Shopping Apps Make Cents

Grocery shopping is one of the most constant things I do each week. The day before I plan to shop is when I plan my menu for the next week. I collect coupons and look through store ads to see which grocery store I will shop at. I also glance through my different shopping apps I have loaded onto my smart phone. These apps help defray the rising cost of groceries for my family.


shopkickShopkick is the first app I stumbled upon that rewards me for shopping. It’s a cute little thing with a lot of potential. There are four different ways to gain points (kicks) with this app. The first way is to simply walk into a listed store, open your app and then you will be rewarded. Easy enough. The second way is to scan products while in the store. I never use this because it’s time consuming. If time is on your side, then you can actually earn a lot of kicks this way. The third way is to link your credit or debit card to the app then you have the ability to earn kicks. I have utilized this option on occasion but typically comes with a few restrictions such as amount you have to spend and a certain time-frame in which to spend that amount. The fourth way is to scroll through all the advertisements within the app to discover hidden kicks. I do this when I’m bored, which is not very often, and I have to say there is a method to finding the kicks.

You can redeem these kicks for gift cards, which is really fun.

Checkout 51

checkout51-appCheckout 51 is specifically for items that you would find at a grocery store. This app is nice because you do not need to specify the store you are shopping from. Within the app, you take a photo of your receipt and then select the offers you’re redeeming. Your account is then credited. Once you reach a minimum of $20 then you may cash out and they send you a check. The downside to this app is that almost every offer is a processed food. One offer per week will be something good like produce or dairy. Upload your $60+ receipt each week to be entered in a $500 drawing, even if you don’t redeem other items on the list. Checkout 51 only allows you to redeem one offer per item per week although the offers may be available for several weeks at a time. This is typically not the case for your whole food items, however.

Groupon Snap

snap-by-grouponGroupon Snap is pretty similar to Checkout 51, except certain offers can be redeemed multiple times. For example, if you buy four cucumbers then you may have the option to redeem the cucumber offer on each one, which is really great. You can also invite friends and earn extra cash that way. To use it, you upload a picture of your receipt and then select the offers you’re redeeming. It’s pretty straight forward.


ibottaIbotta works the same way as the others, except you have to select the store you’re shopping from, which can be limiting. You also have to photograph your receipt and scan the barcode on the item you’re redeeming an offer for. It’s an extra step but really doesn’t take too much extra time. You can cash out for PayPal or gift cards starting at $10. Ibotta allows for team building as well to earn extra cash.

These four apps are great and I use all of them frequently. You have to make sure that you stick to your list and aren’t falling for the marketing of the whole idea and buying items that wouldn’t normally be on your list. You can combine these offers with coupons to save extra money. Yes, it does take time, but really only adds a few minutes to each shopping trip.

About Meghan Zeile

Mom-in-the-know and local writer for Rochester Media. Always looking for tips with kids, family life, and fun local adventures. Contact at

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