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The holiday season is coming up quick, and many of us moms and dads are starting to prepare for Christmas shopping (or your applicable holiday here). The holidays can be a strain on a budget because while we would love to give our children the world, the world is expensive. Am I right? I want to share with you some of my favorite cashback apps and web extensions that I use to save money while shopping.
Cashback App #1: Rakuten (formally known as Ebates)
Rakuten is, by far, one of my favorite cash back apps. You may also know this one as Ebates, but a few months ago, they switched the name and the whole look of the site.
Using Rakuten is insanely easy. You head to their site and sign up for a free account. After that, you can poke around and see all the cashback deals they have for the day and shop from there. When you see a deal you like, all you have to do is select the store you want and hit “shop now.” Rakuten will redirect you to the store’s website for online shopping, and it will track your order. The site pays out every three months you can choose what they call “the big fat check,” which is a paper check mailed to you, or you can choose the PayPal payout where they will deposit your funds into your PayPal account.
If you are using Google Chrome as your web browser, I suggest installing the browser extension. When you visit a website, you’ll get a pop-up that will tell you just what the cashback rewards for that site are. There’s no remembering to visit their site first. This is what it looks like, below Rakuten is the Swagbucks app that I’ll also be talking about.
PS, Rakuten offers a referral bonus. If you use the link above you’ll get an extra $40 after the first time you use the site!
What else does Rakuten offer?
Coupons! When on the site, check out their “hot deals” dropdown. This will show you stores with gift offers, gift cards, free shipping, and more.
Save on travel! Planning a trip for the holidays, or any time? Make sure to check out Rakuten (or have the browser extension) because you could get cashback on hotels, flights, rentals, and even vacation packages.
Remember, you can sign up for a free Rakuten account here.
Cashback App #2: Swagbucks
Ok, so Swagbucks has a lot going on when it comes to ways to earn rewards. This one is a little more than just a cashback app, so I’m going to give an overview of this one, and I’ll probably dig into it a little more in a later post. In the meantime you can sign up for a free account with them here.
Swagbucks operates in much of the same ways as Rakuten. You get paid in what the call “Swagbucks” or “SB”. Each SB is worth $0.01. I know it doesn’t sounds like a lot but it can all really add up with all the other earning opportunities that Swagbucks offers.
Similar to Rakuten, Swagbucks offers a cash back percentage off online shopping. To see their active deals for the day head to the “Shop” button in their menu. They also tell you just how many SB you earn per dollar spent. One of the biggest differences is that you can link you cards to Swagbucks allowing you to earn cash back for in store purchases. I haven’t done this personally but I know people who have and they enjoy that option.
Remember the web extension I mentioned earlier? Well, you can get one with Swagbucks as well. I like to have both Rakuten and Swagbucks active because then I can see who is offering more back and select based off who is paying me more. You can download the Swagbucks one here.
Cashback App #3: Honey
Ok, so Honey isn’t cashback persay. What Honey does is it finds you coupon codes that actually work. Forget heading to retailmenot.com and searching and searching for an active code. Just download Honey to your web browers and let it do the work for you. You’ll just need a free profile for this one as well.
Another great thing with the web browser is the price checking history option that becomes available to you on sites like Amazon. This comes in handy for days like Cyber Monday and Prime Day. It helps you to see just how the prices have changed leading up to these sales so you can decide if you are actually saving money or not.
Honey has also added a feature called “Honey Gold” where you can get a $10 gift card for every 1,000 Honey gold you earn. It looks like this is earned through referrals so tell a friend!
Cashback App #4: Ibotta
Who else does a crazy amount of food shopping around the holidays? Between the dinners, making treats, and everything in between I seem to run to the store way more than usual. It’s cool though because with the Ibotta app you can earn cashback just by uploading your reciepts from shopping. Before you head to your favorite store, create your free account here and check out the offers for the store you are about to head to. This one is nice because your cashback offers are in dollars verses the percentages seen in the other apps.
You will need the app for this one and the app needs to be allowed access to the camera. To claim your offers/rewards you’ll need to take a photo of the receipt in question but the app walks you through the requirements they have in a very clear cut way.
This is just a small overview of my favorite apps to earn cashback on purchases I’m already making, especially during the holiday season where every extra dollar is great! I know there are so many more apps out there and I would love to hear about some of your favorites. Let me know in the comments below what one’s you use the most and why you love them!