The best free shopping apps to download today
I am continuously in awe of how fast-paced the world is these days. I remember how, as a kid, my mom use to spend hours and hours going over all the ads in the Sunday paper, writing down the best prices, and making a list of which stores to shop on which days. And, don’t even get me started on how much time she spent clipping paper coupons!
Luckily, to save oodles of money shopping these days, we don’t have to put in nearly as much time. In fact, reaping the kind of savings that used to take our mothers hours can be done almost with the push of a button on our phone thanks to free shopping apps.
For those who don’t know, the best free shopping apps can save you just as much money as a clipping paper coupons used to. How it works is simple: you go shopping as you normally would, whether that’s in a store or online. Then, you get points for your normal shopping activities, including walking into stores, scanning barcodes to learn more about items (or watching videos online), and making purchases. You can even earn rewards for shopping online. Then, you trade those points in for cash back or gift cards!
Best of all, you can download the best free shopping apps in minutes, on both iPhone and Android, and quickly be on your way to major savings, all in about the time it took your parents to look over the ads from a single store. You’ll wonder how your parents ever put up with something so slow.
…the best free shopping apps can save you just as much money as a clipping paper coupons used to.
Because there are a lot of different shopping apps out there these days, I’ve put together this handy guide to the best free shopping apps. Read up, and make sure you pick the right one based on you and your shopping needs!
The Top 5 Best Free Shopping Apps
Sticking with our theme of saving precious minutes, can we talk about how using Amazon can turn into a real time waster? At least it can for me anyway. The site has just too much variety! For ages, I used to wish someone could curate Amazon so I could go straight to the items that I am most likely to buy.
Actually, that’s the concept behind one of the best free shopping apps. Meet Canopy, a site full of human-curated fashion, lifestyle items, and home decor products—all of which are available for purchase via Amazon. Tastemakers curate the site, making it easy to bypass all the pages of utilitarian stuff on Amazon that is no fun to browse. Oh, and if you’re a tech geek (which I totally am), you’ll love that Canopy features a user-centered design aesthetic that keeps things simple. I use Canopy quite a bit to save time shopping and have bought everything from beach towels to luxurious bed sets.
Do you ever find yourself getting sucked into Instagram? I know I do. I love love love Instagram, and one of my favorite things is how it lets me keep up with new styles. Some of the models I follow even let you know where you can pick up the fashions they’re sporting. Other times, however, I find myself just taking screen grabs or photos of cool clothes, and then have to spend even more time trying to track down those fashions. Well, The Hunt makes all of this much easier and quicker. You just hop on The Hunt and post your photos, then sit back and wait as your fellow fashionistas check out the pics, rack their stylish brains, and let you know where you can buy that fashion find! Oh, The Hunt also has a feature where you can ask the community for tips on outfits, which kind of makes it feel like you’re all shopping together!
Okay, so I know I’ve been knocking coupon clipping, which seems a bit outdated in our digital world, but it was once pretty convenient. What Flipp does is bring old-school savings into the digital age as it lets you browse ads and circle items using a shopping app on your smartphone! Flipp essentially combines both the best of the old world—the colorfully and clearly laid out stacks of savings—with the best of the new world—the speed and convenience of shiny new tech. With Flipp, users get access to a digital library of all the latest flyers, plus an interface that lets them build shopping lists within the app. No pen or paper needed. All you have to do is open up Flipp, find the flyer for the store you’re heading to, and tap on a specific product or a digitized coupon within the flyer. The app then automatically circles it for you, subsequently adding it to your digital shopping list. It’s quick, free, and best of all, easy!
Flipp isn’t the only app that recreates the experience of clipping paper coupons. There is also Coupon Sherpa, which is one of the best free shopping apps that gives its users a list of hundreds of coupons from leading stores. As with Flipp, there’s no need for that messy coupon book system our parents used to track and take advantage of their deals. All you do with this app is show it to the cashiers, and they can scan the deals for you right there on your phone. Like many of the other apps on our list, Coupon Sherpa is also good about giving you convenient extra features, including a store locator, as well as easy social options so that you can share deals and coupons with your friends, too! There’s nothing like spreading the love out there, let me tell you.
RetailMeNot is another app that simulates coupon hunting, just at a much larger scale than some of the other choices on our list. With RetailMeNot, users get access to more than 50,000 retailers and food offers at thousands of local restaurants and stores, as well as at nationwide chains. It’s also easily customizable, and you can use it to look at what the most popular deals are among other shoppers. Or you can use it to enjoy your own personalized set of offers. I like to have RetailMeNot send me alerts whenever deals come up at the stores I go to most, so I never run the risk of missing out on major savings. You can just use it for its categorized searches or location-based deals alerts. As with all of the rest on this list of best free shopping apps, it’s totally up to you!
Slickdeals is another great aggregator in the same vein as RetailMeNot. It collects deals from a wide variety of sources and then brings them all together in one browsable place, saving you both time and money once you make good on the offers. This is a very versatile app that features deals on everything from electronics to groceries to clothes to kid stuff. I generally stick to the front page on Slickdeals, which has a running list of the most popular local deals in my area, but I’ve poked around the rest of the app and run some searches that brought up tons of other great offers, too! Another commonality this app has with RetailMeNot is that it lets you set alerts so you don’t miss out when your favorite stores offer deals.
Ideally you want an app that can help you save on both your online shopping as well as at brick-and-mortar locations, but at least Ebates solves for one of these. This app really excels in helping you save on your online shopping by giving rebates and coupons at 2,000 online stores and websites, which is certainly nothing to scoff at. I’ve used it in the past to get cash back on a wide range of purchases, including those I’ve made at some of my favorite online stores.
Of all the amazing, free shopping apps out there that save you both time and money, my favorite is Shopkick. Shopkick gives you points—which you then turn into gift cards—for soooo many things. You can use it when shopping both online and at brick-and-mortar stores (vital in this day and age), plus you get points for things like walking into a store, scanning the barcodes of products to get more information, making your purchases, visiting certain online stores, and watching videos about select products. There are so many different ways to score points that, for me, using Shopkick often turns into a fun game, kind of like a scavenger hunt for points. The thing about this game though, is when it’s over, I can trade those points in for gift cards to some of my favorite stores! Lately, I’m on a big Starbucks kick, which is where I cash in most of my points, but last month I used gift cards to save money on my toiletries, and the month before it was clothes. There’s just so much versatility.
Best of all, I think I’ve actually combined Shopkick with most (if not all) of the other apps on this list—at least those that give you access to coupons. That’s because those coupons let you save at the register while Shopkick gives you points as a reward after your purchase. It’s like a double whammy. I’ve also used it in tandem with The Hunt and Canopy since those are the best free shopping apps for finding what you want to buy, while Shopkick is the best choice for getting savings back on your purchases. And that, my friends, is how you can use multiple rebate apps to maximize rewards.
So, play around, learn all that you can about each of these free shopping apps, and then choose your own personal faves. These are all free, after all, so the only risk is a tiny little time investment. Rest assured, it’s nowhere near what our parents spent in the old days hunting through store flyers and collecting coupons!
Download one of the best free shopping apps, Shopkick, today and join a community of loyal Shopkickers who’ve already discovered the rewards of shopping with a free, smartphone app sidekick.
And, if you love social media as much as you love your smartphone, join Shopkick on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for a little daily shopping inspiration.