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Want to beat inflation at the grocery store? There’s an app for that.
A whole bunch of apps, actually. I use seven (some more regularly than others) to cut costs, and to get free or nearly free items.
Some apps give you money, and some give points to trade for gift cards. Either way, it means getting the things you need cheaper, or even free.
Can you fill your pantry this way? Maybe! Sure, there are a lot of sweets and treats up for grabs, but also staples like flour, canned beans, milk, coffee, rice, yogurt, pasta sauce, frozen veggies and condiments. Non-food stuff, too, such as laundry and cleaning supplies, toiletries, baby needs, beauty products and pet items.
Here’s a look at how these apps work, followed by tips on how to leverage the best deals for the least work.
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How it works: Shopkick gives points called “kicks” for scanning items, buying items and doing similar tasks. Sometimes you get 10 to 100 kicks just for walking into a store.
My experience: It’s probably my favorite app on this list because I don’t necessarily have to buy something to get points.
Best for: Everyone, because it’s so easy.
Pro tip: Sometimes the number of kicks you earn for a particular task will go up without warning — say, from 10 to 50 — so check the app daily. If you were planning to shop anyway, why not go right now and get more points for the same deals?
2. Fetch Rewards
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How it works: You earn points for scanning any kind of receipt — supermarket, drugstore, restaurant, etc.
My experience: What I love about Fetch Rewards is that it takes receipts from anywhere. It also lets you link your Amazon account and your email account; the app scans for receipts from both places when you press the “eReceipt” button.
Best for: People who are flexible about brand loyalty, since you get extra rewards for items from their retail partners — for example, choosing Pepsi over Coke. It’s also great for people who buy lots of stuff because, as noted, you can scan just about any receipt.
Pro tip: Seriously, Fetch Rewards really will take any receipt that shows a date, amount paid and the name of the company. I’ve scanned movie tickets, a gas-company payment and the credit card receipt from my partner’s medical treatment.
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