As the crisp, cold air topples over the mountains into Bend, I find myself turning on the fireplace, sipping that hot coco–shaken, not stirred–and I’m reminded winter is merely four weeks away… And with winter, comes the holidays.
With the New Year coming before we know it, the Powell house is blessed with holiday cheer and the anticipation of giving. This is a busy time of year in our house; when I’m not working, I’m scanning Black Friday ads and checking out holiday gift giving guides in hopes to find the perfect gifts for a great price. It’s that time when saving my money is not as important to burning some cash on my family and friends, and that’s why I think it’s a great opportunity to talk about the unexpected tools that will help put cash back in your wallet–while you’re splurging.
I’ve been using the app, Ibotta, on and off for a few years now. This app gives you cash back–depending on what items you buy–at some major grocers and restaurants. All you have to do is select the items you bought and upload your receipt. So far, I’ve received $54! I haven’t been very good at keeping up with the app and checking out the offers before I go to the store, but it’s still awesome to get money back on items I had to buy anyways.
Checkout 51 is another app with the same concept. It doesn’t have as many opportunities to get cash back as Ibotta, but again, it’s free money! Since I created my account with Checkout 51, I have received $36.
I just now downloaded Ebates and I can’t wait to start using it! One of my friends has been using Ebates forever, and I just never got around to downloading it. All you have to do is shop with Ebates online at your favorite stores and voila! You get cash back! I just received $10–just for registering!
In addition to these apps, you can always pull out a last ditch effort for a better deal with some charm. A.J. is the one who taught me this sneaky trick, and every time I’ve used it, I’ve ended up leaving stores with more items for less. I’ve only tried this at major retailers–like Macys and Bed, Bath and Beyond–so I’m not sure if this will work at a smaller, mom and pop style shop. All I do is reciprocate the customer service; I’m smiling, friendly and making conversation with the employee. When I’m checking out, I ask if there’s any better deal I could get on the items I’m purchasing; more often than not, there’s always an extra percentage they can knock off for you. Not only do you leave happier, but I would imagine they’re also grateful for a positive, sweet shopper–especially this time of year when the stores are more crowded. It’s all about bringing in some holiday cheer, instead of being a Grinch!
Do you use any of these apps? If not, download them and let me know what you think!