I remember one semester in college when I really, really wanted to take a classic spring break road trip down to Florida with all my friends. Everyone was going to pack into a minivan and head down to Panama Beach. After all my hours and hours of study, plus the healthy dose of snow that had fallen that winter, fun and sun and surf sounded like an absolute dream! There was only one obstacle in my way: money.
I knew that if I was going to make it to the promised land of destressing from academia, I was going to have to scrimp and save. Luckily, if I learned anything during my college days, it was how to make a little money go a long, long way. I was a pro.
One of the best techniques I had for stretching my budget was saving up my receipts. I know, I know, this doesn’t sound like an effective way to find some extra cash, but it really works! You’d be shocked at not only how many of those things have coupons on the back, but how many businesses—from restaurants to bookstores—offer cash back if you find a better deal.
The broke college life started my habit of looking at receipts as a viable way to save money (you know, back when I had super important financial obligations like spring break trips…ha!), but you know what? Now that I’m running a budget with three growing (and very hungry) boys at home, my college education is finally paying off (I kid). And, now that smartphones are a thing, this whole process is easy with a capital E!
How this all works is simple. I go shopping, buy things my family needs, take pictures of my receipts, and get rewarded! This wonderful concept has already taken my savings game to the next level and I just know that if you commit to it, it will do the same for yours. So, here are some of my favorite tips for how to quickly get cash back on apps for receipts.
Tip #1: Save Your Receipts to Get Cash Back on Apps
The semester that I saved up for my college spring break trip, I used an old shoe box to store all of my receipts. These days, you can quickly photograph and catalog proof of purchase for everything you buy with all the best cash back apps for receipts. Maybe you don’t need the shoebox anymore, but the advice is still sound: to make this work, you absolutely must save all your receipts.
Most stores still hand out paper receipts without asking, but if they don’t, they’re quick to print on if you ask. I have a lot of friends who say they have gotten so used to throwing out receipts that their first impulse is to automatically scrunch them up, where they get lost at the bottom of their shopping never to be seen again. Break that habit—for the good of your checkbook!
My advice? Make taking a picture of each receipt an automatic part of your shopping trip…
My advice? Make taking a picture of each receipt an automatic part of your shopping trip, just like jotting down a list, fighting for parking, and desperately digging in your purse for your keys while keeping one eye on your kiddos and not dropping a single bag (just me?). It’s the first thing I do when I get in the door of the house after shopping, even before I put the milk away. But, if it works better for you to snap a quick photo of your receipt as soon as you sit down in the car, hey, you do you! Whatever works, because if you get good enough at saving receipts, you can eventually make money while you shop using apps.
Tip #2: Get Your Friends to Also Earn Cash Back on Apps for Receipts
What I remember most about that college spring break trip is how much fun it was to be down there with my friends, all of us relaxed and not a care in the world. In fact, I think most of the big moments in my life are like that. It’s the company that makes a memory special.
All the best shopping rewards receipt apps are like that, too. In fact, most of them actually give you points that you can convert into cash or gift cards for getting your friends and family to sign up with you! In my experience, what’s even better, though, is sharing notes with your friends about the stores and products that are earning you the most points and rewards while you shop through your app. I’ve found myself texting my girlfriends while I’m still in the aisles as if they were right there with me.
In my experience, what’s even better, though, is sharing notes with your friends about the stores and products that are earning you the most points and rewards while you shop through your app.
One key thing you must do to maximize your savings is to use your cash back on receipts app over and over again. When your friends are into it too, that becomes so much easier—and a lot more fun!
Tip #3: Use the Best Apps That Offer Cash Back for Receipts
Just like we wouldn’t have made it down to Florida without one of us having an old minivan, you’re going to need a vehicle that can get you to the savings and rewards you deserve—and by vehicle, I mean you’re going to have to pick out an easy-to-use app (or apps since you can use multiple rewards programs apps together).
Here’s a quick list of some of my favorites that I’ve shared with my own friends:
- SavingStar: SavingStar is a pretty typical receipt savings app. You buy products, you scan your receipt, and you get cash back into your special SavingStar account. Why I like this app, though, is that it actually has a heavy emphasis on buying groceries, which, again, with three hungry boys, I have to do all. of. the. time. Anyway, SavingStar is cool because it even has things like the Healthy Offer of the Week, which encourages my family and me to buy healthy fruits and vegetables. Very cool.
- Checkout 51: Checkout 51 works almost exactly like SavingStar (real talk, many of these apps work pretty much the same way), with one of the main differences being that Checkout 51 does this thing where it rolls out a new set of offers each Thursday at 12 a.m. Um, don’t even ask me how many times I’ve stayed up until midnight just to see the new sales.
- Shopkick: Now we come to my all-time favorite (cheering, fireworks going off, you name it), Shopkick. Shopkick is a receipt savings app, but it also gives you points, called kicks, for scanning the barcodes of featured products and even just walking into some popular stores. You can even use it for your online purchases at many popular websites! And, speaking of using it with friends, Shopkick also has an absolutely fantastic social media community of shoppers who share tips about shopping (of course) and a ton of other things as well, like recipes and jokes and gifs! I love it, and while I’m known to use all three of these apps together, Shopkick is definitely the one I spend the most time on—and have the most fun with.
Now that you know how to quickly get cash back on apps for receipts, it’s time to go out there and get it done! All of the apps above are great about letting you cash in when you reach a certain minimum balance, none of which is higher than $20. And don’t forget to use them all with your friends! Everything’s more fun together, and, hey, who knows? Maybe you all can save enough money that you can take a special spring break moms trip together this year—with your kids to the zoo. #momlife
Ready to explore the best cash back apps for receipts—and have fun doing it? Download Shopkick for free and join a community of loyal Shopkickers who’ve already discovered the rewards of shopping with us.
Image courtesy stokkete