In the wonderful digital age we live in, we can leverage the internet to save oodles of cash when we shop. Retailers are all jockeying for our attention and the best way to bring in new customers is with a well-placed deal or coupon. The exciting part for us, the consumer, is that new apps allow us to find and use coupons easier than ever before.
If you shop online regularly, you probably look for deals or search for coupons before making purchases. If you don't, we would like to highly recommend that you don't skip this step. Making a purchase and not being sure that you got the best deal is a pretty lousy feeling.
There has never been a more exciting time to shop, and save, than right now. WE want to give you the tools necessary to find and use the best apps for coupons and rebates that keep your hard earned cash in your wallet.
Why Use an App?
We use these apps because they make saving money as easy as possible. They also save time when shopping online. Not everyone can scour the internet looking for coupon codes that may or may not work.
Nor should we be expected to sign up for every email list on retailers' sites expecting to be emailed the freshest deals. This process can be long and involving and, as the saying goes, time is money too! Would you want to spend an hour looking for a 10% off coupon for a $50 item?
That is where these coupon apps come in, finding the coupon that you need, right when you need it. These discount codes are scattered among many different websites and retail outlets, but these apps bring them to you. When you're ready to check out, an app will find the code that works and usually apply it automatically.
Some apps will even tell you if you are getting the best deal right then. Prices can change daily in some cases, and these apps will tell you if this is s great time to buy or wait.
Rebates or Coupons?
Some apps will offer rebates based on your purchases and what retailers you frequent. This can be a very viable way of saving money too. The major difference, of course, is that you won't get those savings until you build up enough to receive a check from the rebate app.
Coupons on the other hand, allow you to save that money right up front during the purchase process. When it comes to keeping money in your wallet, then, coupons are the way to go. Ultimately, what we really want to do is use both to maximize our savings.
You may be able to sign up for two different apps and reap the rewards from them both. Or there are apps like Honey that allow you to get rebates and coupons all on the same platform. Regardless of which way you go, your shopping just got a little less expensive and easier with these apps.
How to Pick an App
There is a very large selection of apps out there to choose from. We will give you some of our favorites below, but you have to sign up and give each one your information, so it is best to keep it to just the ones you really need.
There are apps that are on your smartphone, of course, but do they offer a browser extension that helps you when you shop from a desktop or laptop? Where do the coupons come from and how effective are they? These are some of the considerations you want to make when choosing your savings app.
If you don't shop from a laptop or desktop, then you will want to find the best smartphone coupon app you can and run with it. There may be some trial and error as to which one is the best, but pay attention to reviews in the Apple App Store or in Google's Play store. These users will let you know if they are getting great deals or if they are frustrated with a particular app.
Where the coupons come from is an important metric to pay attention to as well. A lot of apps will use consumer provided coupon codes that may or may not fit your situation. This means that this app collects all of the coupon codes from shoppers and then will give them to you whether it fits your shopping cart or not.
Other apps will work with retailers to get the best codes and then try them for you right within your shopping cart. This saves time and generally is the best way to go.
Here are some top coupon apps and what we think of them:
Honey: a browser extension that gives you all the possible coupons for a retailer right at checkout. It also has a rebate program if you sign up for that portion of the service. The major disadvantage to Honey is that they do not have a smartphone app currently.
RetailMeNot: one of the oldest and most respected coupon websites and they have a great app for saving money too. They also can give you alerts and trends based on your spending habits. Another cool aspect of this app is the restaurant section so that you can save money on dinner too.
Ibotta: an app that can change how you view shopping entirely. This app is an in-store companion that will help you find great deals while you are out and about. You can even get rebates and cash back by working with friends or family with their "Teamwork" function.
Flipp: an app that lets you clip virtual coupons and have them associated with store loyalty cards. You can also shop weekly ads and stay ahead of the curve with the newest deals and compare deals across multiple stores.
Here are some great rebate apps and how they work:
Ebates: an app that pays you for the online shopping that already were doing anyway. You can find rebates from all corners of the web and search by retailer, item, or even brands. There is even a notification feature that lets you know when rebates go up for watched items.
Shopkick: takes a different approach to rebates and rewards just for shopping. You get "kicks" by scanning barcodes in stores, even without making a purchase. The kicks can add up to gift cards or you can donate to charity. While they don't have a cash option, the gift cards to favorite retailers is very exciting.
Receipt Hog: an app that sends you cash in return for your receipts. By submitting your shopping receipts, you add up coins that can be redeemed for hard earned cash. The longer you stick with it and "feed your hog" receipts, the more money you get back.
Checkout 51: an app that gives you rebates on groceries and the items that you shop for most. By browsing their offers every Thursday, you can add the ones that interest you most to your list. Once you buy and check them off your list, submit your receipt to get the cash back flowing your way.
Save Money Easily With Your Smartphone
The internet can be an overload of information, but it can also be the easiest way to get great deals on the the products you need. No matter which app you pick, you'll be rewarded with either cash, gift cards, or discounts that can make shopping fun and hassle free. Everyone loves to save money and the right app is your first step to getting there.
Before your next shopping trip, find an app that fits your personal shopping habits. While there might not be a magical app to fit ever situation out there, the apps that are available all have unique traits that make them worthwhile.
Once you build a habit of checking your app for deals, or building up great rebate rewards, you'll see the advantage of these apps. No more waiting for the Sunday paper or mailers to get the best coupons this week.