First off, let me announce if you didn’t know already, that today is Wednesday, and Fred Meyer’s weekly ad is now being run Wednesday through Tuesday instead of Sunday through Saturday. That being said, MILK IS ON SALE THIS WEEK in the Willamette Valley. Half gallons for .99 – limit 10. Just thought you should all be as excited about this as I am!
I have quite the collection of apps and websites that I use to help guide me to sales, coupons, and overall deals. Some of them I sift through, other ones I let them do the work for me. My essential apps that I use the most are shown below. I try to use them as often as possible.
I love loyalty cards. Nearly every store has one, and I have quite a few. One of the best apps that I have found is called Key Ring. This app lets you take a photo of your loyalty cards, front and back. You can then take all those cards out of your wallet, or off your key chain, and let your helpful cashier scan the bar code that comes up directly from your phone. It is awesome! (You can usually enter your phone number as an alternative, but I feel very “techie” when I use the app. Ha!) Not only do I use it for loyalty cards, I use it for my library card, my Bi Mart card… the possibilities are endless. It helps keep me organized AND clutter free.
Fred Meyer is my main store with a loyalty card, and app. I seem to find the best deals for my household here. They issue a rebate coupon quarterly, based on my total purchases during that time period. Free money! I love that I get gas rewards as well. I’m all about that little extra savings. There is a time limit on the rewards, but I try to let the savings build up a bit to make sure I’m getting the best deal possible. When I know it’s going to be an extra big discount on gas (in .10 increments off/gallon, with $1 discount max/ gallon I believe), I’ll have the hubby go down and fill up his truck, since his gas tank is much bigger than my little Mazda. Safeway has a good user friendly app. They also have gas rewards, which is great!
Flipp is another great app to have at your disposal. It enables me to see all the weekly ads in one handy place without having to purchase the paper. I can see all the deals as soon as I get up in the morning. A nice perk to Flipp is being able to enter specific items in the search box and the app will show you which stores have sales currently. You can create a shopping list in this app by clicking on the items within the chosen store. I, however, have the Our Groceries app that I love. This lovely app lets you create shopping lists by store. You can list all your items, categorize them by department, add the amount of products needed, etc. Very handy! What I like most though, is that multiple people on multiple devices can log in and add to your grocery list. The syncing is incredibly fast and very user friendly. (Thanks bro for the suggestion!)
The Target app now has their Cartwheel portion built in to their program. If you have a list for Target, check the app and search for your items. You can find coupons, percentages off, or gift cards for purchases, making your shopping trip cost a bit less. Unadvertised specials are also posted throughout the store. Text a specific word to their dedicated # and get a coupon. This comes in VERY handy around Christmas!
Checkout 51, Ibotta, and SavingStar are apps that give back to you after your purchase. They have advertised items on their apps. You highlight them, buy your product, (not necessarily in that order) and in most circumstances, take a photo of your receipt. The app verifies that the products you purchased are the ones from their list, and you get rewarded. It’s a simple process. SavingStar is a newer app that I just started using about 2 months ago, and I have made $5.25. It’s not a ton of cash, but I’ll take free money! I started using Ibotta in 2013. My lifetime earnings are $66.82. Sometimes there will be a few months where there’s nothing in there I want or need. Other times there’s multiples. The cash you earn doesn’t expire, but, for the most part, there is a $20 minimum before you can “cash out” your savings. The majority is paid with digital gift cards, but they also offer PayPal and Venmo options. (Also, think Christmas!) Checkout 51 will send you a check once you have reached $20.00. I’ve had this account for about 6 months, and have earned $16.51. All in all, between the three, I’ve made $88.58 for buying items that are already on my shopping list… and doing nothing but punching a few icons on my phone and taking a couple of pictures. Woo hoo!
I have a decent amount of websites, some of which are also apps, that I subscribe to. I have a designated email strictly for these subscriptions. It’s much easier to sift through! Fabulously Frugal is one of my favorites. Not only do they email me info on deals that are free, or heavily discounted, they tell me exactly what I need, where to go, and what to do to get the deal. See? They do the work FOR me! I don’t always have every coupon, because I don’t get the Sunday paper with the coupons, BUT I don’t have a mountain of clutter and recycling to go through and dispose of.
Krazy Coupon Lady is another one of my favorites. They have an amazing coupon database that takes the hassle out of searching for specifics.
Raise (discounted gift cards) is a great app/website for purchasing store gift cards at discount prices. I love using this site around the holidays. It is a great way to get more bang for your buck.
Coupon Mom, Ebates, RetailMeNot, Coupon Cabin, and Smart Source are also great for finding printable and online coupons and coupon codes. (And if you’re going to buy online, go thru the Ebates website. Yet once again, free money back in many instances, at websites you were going to buy from anyway!)
Honestly, I could go on and on for days about all the different websites and apps. It amazes me how much information is out there! The older I get, the more respect I have for my parents and grandparents clipping all those coupons to get a deal all those years ago. Granted, driving all over the San Gabriel/Pasadena, CA area to save .50 doesn’t amount to much considering the cost of gas, BUT it’s the principle of it all, right?? There’s not a lot that gets me as excited as getting an incredible deal on something… just ask my daughter, she usually benefits from my money saving adventures. I’m sure there are so many more I have missed. If you have any to suggest, please comment! I would love to get the word out! HAPPY SAVING!