Top 9 Apps That Will Save (and Make) You Money

The Top 9 Apps to Save & Make You Money

Recently, one of my readers asked for some recommendations on apps that will save and make you money. I posted this question on the Money Saving Mom Facebook Page, and based upon the input I received there, I’ve put together a list of the top 10 apps that will save and make you money:

1. ShopKick

Download the free Shopkick app and get mobile coupons plus rewards for walking into stores. Here’s what they say about it:

We’re all familiar with traditional reward programs. Shopkick is a shopping rewards program that’s, well, more rewarding. No plastic cards, no confusing rules, no extra steps. You just do what you love doing anyway—walking into your favorite stores like Target, Macy’s, Best Buy, Crate&Barrel, Old Navy, Toys”R”Us, Exxon and Mobil convenience stores, and more—and you automatically rack up über-versatile points called “kicks.” No applications to fill out, and no purchase required. That’s right—you just walk in with your smartphone and instantly earn kicks.

Right now, you can get a free $2 Target gift card, too. Details here.

2. Jingit

Jingit is a newer income-earning program that pays you to watch ads online. You can also earn money for downloading the mobile app, scanning items at Walmart, and answering a couple of questions.

To get paid, you just register for a Jingit Visa Debit Card (costs $3 from your Jingit balance to request it) and then add cash for your online Jingit balance to the Visa card. There is an earning limit of $15 per week. When you initially join, you’ll have a lower earning limit but this can be raised to $15 by inviting friends to join.

See a more in-depth explanation of Jingit here.

3. Ibotta

Have you checked out the new iBotta app? It’s another way to earn, similar to Jingit. Unlike Jingit, though, it requires a product purchase to earn the money.

However, the payout is high and it’s really simple to do. Just sign up for iBotta and download the free app. Choose any of the products that you plan to buy at the store and click on the earning opportunities and watch the videos, take the quick surveys, or read the information to add the cash to your account.

Purchase the product at an approved retailer (make sure you’re buying it when it’s on a great sale and using a coupon, too!) Take a picture of your receipt when you get home and your cash will be added to your account. You can transfer your cash to your Paypal account whenever you want to cash out.

4. RetailMeNot

The free RetailMeNot app allows you to browse all the best coupons available, get deal alerts while shopping at your favorite malls, and find thousands of online and in-store coupons. Always consult the RetailMeNot app or site before making a purchase in-store or online to see if there’s a coupon can you use to save some extra money.

5. SwagbucksTV App

Earn money for watching videos on your phone. You’ll earn 2 Swagbucks for every 5 videos watched. There’s a limit of 50 Swagbucks per day that you can earn per device, but that can add up quickly. This app is also available for Android.

6. Old Navy SnapAppy

Like to shop atDownload Old Navy’s free SnapAppy app and then take pictures of Old Navy logos to win free things. I pulled up Old Navy logos online and snapped shots of them and won a coupon for a pair of free Old Navy Flip Flops plus a $5 off any at Old Navy coupon (no minimum!).

7. Gas Buddy

Gas Buddy is a free app that allows you to find the least expensive gas in your area. You can also locate gas stations near you and see their current prices.

Dawna said: “I use Gas Buddy all the time. If I know I have enough gas to get me to my destination 30 miles away and gas is ten cents cheaper a gallon there, I’m on it!”

9. ShopSavvy

ShopSavvy is a free app that allows you to scan any barcode of any item and find the lowest online or local prices. Andrea said: “I have installed a barcode scanner on my smartphone. When shopping in a store I always scan the barcode to see if it is cheaper online. Last week I found a pair of shoes in a store for 60 dollars. I scanned the barcode and was able to find them at Amazon for 42 dollars with free shipping. The money I save using the barcode app almost pays for the Smartphone!”

10. Price-Matching

This isn’t an app, per se, but I had to mention this because it’s a fantastic way to use your smartphone to save money. Before checking out at any store that price-matches (such as Walmart or Target), always check your phone to see if you can find a lower price somewhere.

Lisa said: “I had to buy my son a graphing calculator for school the next day. The cheapest in our area was at Best Buy. While in line I looked up the exact calculator in amazon and showed them my phone. They matched the price and I saved $26!”

What are your favorite apps to save and earn money? Tell us about them in the comments!

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Comments

  1. Lorie says

    mPOINTS apps – I’m making at least $5 a day in Amazon gift cards (other gift cards are available as well) by playing games and using apps.

    • Charleen says

      mPoints rewards is on several applications. They have a list for iPhone and Android phones on their Facebook page. I’ve been using it since Nov 2012 and have earn alot of gift cards in a very short period of time. The good thing about the gift cards is that most do not have an expiration date. I’m sitting on $30 worth for Old Navy…waiting for winter clearance sales. Next, I’m working on Amazon credit to buy school books for my son. There are a lot of gift card options…Banana Republic, CVS, Amazon, Old Navy, Lowes…and many many more.

      • Lorie says

        You sign up on the individual apps that you use and the points all link together. My husband started using it before I did – we paid for all of our 3 childrens, friends and families and each others Christmas by using Amazon gift cards. I’ve also bought groceries from Amazon with my gift cards and used the CVS cards for couponing/extrabuck shopping. :) Honestly, it is a little more time consuming than most people would like if you are wanting to get a lot of gift cards quickly, but its definitely better than the time spent on Swagbucks to get the same. Here is a link to their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/getmpoints?fref=ts

  2. Margarita says

    My I ask how or if anyone knows how to keep SBTV going on the phone? My phone will go to power save mode after 15 minutes and I have to go in and start it all over, I have seen people say they start it and then just let it run…I have not been able to do this at all.

    • Lori S says

      Mine doesn’t go to powersave but in between videos sometimes the app will get stuck on an ad and unless I exit out of the ad, it will be stuck there forever. So I am not able to run it while sleeping. I run it throughout the day and usually hit my goal by 8pm.

    • Michelle says

      You should be able to change the amount of time that elapses before power save starts in one of the settings/display menu’s. I know my phone gives you the option of 1,5, 15 minutes or to turn off the power save. I would think you would have to leave it plugged in if it was going to run stuff like that all night but

  3. Katie says

    I use amazon’s PriceCheck to scan barcodes at stores. It’s a great way to get reviews and more info, as well as a baseline price to compare. So far I’ve found what NOT to buy (when it’s cheaper on Amazon) and saved $10 on a hand mixer I found on clearance that turned out to have 5 stars on Amazon, and $10 on a nice coffee maker marked down at Macy’s.

    • says

      I was just coming here to post the Amazon app. I think it is the number one app for me. I ALWAYS scan the price on Amazon first if it something big. I did this a lot during Christmas and unfortunately realized that a lot of sale prices at brick and mortar stores were the same prices Amazon had. So basically I just shopped on Amazon instead of burning gas and getting into traffic and crowds.

    • says

      Actually, they have. If you follow Freebies4Mom, she links to all of the offers available, every time they are available. Sometimes, you have to go through the direct link to get the ad to play. Oftentimes, you can go through the direct link once every day to earn.

  4. says

    The Swagbucks TV app use to be that easy…. but last several times I used it on my smart phone, it would require me to ‘click’/tap continue or something to move on to the next video. I’ve had to delete the app for other reasons but it is an easy way to accumulate swagbucks. I use to start it up in the morning while I prepared breakfast & did other stuff and just check on it.

  5. says

    I recently re-entered the world of smartphones, so I may be way behind, but I have a question. I have looked at some of the apps, like Target or coupons.com. Before you install them, there are permissions they tell you that you are approving. I would be giving A LOT of them permission to track my phone calls and my contacts. Also, some of them say they will take pictures and videos with my phone without my knowledge. I skip these apps because I’m kind of into some semblence of privacy, but I’m wondering if anyone else is concerned with these permissions, or if I’m not understanding them correctly? Thanks!

    • Mary says

      Yes! I noticed the same thing and have avoided downloading some apps (even a simple solitaire app!). But I’d like to take adavantage of some of these — is there any way to get around giving up so much information just to be able to use some of these apps? Has anyone ever had problems because you downloaded an app that requires you to give up so much information?

    • Michelle says

      I was thinking the same thing, especially about the first one that tracks where you are and gives you deals based on that. Just something creepy about that. I have a kindle fire and noticed that you have to look at the permissions on each and every app. Something as simple as tetris has a huge list of permissions you are agreeing to by downloading it. Not worth it to essentially give the app producer free rein over the information on my tablet/phone. There are quite a few of the facebook deals I don’t do either because you are giving that company access to darn near everything on your page, including the ability to post things on your timeline.
      It’s a trade off, you are getting the deals because you are allowing the company to data mine, and there is a huge market to buy that data on consumer behavior. Not one that I’m willing to make but that is a decision that each person needs to make.

      • says

        I completely agree!! I cannot believe the amount of data these apps collect, on Facebook or the smartphone. I recently decided against Shopkick and Ibotta because the permissions required me to allow them to see if I was on an active call, how long the call was as well as who it was connected to. Shopkick wanted that as well as permission to turn on my mic and camera whenever they wanted and record, whether you know it or not. They also wanted to be able to fully access all my contacts in my phone. Privacy is super important to me… I willingly participate in some marketing activities but on MY terms, not theirs. A few bucks is not worth giving all that up, and certainly not worth giving up my contacts’ information either! I was disappointed to have to skip these apps, but I will never use them and would advise anyone else to do the same until they revise their terms.

        • says

          Thanks, Ladies. I didn’t know if I was paranoid or just uninformed. But you’ve reinforced what I thought. Too bad we can’t use our Smartphones to be smarter. But I’m not willing to give that kind of information to everyone just for a deal. There will be other ways to save money or there won’t. But it’s worth the privacy to me.

      • Pam says

        I so wish someone would reply to some of these questions/statements! I have seen all of these apps, and then see all the info they take from you and personal info at that!

  6. Lori S says

    You missed Viggle!! My favorite. you get points for checking into shows. I normally earn 600 points a day. You can earn up to 6000 a day and check into shows up to 12 hours a day. I normally just focus on the evening shows to get all of the bonuses. 10,000 points is a $5 CVS gift card. They also have starbucks, old navy, lowes, amazon, etc. I love this app.

    • says

      I looked into it, but it seemed too complicated and time-consuming to me — and it also seemed like you had to have cable for most of the shows? I don’t watch TV, though, so that may have played into my thoughts on it. :)

      • Melinda D says

        I use Viggle with Hulu Plus. Plus, you can watch ads on the app to get points. When you cash out for a rewards it is instant so there is no waiting. The app isn’t as great as it used to be but it’s still free gift cards. :)

  7. Kate says

    Wikets, it’s an iPhone app that rewards you for making purchases through the app, 8 different gift cards to choose from. I’ve earned gift cards just for making purchases through Amazon I would make anyway, like diapers and grocery items.

  8. Adam says

    My favorite app that was not listed is Viggle. This app pays you to watch TV. Just check into your favorite shows by letting your phone listen to the TV. When the show is over you get points which are redeemable for gift cards from places like Best Buy, JC Penny, and CVS.

  9. says

    What a lot of readers might not know is you don’t have to have a smart phone to get a lot of these apps to work. I just have a 4th generation i-touch and I am able to download all these apps. If a store has free wi-fi and a lot of them do I can use the app. in their store. I check gas buddy before I am out to get the best deal in town, or at the restaurant where we are out for lunch in a neighboring town.

  10. Alex says

    My husband and I just have stupid phones. We have been considering purchasing smart phones. My question is “Do these money saving apps repay the cost difference of the phone?”

  11. April says

    There is a Swagbucks search widget available for Android phones (haven’t been able to find it on the iPhone) that acts like the Swagbucks toolbar on your computer. You can earn Swagbucks by searching the web on your phone, just as you do on your PC.

  12. says

    LOVE this list! I just downloaded 3 new apps! :) I also love using shopkick. You basically open up the app every time you go into particular stores and it gives you points, and then more points for different items in the store that you scan!

    Every time I go to target I open the app and get points for it and more points for items I scan in {usually around 200 points a visit}. I’ve already earned a $5 Target card {I probably go to target too much! ha!}.

  13. Margaret says

    I too am wondering if the cost of a smartphone and it’s service plan is even offset by these money saving apps. I can’t imagine doing all this stuff in a store or even at home. I am obviously not tech savvy enough to make this easy!

  14. Melinda D says

    One of my favorite apps is Checkpoints. You earn points by scanning products instore, watching videos, etc. you also get a “coin” to use to play one of the two games (very quick and simple) for each item you scan as a way to earn bonus points. I can usually earn about 2 $10 Amazon cards a month (more if I went to the store everyday). :). They also have Home Depot and Starbucks cards to name a few.

  15. Joni Tate says

    ShopKick is my number one app! My husband and I have been shopkickers for 1 year, so far we were able to get him an ipad 2 for $60.oo out of pocket and an ipad mini for me for $27.oo out of pocket. I have a $25.00 Macy’s gift card waiting to be used and many kicks left now. We may not have been able to afford these items, if it were not for shopkick!

  16. says

    Sometimes I think we are the last people on Earth to not have smartphones. But these apps seem like a great way to make up the difference in the bill. It’s certainly something to consider anyway.

  17. Noel says

    I am so happy Shop Savvy is listed here! This app has saved us hundreds of dollars. We have been able to go to a store and scan an item like a printer. Then, it will show us a list of local and online stores. We have been able to get stores like microcenter and best buy to price match other local stores because of this. It has also prevented me from impulse buying because scanning something and seeing how much I could save elsewhere or inline gives me time to think about it. Thanks for posting this list.

  18. Cassie says

    I use Coupon Sherpa all the time. When I am in a store, I just pull it up to get a coupon instantly.

  19. Lindsay says

    GymPact pays you for working out! You tell them how many times you want to work out that week, and they pay you anywhere from $0.50 to $0.75 per workout. HOWEVER, if you go fewer times than you said you would, GymPact charges you! You can set your charge limit anywhere from $5 to $50. This is GREAT motivation if you are trying to work on your New Year’s resolution!! And if you go to the gym regularly, this is an easy way to make money!