Frugal Friday: Shopkick

Do you have a smart phone? Put it to good use! Over a year ago, I posted on how to get more bang for your buck using a few different apps. One of these apps was shopkick, a phone app that rewards you for going to the store. 
Shopkick is a phone app that rewards you for simply going into the store. You receive points every time you walk into a participating store. You can also receive extra points for “scanning” items. I’ll be honest, I never scan. You can use your points for gift cards. So far I have used Shopkick to redeem $60+ in gift cards. My favorite store to get points at and redeem gift cards is Target.

Generally speaking, you get about 35 points for entering any store. On bonus days some stores will have 150 to 200 or more points for just walking in the store. I go to Target on a regular basis, at least twice most weeks. It’s almost no extra working, considering my phone is already out because I have my shopping list on it, and I use Target coupons, and cartwheel. Give it a try here

If you’re wanting to be super frugal, and perhaps a bit competitive – a friend of mine used to shopkick to spice up what would otherwise be a boring errand run with her significant other. They had a contest of who could scan the most items, the quickest. A modern day scavenger hunt if you will…….free gift cards and bragging rights??? 

[There are a few more check-in type apps out there. I have given a few of them a try, but have yet to receive any rewards. I’ll be sure to write about them when I do. Are there any apps you use? We’d love to hear about it!]

Frugal Friday: Ebates

Over a year ago, I posted about one of my favorite ways to get a little more bang for your buck: Ebates. With the new year here, and some changes to the program, I want to make sure everyone knows about it!
 Ebates is a way to get cash back on purchases you are already making. It is a website, but is also available as an app. You may have even seen some TV commercials for it. I’ve been using this site for nearly 3 years. I don’t make a lot of online purchases, and I forget about ebates almost every other time. Initially Amazon was not included, which is a majority of my online shopping, but it is now. However, in that time, I’ve gotten over $150 back on purchases I was going to make regardless. This cash is in addition to cash back from my credit cards rewards program. Cash back ranges from 1% up to 10% or more. Additionally, Ebates includes sales and discounts for some stores.

So how does it work? When you’re ready to do some shopping, go to the ebates website (or app) and log in. Then search for the store you want to shop at. Ebates will display how much cash back and the terms. Click the store, and a ticket will open into a new window, then the store website itself will be displayed. At this point you shop like normal. It sounds like a lot, but it honestly adds 30 seconds to your shopping experience.
Ebates actually has recently added the ability to get cash back for in-store purchases at certain stores if you link your credit card. Again, this is in addition to any discount, loyalty programs, or credit card cash-back programs you are already a part of.
Ebates policy allows for a certain number of days before your cash back appears, but I typically see it within 48 hours. Cash is sent back to you each quarter. Typically it’s sent back via paypal, but sometimes there are options for gift cards.
New users receive a $10 gift card after their first $25 purchase, so sign up today.

Frugal Friday: Bing Rewards

In addition to our Quick Tip Tuesdays, here at Modern Mother Cubbard we are starting Frugal Fridays. Like the QTT, these post probably won’t be every week, but you should see them on a semi-regular basis.
This week I want to talk about one of my favorite frugal finds: Bing Rewards. Bing is a search engine from Microsoft. If you create a Microsoft account, Bing rewards you for all your searches. How many times a day do you search? You could get rewarded for it!

So how does it work? Sign up for an account here. Change your default search engine to Bing. For every 2 PC searches you earn from 1 point up to 15 points. You also earn 1 point for every 2 mobile searches up to 10 points. On your rewards dash board there are usually three links to click. These links range from current events to neat pictures for a total of 3 more points. On Tuesdays, they have a quick trivia game (takes me literally 1 min) for 3 more points. So daily you can earn a minimum of 28 points, just for changing your search habits! To put that in perspective, $5 rewards start at approximate 500 points.
Rewards range from sweepstakes to xbox credits to skype credits to gift cards for Starbucks, Sephora, Macys, Fandango and Babies-R-Us. My favorite use of my rewards so far is for a free month of Hulu! We are cord cutters, haven’t had cable for two years. I use Hulu to watch many of my favorite shows. Thanks to Bing, I haven’t paid for Hulu in over a year! $7.99/mo doesn’t seem like much, but I have saved at least $100 at this point, and received hours of entertainment!

Here’s some more information from the Bing Rewards FAQ.