Genius Websites & Apps that will SAVE you Money
If you aren’t using these online shopping hacks, you’re leaving money on the table. Here are 10 websites & apps that will save you money on all the things you are already buying. No risk and little effort required.
What if I told you could make money online without ANY effort, just by shopping like you normally do, buying the things you normally buy?
You’re going to love Rakuten.
What is Rakuten?
Rakuten (formerly ebates) is a company that gives you cashback for shopping through their affiliated stores. The website gets a commission when a member buys something from one of its associated stores. A part of the commission they earn is paid to the members to prompt them to keep shopping through Rakuten from their associated stores.
Sounds like a scam… but it’s not! Unlike many other cashback programs that require some sort of risk or qualification of the user, Rakuten is free (and always will be) with no catch to you.
- Millions of users
- They are affiliated with top stores
- They have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau
Pro Tip: Get the browser extension as it will notify you when there is cashback available at a store and prompt you to activate that cashback by hitting a button.
I don’t do a lot of online shopping, but I do make ALL of my flight and accommodations bookings online (Is there another way?!). These purchases are expensive, and even just 5% back on an international flight makes Rakuten worth looking into.
Signing up for Rakuten is extremely easy.
They advertise that you can join their site in 15 seconds… and yes, yes you can. Just log in using your Facebook or Google account and you’re ready to start getting cashback.
Done. No credit card required.
If it is money I am going to spend anyway, why not get cashback for my purchases?
Groupon collects local deals on services, restaurants, products (pretty much everything) and sells them to you at a discount. It’s like a virtual coupon book.
The downside is that Groupon doesn’t usually have a coupon for the particular brands I’m looking for. That’s why I use it when I want a deal, but don’t care about the brand or company. I’ve used Groupon for haircuts, gym memberships and my personal favorite: massages.
For example, a massage in Ottawa is normally over $100. I’ll search for Massage in Groupon, see what discounts are available, and then check the company rating received on Groupon, Trip Advisor and Google Reviews. Usually, the ratings are good and the company is offering a deal to increase exposure or offer a new service.
Groupon can also be used to discover unique activities in their “things to do” section. You’ll find experiences you never knew existed, which is great while traveling and even in your home city. If you always find yourself out at dinner and the movies, have a look on Groupon. I recently went on safari… in Ottawa!
Honey is a free browser extension that automatically finds and applies coupon codes anytime you go to check out online. You actually don’t have to do anything or spend hours searching the web for coupon codes.
Honey works with all websites. For example, with the Honey browser extension, you’ll shop on Amazon like you usually do. When you go to make a purchase Honey pops up automatically, and you just click “apply coupons”. If a coupon code exists, it’s applied.
Triple up on your savings by using Groupon, Honey, and Rakuten together! Shop on Groupon, activate cashback with Rakuten and then apply the honey discount codes at check out.
One is cashback (Rakuten), one offers discount services (Groupon) and one applies online coupon codes (Honey). They all do different things and can be used together to maximize savings.
*Sometimes Honey and Rakuten will cancel each other out. You can get around this and still use both on a single purchase. Simply have Honey find a coupon code, copy that coupon code, and then activate Rakuten. Paste the coupon code in yourself instead of having Honey apply it for you. Proceed to checkout!
This next one is a recent discovery that I’m in love with : Gift Card Granny.
Their tagline is “Never pay full price for a gift card again”. Gift Card Granny sells electronic gift cards at a discount. Gift cards are then emailed to you for immediate use.
The savings aren’t huge, but if you are planning on making a purchase anyway, why not get a few dollars back?
You can also sell gift cards to Gift Card Granny at a slight markdown. I’d much prefer $90 cash than $100 to a store I would never shop at!
Rebate Apps allow you to scroll through virtual coupons on your phone. For example: Save $2.50 on Nescafe coffee. Once you purchase the product in the grocery store, you will get 2.50 credited to your account.
Ibotta is a popular (free!) rebate app with offers to help you save money on certain groceries, retail items, booze and more.
You download the app to view offers on specific products.
When you are at the grocery store, you find these discounted products and scan their barcodes with your phone camera.
After you buy the items, you scan the barcode on your receipt to prove you actually bought them, and then cashback is added to your account. You can redeem this money in gift cards or on Paypal.
Checkout 51 is the same concept as Ibotta and available in Canada.
I love that these apps can be used at big stores like Walmart, Kroger, Amazon, Publix…. But I dislike that it takes multiple steps. It’s not as seamless as Rakuten or Honey that just auto-apply discounts. Still adds up!
This next one is not a specific website or app, but a category of websites. These are my favorite price comparison tools that help make sure you get the best deal.
1. Gas Buddy
Compares gas prices in your area. Gasbuddy pulls up a map of your local area and shows you the gas prices for the stations near you. It’s crazy how much prices can vary!
2. Flyer comparison apps
Check out flipp and Rebee. Both of these give you the flyers for your local stores on your phone so you know where to go for the best deal. There is also a search function so you can find where a particular product is on sale. I always use this if I’m buying something more expensive, like salmon, or if I’m buying something in bulk.
3. Accommodation comparison sites
If you are flexible with your travel destination, treat yourself to a luxury vacation on a budget. Simply pick an area, filter for 5-star resorts and then sort by lowest price first. I once stayed at a beachfront 5-star resort outside of Bangkok for 20USD/night.
When you are trying to save money, every little bit counts. You can use all these tools together to maximize savings. They are particularly beneficial when purchasing big-ticket items like flights.
Well now you know how to save money, but what about earning extra cash? Check out this post for a massive list Side Hustles that you start today to make extra money.