Since being in grad school, I’m always looking for ways to save a little here and there. And I’m ALWAYS looking for ways to make a little here and there. So, if you’re like me, then here are some of my favorite ways to save money, and earn money, using apps.
Grocery Store Apps
I know it’s easy to overspend in the grocery store. That’s why I always have my cash ready along with coupons saved onto my favorite grocery store app. Each of these are a little different, so you’ll want to really analyze your favorite one and see how you can save the most money.
I will tell you that if you shop at H-E-B
, their digital coupons are usually the same as the yellow tag coupons found in store, but sometimes they’re not. I just had a ton of coupons sent to my email from H-E-B and I saved almost 50% last week shopping there. I “clipped” the coupons that I wanted to use and then added those items to a shopping list all housed within the app. Then when I went to the store, I typed in my phone number on the credit card keypad, entered my pin, and saved a LOT OF MONEY! I mean like I got stuff for FREE.
is pretty much the same, but they don’t have those yellow coupons in the store like HEB does. Again, I download the coupons I want, I can create a list, and then I can shop quickly. I will tell you that Kroger is more expensive than H-E-B on certain items. You’ll really want to avoid items that are not on sale. The best way to save money at any store, is to use a downloaded coupon on an item that is already on sale. Then you’re saving twice as much. You must have a Kroger card in order to get those items off your app onto your purchase. You give your Kroger card to the cashier, she scans it and then your items, and you save money immediately before paying. HEB is the same way about taking money off your purchase immediately. Check your receipts to make sure the money came off. Always!
I wanted to list Walmart, but could not retrieve their Savings Catcher app. This is what they have used in the past, but I would hate to mislead you since it has been many moons ago since I used this app.
is another way that I have used to save money in the grocery store. I just purchase the items listed in the app, scan their barcodes, and then scan my receipt when I get home. Then I get that money back in a rebate. So, I don’t save money at the store. When I hit a certain limit, I can “cash out”. You could cash out when you save $20 and this would be added back into your checking account. I always loved seeing money come back into our account instead of going out!
If you prefer paper coupons, go to Kroger on Sundays and buy the Houston Chronicle. They have the best coupons.
Apps for Activities
is another app that I love to use when we are about to head out on some kind of adventure. Several years ago we took a trip to Waco and I used a Groupon to get us into the Dr. Pepper Museum. It was super easy! I downloaded the app, purchased the coupon voucher, and then showed this to the lady at the counter. She was able to scan it straight off my phone and we were able to save 20% on tickets. The one thing about any app is to always read the fine print. You don’t want to purchase something only to find out later the voucher had different terms than what you were expecting.
I also get emails for places like the movies. If you are wanting to save money anywhere, just go to the website of your favorite store and enter your email address. This is a great way to get coupons sent directly to your inbox.
Apps for Eating Out
This app was actually created by a College Station resident after the death of a college student in town. You download the app onto your phone. The app helps you to drive without texting. While driving, the app accrues two points per minute spent in the car. You can take these points and cash them in for free food at local restaurants, bowling, and a ton more of free items. It’s a great way to save money, but more importantly, save a life.
Don’t forget to download apps for your favorite restaurant or send them your email address so they will send you coupons. I have the McDonald’s app and I can usually get a hamburger for free or save a few dollars off the total bill.
Apps to Earn Money
Who doesn’t just love earning money? I know I do!
is my all-time favorite app. If you enjoy just hanging out or looking around the store for a while you might as well download Shopkick. All you have to do is walk in the store with you app opened, and scan items that you can find within the app. (Notice I didn’t say anything about purchasing a thing and you’re already earning money.) After you scan, you get points. Once you have a certain number of points, you can exchange these for gift cards that are all housed within the app. I spent one Christmas shopping with my Shopkick gift cards and saved $80. I got a lot of Christmas gifts for free that year. Again, I don’t purchase anything from Shopkick. I just walk around scanning items and they pay me to do so!
is another easy app that I have used for making money. If you like taking surveys then this app is for you! You fill out a form letting them know your interests and then they begin sending you surveys that they think you will be able to qualify for. You take a survey and accrue points. After you accrue so many points you are able to cash those in for gift cards that are housed inside the app. I always purchased the Paypal option and had the money sent directly into our checking account. The points seem to add up quickly and it doesn’t take long to begin making some money. It may be slow going at first, but stick with it and you’ll start taking surveys that are worth more points.
I hope you find these apps to be helpful when looking for ways to save money and earn money.
What apps do you use to save money? What about earning money?
Whitney Sparks is a Masters student in the Department of Education