Want to save money or earn some extra cash without exerting a lot of effort? Check out these apps and tips

  • Ibotta (free app)
    • This is an app that offers money back for buying certain items (bananas, bread, Groupon deals). All you have to do is add a featured item to your list, buy the item at the store, then scan the barcode and load a picture of your receipt through the app. It’s pretty easy. Plus, right now if you use my referral code (rrceial), you can get $10 just for signing up. Once you get $20, you can cash out using Paypal or buying gift cards. I really like the Paypal option, because it allows you to use your money pretty quickly, unlike some apps that send a check or work through gift cards only. So far I have made $45 in a little over a month. This is a great app, because you also get bonuses for completing tasks like redeeming Organic Gatorade two times or redeeming a certain number of rebates a month.
    • Use referral code rrceial for $10 just for signing up
  •  Cartwheel (free app)
    • If you shop at Target and don’t have this app, you should really download it. It’s basically coupons right on your phone that you can scan at checkout to save money. There are tons of deals on food, clothes, electronics, etc. It even tracks how much you’ve saved using the app. This is such an easy way to save money and is completely free.
  • Bing rewards (free app and desktop search engine)
    • I personally use Google Chrome for most of my online activity, however I also have a Bing account because it allows you to earn points that you can use toward things like Amazon gift cards and Hulu subscriptions. You get points for searches you make using Bing (this includes just randomly searching letters until you reach the cap for that day, which is the strategy that I employ). You can get up to 100 points for mobile searches per day and 150 for desktop searches. You can also get points for taking trivia quizzes or just clicking certain links. A good way to earn some money here and there.
  • MobiSave (free app)
    • This is another rebate-based app. The downside is that there are only a few rebates available at a time. But on the plus side, once the rebate goes through, the money is automatically added to your Paypal account. There is no minimum for cashing out unlike many other rebate apps. The payouts aren’t huge, but it’s a little extra something.
  • Swagbucks (free app)
    • You can earn a lot of points using this app by doing searches, entering codes, buying deal, watching videos, and taking surveys. For the most part, I just watch videos, answer the daily poll question, and entering the codes when I can. So far I’ve made enough for $10 worth of gift cards. I’ve read about people buying deals at a discount and then selling them online, which gets you a decent amount of money, but is also a lot of work. So you get what you put into this one. The nice thing about the videos is that if you’re at home and connected to Wifi, you can just let the video reel run while you read, craft, do dishes, work out, whatever.
  • Cashout51 (free app)
    • This is pretty much the same thing as Ibotta except the deals are posted every Thursday and are good for one week. However, many of the deals are repeated weekly such as Starbucks coffee. This one also has a $20 cashout minimum. The downside is that it only pays through checks, which means you have to wait around for it in the mail. So far I’ve made almost $35 with this one.
  • BevRAGE (free app)
    • This is a rebate-based app for alcohol that you purchase from bars, restaurants, and stores. I have not had a chance to use it yet. Check back for updates soon.
  • Shopkick (free app)
    • This one is kind of fun. They payouts aren’t huge, but it’s set up like a scavenger hunt. When you go to a store, you can get kicks (points) for Walk-ins (make sure your Bluetooth is on) and by scanning certain items. You can also get kicks for buying certain items and scanning your receipt. You need at least 500 kicks to redeem a gift card. So far I have gotten four Target gift cards for a total of $8 just by getting Walk-ins and scanning things. Again, not a huge payout, but a fun way to earn a few bucks here and there.
  • ShopTracker (free app)
    • This one comes in at the bottom of the list. It’s an easy way to earn $3 a month, but the money is almost impossible to spend. All you have to do is link your Amazon account to the app. The app has access to the records of what you buy (they do not get information on your credit card number or anything like that). Send in your info each month and they send you a code for a $3 Visa card. Unfortunately, the Visa card acts like a credit card so finding things online for under $3 is pretty annoying. I’ve gotten two so far and have used them on books on Amazon, but each time the total was under $3 so now I have two cards with a few cents on them that I can’t use anywhere.

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