No matter who you are, when January rolls around each year, you probably have two goals in mind.
You want to lose weight/eat better/eat less processed foods/exercise more/etc. You want to be better with your money.
The excesses of the holiday season come back to bite us in the butt in January. Our jeans feel tighter, and our bank account has dwindled.
Today, we are going to focus on the second of the two big goals. We are going to talk about ways to save money.
Besides telling you to earn more and spend less, we also want to give you some apps that you can download on your smartphone that might help you save a few extra bucks each week. You won’t become a millionaire by using these apps, but you may be able to buy a couple of extra pairs of shoes this year for your trouble.
If you are a mall shopper, you must download RetailMeNot. Although this app can also be used for online purchases and to look at sale ads, we have found it most useful when buying items from stores usually located in malls.
Download the app for free. Once you create an account, you can do a quick search for the store you plan to visit. Once you arrive on a specific store’s page, you have three options.
First, you can look for in-store deals. Under this tab, you may find scannable coupons or codes to use at the register.
Second, you will see an “online” tab. This gives you a list of codes you can use to save additional money when buying something online.
Finally, the “sales” tab informs you of sales that are currently running for the retailer you are visiting.
This app is perfect for the person who always forgets to bring her coupons to the store.
Do you know those Bed, Bath and Beyond and Hobby Lobby coupons that you receive in the mail every week? Those blue and white coupons that are scattered all over your car? Do you always forget to bring them to the store? Yeah, so do we. With Retail Me Not, you always have access to one.
Use this app at your favorite department store, like Macy’s or your teen’s favorite store, like Aeropostale. In fact, make your teens download this app to their phones, so they can use money-saving coupons when shopping by themselves.
You can also use it for chain restaurants such as Domino’s or Olive Garden.
We have found this app to be less helpful for shopping at places like Target or Walmart. You can see the sale deals from the website, but you aren’t as likely to find coupons.
As you stand in line at the cash register, bring up an online coupon from Retail Me Not. The clerk can easily punch in the code or scan your phone so that you can receive the discount. It’s as easy as that.
Looking for ways to save on diapers, ketchup, and coffee? Do you not want to clip old-school coupons? Try Ibotta.
Download the Ibotta app for free and set up an account.
Tell Ibotta what store you are planning to visit. From there, you will see pages of online coupons for every-day products.
Some of the coupons are for specific brands and sizes. Other coupons are generic — such as “dryer sheets” or “bottled water.” Pay attention to the coupon limits (if there are any), and click on the plus sign to add the item to your shopping list.
You can save on a wide variety of items. From dog treats to Kraft cheese. From wine to cauliflower.
After you make your purchases, you scan your receipt from the app. Ibotta “looks” through the list of items you bought and creates a list of coupons that you may be able to use. (It seems as if the app only works if you first added those items to your shopping list.)
The app then calculates the savings and adds it to your account. You can have the money transferred to your PayPal account, or you can redeem it in digital gift cards to use at your favorite retailers.
Scan through the list of coupons available through Ibotta before you enter the store. You may be able to save money on items that were already on your list.
There are a couple of other money-saving apps that we would like to share with you. Come back in two weeks, so we can give you some other ideas on how to save a few extra bucks a week.
This article was originally posted at Midlife Single Mommy.