How I Save Money (With Minimal Effort)

I have a confession to make. I, your resident blogger here, am a Serial Clearance Shopper.

That's right. Odds are, my first (and usually only) stop when I shop is straight for the clearance racks. Unless there's something specific I need, but even then I always check the clearance racks before I even glance towards the full-priced sections. I get a thrill from saving money. I don't have this desire for the newest, trendiest things, and if I do want something new I will usually try to DIY it before I spend an absurd amount of money on something material.

In my years of thriftiness, I have found a pretty good collection of ways to save money, or earn points towards gift cards (all of which I have personally had success with!) Most of these require very little effort, and don't really make you have to change any of your usual habits in order to use them.


  • Ibotta

  • Ibotta is an app where you scan your receipts to earn money back on things like groceries, select clothing purchases, alcohol, and more. You can even get rebates from stores like Ulta and GameStop on occasion. The rebates change often, but you can really rack up money with the special events and bonuses on top of your usual groceries. Most of the rebates are brand-specific, but they also do some "X amount back on any gallon of milk" items as well. You can even get money back at restaurants if you save your itemized receipt.I've earned a total of $89.10 since January 2015, but that's with some inconsistent use (i.e. my husband forgot to get receipts/we accidentally lost our receipts a few times.) If you connect with other Ibotta users on your "team" (such as Facebook friends) there's a higher chance for monthly bonuses! You can choose various ways of delivering your rebates such as PayPal, a selection of gift cards, or a Venmo account.You can use my code
  • dkmavye

  •  to earn a $10 welcome bonus, and for each person you refer with your own code, you'll earn a $5 bonus!
  • Ebates

  • Ebates is another really great resource and can be used on the computer or on your mobile device as an app. Basically, when you shop through their site/app, you can earn a percentage back from a variety of stores. I used it for ordering my college textbooks through Chegg so on top of saving a TON of money by renting my textbooks, I also got 3% of my money back just for using the Ebates link to the Chegg website.Ebates mail you a check of your balance saved every 3 months provided you meet their $5.01 minimum. If you don't, your savings rolls over into the next Big Fat Check. You can also set it up to go to your Paypal account or a favorite charity.You can sign up using my link
  • HERE

  • for a $10 bonus, and you can also refer friends using your own link for the chance for you both to get extra bonuses!
  • Shopkick

  • This is one of the easiest apps to use. You get points for checking into stores and scanning items, and these pints can be redeemed for gift cards. They even recently added a section that allows you to earn points for purchasing certain items. If you're going shopping through a mall or strip mall, this is a super simple way to earn points just keep the app as you walk into stores and check in to get money that's pretty much free!
  • Checkpoints

  • Checkpoints is very similar to Shopkick. You earn points towards gift cards by checking into stores and scanning items on the shelves. I haven't used this one in a while simply because I kept forgetting to use it.The app is available for iOS and Android.
  • Checkout 51

  • Very similar to Ibotta, Checkout 51 gives you money back for scanning your receipts for items you have purchased. Usually they also allow you a free entry into a contest for $500 for ev
  • Southern Savers

  • ery receipt that totals $60 or more, even if there isn't anything else on the receipt to be scanned for.Checkout 51 is also available for iOS and Android.
  • Southern Savers

  • Southern Savers is a great online resource to help you plan your grocery shopping. She posts the weekly ads for a wide variety of grocery stores as well as lines up the coupons to coincide with what's on sale and help you save the most money. You can even use the Coupon Database to look for other coupons (printable, paper, and digital) for things you know that you will be purchasing.I've used Southern Savers to help me plan out shopping trips for years now, and most of the time my savings is close to (if not more than) the amount I spend.
  • RetailMeNot

  • RetailMeNot is great for online shopping. You type in the store you are shopping at, and it pulls up all of the availabe sales and coupon codes for the website, some that aren't even widely advertised. I can usually get at least free shipping this way. You can also use alongside Ebates for extra savings and money back!


There are a few other apps and sites I have heard of, but haven't tried yet.

BerryCart is supposed to be a lot like Ibotta but catered towards natural, gluten-free, and organic foods/brands.

MobiSave is also like Ibotta, I just personally didn't find enough that we buy often to keep the app personally.

I've heard the Target Cartwheel app is also great, but we don't shop there often enough to use it.

Do you have any great tips for saving money? Any money-saving apps I should check out? Help a girl out! Let me know in the comments below! I'd love to hear from you!

5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I LOVE Target Cartwheel! My state doesn’t have double coupons so these apps are as close as I can get to that. Even if people think I’m looney walking around using ShopKick scans.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: