Rewards is different than many similar money-saving apps. These are a few great examples:

  • It doesn’t matter what retailer you buy from. You can buy items featured in the app at any store. This is rare and super convenient for you. You’ll never have to go to a specific store to buy cash back items.
  • Fetch Rewards tends to pay higher than similar apps. We’ve noticed that the cash back per item is great with Fetch Rewards. The only downside is that the app only has a few dozen offers at any given time.
  • Fetch Rewards uses a point-based system. Each cash back item is worth a set amount of points. 1,000 points are equal to $1.00, so the system isn’t confusing.
  • There are bonus offers randomly available. Fetch Rewards often features small bonuses here and there. You earn points for things like scanning your first receipt.
  • Fetch Rewards offers a 2,000 point referral bonus. When you refer a friend, you get $2.00 worth of points. The 2,000 bonus is added to your account when your friend scans their first receipt.

Fetch Rewards Payments – Fetch Rewards lets you redeem points for gift cards. You can get gift cards for as little as 3,000 points ($3.00). Gift card options include Amazon, Target, VISA prepaid, and more.

Read Our Fetch Rewards Review

6. TopCashback

About TopCashback – TopCashback is an online platform for earning cash back on your purchases. TopCashback offers a percentage amount of cash back on your total purchase. The platform is partnered with thousands of online retailers. This makes it easy to earn cash back no matter what you’re buying. Simply visit their website or app and browse through their partners. Click the link to the retailer’s site, and you’ll earn free cash back. There’s no catch to it, and the process is easy.

TopCashback Unique Features – TopCashback isn’t the only online cash back portal, but it does stand out among the crowd. Here are a few things that make this app a top pick for us:

  • TopCashback is partnered with more than 4,000 retailers. Compare this to eBates; they only partner with about 2,000 retailers.
  • You can choose from 14 different payout options when choosing your cash back. Similar sites offer two or so payout options.
  • If you choose to get paid via gift card instead of cash, TopCashback will give you a 5% bonus on your total.
  • You earn $10 when you refer a friend. The $10 bonus is deposited into your account once your friend creates an account and earns $10 in cash back.
  • TopCashback allows you to stack coupon codes and other deals with cash back offers. This maximizes the money you save while shopping.

TopCashback Payments – For cash payments, you can choose PayPal or direct deposit. For gift card payments, you can choose from several options including Amazon, Walmart, Target and more.

Read Our TopCashback Review

7. BeFrugal

About BeFrugal – BeFrugal is another online cash portal like TopCashback and eBates. You can use their desktop or mobile website to find their partner retailers. There’s even an extension for Google Chrome to automatically find cash back offers for sites you visit. Like TopCashback, BeFrugal pairs with thousands of diverse merchants. You’ll also find coupon codes and other money-saving offers through this platform.

BeFrugal Unique Features – BeFrugal is personally my favorite cash back portal. There are many reasons why this is the case. For example:

  • BeFrugal offers you a Best Cash Back Rate Guarantee. If you don’t get the best cash back offer through BeFrugal, they’ll match the difference.
  • The ‘Deals’ section of BeFrugal displays cash back offers combined with discounted products. This is an excellent way to find super low prices on popular items.
  • BeFrugal partners with more than 5,000 online retailers. They have more partners than eBates and TopCashback do.
  • New users are offered a $10 signup bonus. You get access to this bonus once you’ve earned at least $10 in cash back.
  • BeFrugal also offers a Refer-A-Friend bonus. When your friends sign up using your referral link, you get a $10 bonus. The bonus is added to your account when your friend earns $10 in cash back.
  • There are many payout options to choose from. Payouts start at just a $0.01 minimum with some options.

BeFrugal Payments – You can choose payment via check, direct deposit, PayPal, or digital gift cards.

Read Our BeFrugal Review

8. Target Cartwheel

About Target Cartwheel – Target recently combined their mobile shopping app with their Cartwheel coupon app. This combination is a great money-saving tool if you’re a Target shopper. Cartwheel coupons are digital coupons used for in-store Target purchases. You’ll find hundreds or thousands of offers in several categories. There are cash off and percentage off coupons. The app also lets you view the Target weekly ad, view what’s in stock, and me. It’s very helpful for planning a frugal shopping trip.

Target Cartwheel Unique Features – The Cartwheel portion of the Target app is one of my favorite coupon apps. It’s saved me hundreds of dollars over a few years. Some great features include:

  • Coupons are all sorted by category – food, health, apparel, and more. You can also choose to view all coupons at once if you want.
  • In some cases, Cartwheel coupons can be stacked with paper coupons. For example, a paper manufacturer coupon can be used with a store exclusive coupon. The ability to easily stack can be very useful.
  • The terms and conditions for coupons are clearly displayed. When you view a coupon, you’ll see the expiration date and all the conditions you need to know. This makes things simple and convenient.
  • Once you start using Cartwheel, you’ll receive exclusive Cartwheel coupons. The app offers you exclusive deals based on your shopping habits. These are only accessible to you through your app. For example, I often find 5% or 10% off office supplies and food items.

9. Honey

About Honey – Honey is a very popular tool for online shopping. It’s a browser extension that only takes a few seconds to install. Honey displays promo codes for thousands of retail website you visit. It automatically applies valid codes during the online checkout process. You don’t have to take any extra steps while you’re shopping. Honey takes care of saving money for you.

Honey Unique Features – Honey isn’t the only tool for finding promo codes. However, it’s definitely one of the most well-known. Honey stands out for these reasons:

  • Honey always applies the coupon code with the biggest savings. You don’t have to do the math; you’ll always get the best deal with zero effort.
  • The browser extension only takes two clicks to install.
  • Honey is highly rated and was named the Google Chrome Store Web Editor’s Pick.
  • Honey Gold is a free rewards program offered by Honey. You randomly earn percentage amounts of Honey Gold on different sites. Participating sites display a gold coin icon. Once you’ve earned 1,000 in Honey Gold, you get a free $10 gift card.

Honey Payments – Honey Gold offers several gift card options. You can choose from Amazon, WalMart, Target, eBay, and other popular retailers.

Read Our Honey Review

10. Dosh

About Dosh – Dosh is a convenient app that lets you earn cash back when you buy everyday items. To earn cash back, all you have to do is link your card to the secure Dosh app. You’ll instantly earn percentage cash back when you use linked cards at partner retailers. It can be used in combination with apps like Ibotta, so it’s easy to maximize your savings.  

Dosh Unique Features – There are plenty of cash back apps to choose from. Dosh is a top pick of ours for a few reasons. For example:

  • It doesn’t matter what products you buy. You simply have to shop at a partner retailer using a linked card.
  • You can earn cash back online with Dosh. The Dosh app features links to details on partner websites. Simply visit the partner websites through the app, and pay using a linked card.
  • Every Dosh Dollar is equal to $1.00. You’ll see your cash back earnings listed as Dosh Dollars. This is a simple reward system that’s easy to understand.
  • Earn $5 when you refer new users to Dosh. You’ll earn a $5 bonus when your referral makes their first Dosh purchase. Your friend also gets a $5 bonus once they make their first purchase. If you’d like this bonus, feel free to use our Dosh referral link. We appreciate it very much!

Dosh Payments – Once you’ve earned 15 Dosh Dollars ($15), you can cash out via PayPal or direct deposit.

Read Our Dosh App Review

11. Trunow

About Trunow – Trunow is a cash back and receipt scanning app solely for gas stations. It’s a pretty new app, but it already has plenty of positive feedback. Fuel is such a huge expense, so every cent really counts. Trunow offers cash back or free fuel from partner locations. It’s certainly worth using if you want to reduce your fuel costs.

Trunow Unique Features – This app itself is unique; there aren’t any other receipt apps just for gas stations. Additional features make it stand out, too. Examples include:

  • Trunow helps you find the lowest local fuel prices. The app displays current prices at gas stations near you. This is a helpful tool that makes Trunow even more valuable.
  • You can get cash back from any gas station. Trunow partners with certain gas stations and convenience stores. You’ll earn 2% cash back when you scan receipts from these locations. But you still earn 1% cash back by scanning receipts from non-partner locations.
  • Trunow features special deals on gas station products. You’ll see limited time offers in the app for rebates on specific items. They’re usually brand specific deals like buying a Coca Cola product. The details are always listed, so it’s easy to make sure you buy eligible items.
  • Trunow offers a $2 referral bonus. You’ll find your referral link by clicking the app’s ‘Share’ button. Once a user signs up with your link and scans a receipt, the bonus is added to your account.

Trunow Payments – You can redeem your earnings once you’ve got at least $10 in your account. To get free gas, go to the ‘Wallet’ section of the app and select ‘Pick Retailer’. You can also cash out using PayPal, but this reduces your earnings by 50%. A $10 cash out to PayPal means you only get $5. You get the best value by using the free fuel option instead.

Read Our Trunow Review

Final Thoughts

Saving money while shopping is easier than ever with these apps and tools. They’re 100% free to use, and you can often combine multiple app deals. You’ll easily save money, earn cash back, and get other great rewards.

Frugal For Less is committed to finding great ways to save money in all areas of life. For some more great info and resources, check out the following posts:

Get Paid To Shop: The Ibotta app is a FREE mobile app that pays you to take pictures of your receipts and shop online. Cash out in the form of gift cards or to PayPal or Venmo. The best part? We've partnered with Ibotta to give you a $10 bonus when you sign-up using our link and claim your first offer.

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