Saving money- grocery edition.

I absolutely love saving money and making it for that matter.  I am a frequent visitor of The penny hoarder , always looking for that next dollar.

While there are tons of apps and ways to save money, here is what I have done to help me feed my family on a budget.

First off when shopping for groceries try to skip out on big box stores and find the cheap-o shops in your town. They wont be brand name stores but you will always get a deal. One of my favorites is Save-a-lot, but any discount grocery store would work. (most discount grocery stores are locally owned and operated, a quick google search will help you find one near you.)

The only issue with these stores is that because they are discounted, many have recently outdated items, and that’s OKAY. Many discount retailers will hold certain products for as long as six months after the sell-by date, and it is perfectly okay to eat such items. Make sure you know the stores’ policy about returns just in case something turns out to be bad quality because like any store there will be those items. Obviously, don’t eat anything refrigerated after a week or two, just use common sense. If it were harmful to consume then it most likely wouldn’t still be in the store.  Sell-by dates are just that, dates that the store needs to sell them by so consumption after the fact usually is okay and because these stores have those items it is much easier for them to get it at such a lower price, passing those savings on to you.

Go to discount stores FIRST! Always get whatever you can from such stores so that if you have any remaining items that those stores don’t carry, at least you will know you got the best deal on what you could.

Once you’ve picked up everything you can from these stores you can head over to your usual stores. When shopping at your usual stores always check out their clearance section, there is always great stuff that is the same quality as the shelved items but cheaper. An app that will basically pay you to shop is the Shopkick app. All you have to do is have it open when you walk into participating stores (mostly common ones such as Walmart etc.) and you get points as well as points for scanning items in the store, buying said items, or referring friends. In just a few trips you will earn enough points to get yourself a gift card to a place of your choosing. It’s fantastic, my family goes just for the scavenger hunt for the items, and anyone in your household can do it so if you’re a couple, you can each have an account and earn multiple gift cards.

While you have your phone in your hand scanning items, make sure you are checking Ibotta for cash back. Many of what you purchase will qualify for cash back and all you have to do is add them to your account, and then scan your receipt once you buy said items. It is not a quick way to earn money if you’re not buying brand name everything, but any little bit helps and it all adds up.

Once you’re done with your shopping make sure you have signed up for National consumer panel, you may not get in right away so be patient! This panel will either send you a scanner or direct you to their mobile scanning app. All you have to do is tell them who was shopping, scan the items that you’ve bought, tell them if you used any coupons, and your total amount spent, then send it off electronically. (the scanning device will transmit automatically once placed on its base.) That’s it! Just a few minutes of your time and you earn points that will get you cool goodies or gift cards. The great thing about this is you will continue to earn points for as long as you stay on the panel, and keep scanning items.

While these are great ways to earn cash back as well as keep money in your pocket, make sure you are part of any rewards systems the stores you shop at have.

Walmart savings catcher will compare prices with other stores on the items you buy once you scan in your receipt and will give you the difference if it finds a lower price. The difference will go on an electronic gift card which you can turn around and use on your next purchase. Usually, it’s not more than a dollar or two on groceries, mostly cents, but it adds up if you shop there often.

Kroger’s Freebie Friday will give you a free product every Friday for rewards members that download the coupon to their card. It’s never anything big but if you have multiple people in your family (with different addresses) that have accounts, you could get several products to make it worthwhile. Membership is free to sign up and use, and also comes with tons of coupons to add to your account, so take advantage!

Any great ways you save money? Let us know!

 

Shopkick app review

Do you earn money for walking into a store? No? Well, you should.

Enter Shopkick

This app is a gem that is not very well advertised which is sad for all involved. Most apps that give you points take way too long to get the points needed for any sort of reward, most lose patience before being able to obtain their first reward.

Finally, an app that gives you rewards for the things you already do (shopping, browsing without trying to look suspicious).

With Shopkick you earn points for walking into certain stores and also when you scan or buy items. Buying certain items and submitting the receipt earns you the most points but not necessary to earn a reward. Shopkick allows you to choose a gift card to work towards, these cards are for a variety of things such as Starbucks, Gamestop, Walmart, etc. I chose the Walmart gift card because the week after the paycheck is always a struggle. What I love about Shopkick is that you can get certain cards that have as little as $2, so if you’re hurting for money that second week and need ramen in order to survive, you can cash out with very few points.

After downloading the app it took me two weeks of walking into stores and scanning items, and I only visit a store maybe twice a week if I have to.

My husband got on board once he realized I was about to get a gift card that i wasn’t planning on sharing with him so by him signing up through my referral we both got 250 points or ‘kicks’ as they call them. This resulted in him reaching his first reward within a week.

Easy money is great but how many points do I need and can I choose different denominations?

This is the best part. Most of the gift cards start at one $2 which is normally 500 points (remember you get 250 for being referred by someone and another 250 if you refer someone and they walk into a store in their first 7 days, that’s an easy 500 points or $2 right there.)

If you happen to reach your $2 goal and you want to keep saving all you have to do is edit your reward and choose a different denomination, for Walmart, it’s $2, $5, $25, and $50. If you change your mind about the reward you’re working towards all you have to do is change it and your points will be applied to the new goal.

I can personally testify that this app is legitimate because I have already spent my first reward, oops.

This app is beyond highly recommended because it is super easy and relatively quick to hit your goal. The options for gift cards vary so there’s always something for everyone. If all you do is walk into a store with this app on you’ll earn points towards your goal, so really, why wouldn’t you do it?

Click here to sign up and when you enter a store in the first 7 days you will instantly get 250 kicks!

Remember to open the app when shopping to get your points!

You can use the referral code MALL745753 to get you started.

Invite friends and family to earn more kicks!

Foap app review

Do you have hundreds of great photos just sitting on your phone you’re not willing to delete while fully hoping they’ll come in handy one day? Don’t we all.

Foap is an app where you can upload all of your pictures from that time you thought you were a photographer. The idea is that you upload these semi professional photos, someone sees and likes them and buys them for stock photos or miscellaneous (hopefully PG) reasons.

The idea is fantastic, if it worked.

Uploading is a breeze, there are tags you add and you have to assure them no one is identifiable in said photos so that no one can be sued and what not. Once you upload your photos it is a waiting game, and you may wait forever.

I admit to be an impatient person so several months and 50+ photos later was more than enough time to know it was useless. Sure, people rate your photos but it means a whole lot of nothing if they don’t buy your photos.

If the waiting game wasn’t enough, Foap also has a section for contests where companies will ask for certain photos and choose their favorite(s) to buy. Hundreds, sometimes thousands of photos are entered in these contests and if the odds aren’t against you the contest is. Many of the contests will require certain overseas locations to be photographed, because if I had money to travel I would obviously spend my time trying to make a few bucks off the photos.

Basically your odds are slim to none on this app. Many users have complained that the same handful of users win these contests every time and they are the ones that sell the most photos.

Recommended: I personally recommend you waste your time elsewhere as this will most likely be a time consuming let down.

If your confidence in your abilities cannot be shook and you have time to burn then I’d say why not? The app is free and having hope is a nice thing but when hoping for the best at least prepare for the worst.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

Lucktastic app review

If you are looking for a great way to earn some cash on the side, apps are a great way to do that. Here’s what you need to know about the Lucktastic app.

Lucktastic is an app full of scratch off cards. These cards could win you points or cash, though don’t expect much cash. To begin with I was winning cash (.50 cents or less) left and right, now I could be wrong but I think this is to keep you excited about the possibilities.

Before and after each scratch off card you must endure a sponsored ad, which is how they make money, I assume. The ads can get annoying if you’re trying to play multiple cards in one sitting because you spend most of your time on the ads.

The majority of the cards only offer a few points per card so expect to play for awhile before getting anywhere. When playing you will come to a point where there are no more cards for the day, so you are limited in how many you can do. It is possible to earn more coins by inviting friends to play, if you want to be that guy. The other issue with this game is the decent gift cards take a ton of points but it’s free so what can you complain about?

Recommendations:

Must have time and patience and expect little to come of it so as to not get your hopes up.

Ultimately if it sounds like something that would interest you it’s worth a shot.