BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Blogger Sarah Carlson says she's tried dozens of money saving apps, and narrowed it down to the five she keeps on her homescreen for savings, starting with an app that pays you just for walking in the store - Shopkick.
"Shopkick is awesome because it's easy," Carlson says. "All you have to do is have the app open when you walk in the store and the points automatically add up."
Several big stores like Target, Walmart, Aldi and Whole Foods partner with Shopkick to give you points and then rewards.
"As soon as you walk in, it gives you the points, and when you accumulate enough points you redeem them for gift cards," Carlson says. "You can redeem them for Target gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, you name it."
Carlson also likes Shopsavvy, a price comparison app that she uses for big purchases by scanning the barcode of the item first, and letting the app do your work.
"Let's say you're going to buy a $500 TV," Carlson explains. "You scan the barcode and Shopsavvy will find if that same TV is on sale anywhere else, then you basically just price match it."
Pocketflip lets you earn points for taking surveys on common household products while you're at home, then turn the points into gift cards when you add up enough.
Finally, there's Ibotta and Checkout51. Both of these try to give you cash back after you shop.
"You make the purchase first, then you upload the receipt afterwards," Carlson says. "It'll look for the specific items that they have the promotion running for that week, then it gives you a dollar back. There's a lot out there that's not worth it, not worth the time and effort for the pennies they'll save you. But these kind of save you the money that you need. If you're going to go in and spend the money, it's worth it to save a lot."
Here's a link to Carlson's tips:
Here are links to the apps we mentioned: