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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Stingy Shopping Apps

This was written last Wednesday but it needed some serious work, I swear! >.<

As you know from my previous post about my Black Friday experience, I have a new android phone. This is the first smart phone I've ever had, so I went a little app crazy. I downloaded so many I ran out of memory, luckily the phone came with a 2GB SD card. I have since deleted many of said apps but I held on to the best and the brightest (like 50 or so, I'm still whittling it down).

After several conversations with fellow couponers about money-saving apps, I promised a few of them I would write a post about how to save money using your phone. Considering how expensive they can get it's awesome to get some money back right?

There are literally thousands of apps on the market. They range in purpose- some are informative, others are entertaining, and more than a few are just plain ridiculous. But there are rare, diamond in the rough apps, that can save you a lot.

It's the app putting a spin on the phrase "shopping for kicks"!

Shopkick is probably the most well-known shopping app. It is a rewards app that gives you points (kicks) for shopping. It uses the GPS in your phone to locate you inside sponsoring stores. Stores such as Best Buy and Old Navy reward you for simply walking inside the building while others give you points for scanning barcodes or QR codes on select items in store. This is great because you don't actually have to buy anything in order to get points.

Should you find something you wish to purchase Shopkick has more rewards in store. Depending on the store, you can use a linked Visa card (debit or credit) or give your phone number to the cashier in order to get additional points. Better still, Shopkick has special coupons and deals for users. Saving you dollars as well as earning kicks. There are additional bonuses for iPhone users.

So the burning question is, "What do kicks get you?" Well there's quite a bit to choose from! Rewards vary from Facebook credits (25 Kicks/credit) to gift cards (iTunes, Best Buy, Coach, and more) to a 4GB Xbox with Kinect (75000 Kicks)!

Join Shopkick!


Check in, check out, Checkpoints!

Checkpoints is very similar to Shopkick, but not as well known. I learned about this app quite a while ago from one on my coupon sites, back when I was just getting into the whole discount scene. 

Just like Shopkick, you get points for going inside stores and scanning items. The difference being that you get less points per check in but more stores to get points from. Also checking in is easier than on Shopkick as the GPS locator gives you a bit more wiggle room on where you are but the trade off is having to wait a certain amount of time between stores to get points. 

Other advantages of Checkpoints is that it can be linked to other loyalty programs. Currently you can connect with Alaska Airlines Miles, Delta SkyMiles, and Swagbucks (I've mentioned Swagbucks before in a prior post). I get the feeling that this program is a work-in-progress so I hope they will add more soon.
There is also a toolbar available to download to your computer's browser to earn more points. You can get it on Internet Explorer and Modzilla FireFox with a Chrome Plugin coming soon.

As for the rewards? Items available for redemption change frequently so you have to check often to see if there's something you like, although some items stay constant. Currently there's $25 giftcards for Starbucks, Amazon, Subway, and Home Depot and items such as an as-seen-on-tv keyboard and a 250GB Xbox bundle with 2 games and a 3-month gold membership to Xbox LIVE for 115000 points.

One last note, when you register your app with checkpoints there is a space to put in a bonus code. If you put in the username of a current user you both get bonus points and the more your code is used, the more points it is worth. A simple search will yield codes but many will no longer be in use (been there, it took me a half-hour to find an active code) and many will claim to get you thousands of points (the cap is 300 I believe) so this is my code and I have no idea how much it will get you: leaora.

Find out more at


Getting paid to get a good deal? Heck yeah!

Smoopa is the only app (to my knowledge) that will pay you is cash instead of points. While I love Shopkick and Check Points, cash is cash.

How it works is you find an item that you wish to purchase and scan the barcode. Smoopa will then ask you where you are and what the price of the item. Drawing upon scans of others in the area and the all-knowing internet, Smoopa tells you if the price is good or bad and if there is a special offer.

My favorite thing about this app however is the price tracker. After checking a price, you have the option to "track" the item. You put in the price you want to pay for it and Smoopa alerts you when it falls below that price.

Want to give it a try? Here's a boost, Use code 38366789e7 when you join and get $2 credited to your account.  Find more info on the Android Market or at

Some other apps I want to touch on:

Key Ring: Before I found this app, I was considering using a second wallet for just my rewards cards. Key Ring stores the bar codes for all your cards on your phone, making it easy to find and use. For an added bonus there are Key Ring exclusive coupons you can add to your cards on your phone.
learn more

Grocery IQ: This app is the product of, the site we know and love for printable coupons. The app is primarily to make and organize shopping lists but it has some awesome options. You can search through coupons on the site to have emailed to you as well as some you can add instantly to membership cards for stores.
learn more

Grocery Pal: This too is a shopping list app. Where it differs from Grocery IQ is that in addition to coupons (a service provided by Cellfire) you can search through the sales of the grocery stores in your area and add items directly to your list. This makes coupon match-ups a cinch!
learn more

GeoQpons: I was informed of this app while shopping one day. You can search through stores in your area to find discounts. The discounts on the app are typically coupons the store has online most of the time but having it on the phone eliminates the need for printing. And the occasional unplanned splurge.
learn more

Know of any other awesome shopping apps? Feel free to post them in the comments section.

Apps Awaaaay!!!!

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