My group of mama friends and I recently got together for a rare girls’ night and a glass of wine. The hors d’oeuvres had been served, the glasses filled, and we were getting down to serious business—chatting about our families. A friend with teenage sons happened to mention her astronomical grocery bill, inducing a round of head nods from most of the ladies. And that’s where the conversation started to get interesting. You see, these gals also happen to be my favorite shopping buddies—and I had some shopping gossip to spill.
“There are free apps that pay you to grocery shop.” Heads turned and glasses returned to their coasters, then one friend squeaked out, “Someone pays you to push a cart around a grocery store?”
To put it mildly, everyone was a bit skeptical at first, but I persisted; anything to save my friends with growing families from a stifling budget. I whipped out my smartphone and, within moments, had turned my friends into super savvy shoppers, ready to tackle the aisles searching for rewards. Several of them have even joined me in a quest to earn free gift cards to tuck into our kids’ Christmas stockings this year.
Now my posse and I love opening our favorite shopping app while strolling the aisles together. It’s like we’re on a scavenger hunt every time we go out to the store—a scavenger hunt for big-time rewards. And, guess what? You’re invited to join in! I bet you’re ready to find out how.
How Apps That Pay You To Grocery Shop Work
If you’re anything like most of my mom crew, you probably haven’t changed your grocery shopping technique for years. Maybe you get a few things online these days, but for the most part the process goes like this: go through the fridge, jot down a list of what you need on the back of some junk mail, ask the kids if there’s anything special they want, tell them sorry but a lifetime supply of Ben and Jerry’s isn’t an option, head out to the nearest grocery store, then rinse and repeat in a few days.
Smartphone shopping apps that actually pay you to grocery shop are a game changer, though. Actually, I should say they’re turning everyday shopping into a game! One you can play against yourself to see how far you can push your savings. And, they’re incredibly easy and intuitive to use. Even my friend Sharon who’s still a Facebook holdout loves using the app.
Here’s how getting paid by an app to grocery shop works:
- Walk into your favorite grocery store; think Target, CVS, Walmart, or the local upscale market that’s your secret happy place. Earn rewards.
- Open the app and scan product barcodes. Earn more rewards.
- Purchase your family’s favorite products—and maybe some new ones you’ve been curious about. You guessed it, earn even more rewards!
And those staples you like to have shipped right to your house? You can get paid when you buy those, too. You can even get points for watching product videos and for referring friends, family, and coworkers; it really is almost too easy.
How You Get Paid for Using Shopping Apps
Remember the friend I mentioned above, the one who isn’t known for being shy about speaking her mind? Well, she also wasn’t shy about getting down to money talk after I’d shown her that, yes, these apps are indeed real, not a figment of my savvy shopper dreams. She wanted to know exactly how the payout of rewards works.
First of all, I told her to keep in mind that, no, these apps don’t pay you the way a job would; you’re not going to get an hourly rate for cruising the aisles. What you will get are valuable rewards that bring back the thrill of the hunt.
What kind of rewards? I’m talking free gift cards at your favorite stores, like Target, Best Buy, and even Amazon, allowing you to treat yourself, your spouse, and (sometimes, wink, wink) your kids. It really is like a game, a game you’re guaranteed to win.
How much are these rewards worth? While they vary from product to product and store to store, they’re always worthwhile. I can tell you that this year alone I was able to cash in on shopping rewards worth over $200 on Target gift cards, which made it oh so much easier to get the kids the supplies they needed for school. I think I even had some leftover for new sunglasses if I remember correctly.
Above and beyond the financial rewards, my grocery shopping app also brought a bit of extra fun into my marriage. I was actually able to get my husband to use a loyalty or rewards program for the first time! All of a sudden he was offering to run the store on weeknights just so we could increase our rewards total. Now on the weekends, we even use the app together, stopping in at each other’s favorite stores and scavenging for points.
Which Type of Shopping Rewards App Should You Download?
If your crew of besties is anything like mine, you probably have what I like to call a healthy diversity of opinion; it keeps things interesting. As with friendly opinions, there are also a few different styles of shopping apps available.
- #1: The Survey App. Apps that reward you for filling out surveys about your shopping experience
- #2: The Coupon App. Apps that give you coupons and discounts
- #3: The Rewards Program App. Apps that reward you with a fun and easy method for earning points for shopping you’d do anyway
Did that last one intrigue you? Ding, ding, ding, this is also my personal favorite! It offers the thrill of the scavenger hunt, all without altering how I already shop. I just watch my points pile up while I peruse my local stores and try out new or family favorite brands.
The app I recommended to my own friends is Shopkick. It’s user-friendly, generous with the points (called kicks!), and did I mention yet just plain fun? Honestly, the real challenge with this app sometimes is waiting to get enough rewards to earn the bigger gift cards, without cashing them in early for a quick Starbucks treat, a constant temptation (darn you, pumpkin spice).
So, let’s recap. My friends learned I’m not some crazy person who invents fake apps; there are, in fact, ways to get paid to grocery shop! And, we all learned how to bring the fun back to grocery shopping by racking up rewards and getting paid while shopping for our growing (and hungry) brood. Teenagers may have an endless pit for a stomach, but they’re no match for my Shopkick app!