Thanksgiving here in the U.S. is just 2 days away, which means that the holiday shopping season unofficially kicks off immediately afterwards on Black Friday. If you’re a holiday shopper, you already know that things can get expensive quickly with all of the sales that go on this time of year. Fortunately, our (typically expensive) handy dandy smartphones have a way of giving back to us. One of the easiest ways to save money while holiday shopping (or any shopping, really) is through the use of apps that are designed to save you money.
Whether you’re shopping for gifts or everyday items, I’ve compiled a list of 10 of the best and easiest money saving (and money making) apps on the market to help you save a few bucks over the holiday season. Without further ado, let’s get started!
I’m going to start off with Shopkick because it’s one of my favorite apps, especially this time of year. Shopkick is an app that uses points to reward you with gift cards and savings – even if you don’t purchase anything! You can earn “Kicks” just for walking into one its 7,000 supported stores, scanning items (ones you don’t even have to purchase), or for spending money and uploading receipts. All in all, it’s an excellent money-making app – especially at the mall - even if you’re just tagging along with somebody for holiday shopping.
I’ll be honest, I hate shopping on Black Friday so I don’t. I did it once and I’ll never do it again. Regardless, Black Friday is still one of the biggest days out of the year for shoppers to score amazing deals in tons of stores. Luckily, there’s an app to help shoppers keep tabs on the Black Friday ads and know-how!
Black Friday 2015 Ads App features ads from most major retail locations based on BlackFriday.fm’s website (so even if the app isn’t available for your platform, you can always visit the website on your browser). This app also features Cyber Monday deals, so if you’re like me and prefer to deal with extremely slow loading times rather than hordes of angry shoppers, this app has you covered.
Whether you’re purchasing a gift card for somebody else or for yourself, check out Raise for discounted gift cards on a number of retailers. Additionally, you can use Raise to sell your unwanted gift cards should you have any laying around. Keep in mind that some gift cards are physical and some are digital.
If you’re a new user, you can use the code “RAISE10” to get $10 off of a $15 or more gift card.
Ibotta is an excellent app that works “better than coupons”. Ibotta features several retailers and items that are eligible for cash back promotions. This can include anything from groceries to electronics – there are different items available for cash back all the time. It’s a good app to check before you go shopping – or even afterwards, as there are a lot of rebates available on generic brand grocery items.
If you’re a Wal-Mart shopper, the Savings Catcher app is a handy tool to catch savings that you didn’t even know about by comparing “top competitors in your area for advertised deals on eligible items”. If they spot someone selling an item you purchased for more, they’ll put the difference on a Wal-Mart eGift card.
I haven’t had any luck with it so far, but I’ve had a couple of friends that have scored some sweet unexpected savings out of it.
Target’s Cartwheel app is excellent whether you’re a frequent shopper or just stopping by once. Target Cartwheel offers discounts in most areas of the store, so it’s a handy tool to know about if you plan to visit Target.
I’ve been using RetailMeNot’s website for a very long time, both on my computer and on my phone. It’s great for keeping up-to-date on deals for several retailers online, and typically a very reliable source that stays updated through recommendations.
A great app for keeping you in the know regarding sales from local retailers. It even works on the Apple Watch!
Ebates is another good website to know about if you shop at major retailers like Wal-Mart, Amazon, JCPenney, Kohl’s, or even eBay and Groupon. Get cash back for simply shopping at these stores, and get a $5 or $10 welcome bonus when you sign up.
You might be doing a lot of driving around when holiday shopping, which is when you boot up your old pal GasBuddy. GasBuddy uses a nationwide network of over 27 million members to update gas prices for different gas stations, potentially getting you a better deal on gas.
Whether you choose to use all of them, or even just one, hopefully this list can end up helping you save a little bit of cash this holiday season. Then you can do something really fun, like getting an oil change, or paying a bill. Something fun like that.