Tag Archives: opinion

Reviewing 4 Top Coupon Apps for Android Phones

Two months ago, I began an experiment with couponing apps for my smartphone.  I downloaded IbottaCheckout 51MobiSaveCoupons.com, and Receipt Hog specifically for their offers and pay-outs.  I also have downloaded store-specific apps (like Walmart’s Savings Catcher and Target’s Cartwheel) that I’ll review at a later date. 

Disclaimer: I am not being paid in any way, shape, or form to review or endorse these apps. I mean, I’m getting deals and offers and such from them like any other user, but the companies behind these services haven’t given me anything special to talk about them. The apps are free to download. 

Sadly, Receipt Hog notified me via email that they do not have any spots currently available and their wait list is long.  Therefore, without further ado, I present to you FOUR of the Top Coupon Apps for Androids.

App Name:  Ibotta

Google Play Rating: 4.25 Stars (209k+ ratings)

Earned in First Month:  $12.65

My Thoughts:

The set-up was very simple and similar to other savings apps’ opening procedures.  I recommend looking over what’s offered before going shopping to match the rebates with other coupons and sales.  I just discovered that you can link your store loyalty cards to “unlock” rewards before you shop; my most frequently shopped store with a loyalty card is not on their list of Preferred Partners.

When you’ve done your shopping and maybe selected other rebates, you select the “Verify Purchases” button.  This leads you through two steps:  Scan Product Barcodes and Take a photo of your Store receipt.  On some items, you will not scan a barcode, like certain produce.  But since most items need to be scanned, this isn’t something you can do from the comfort of your bed or even your desk at work.  Depending on how your kitchen and pantry are set up, it may be easier to get this app going while you’re putting your groceries away.  After you’ve scanned your product barcodes, you’ll use the app to take photos of your receipt.  I have super long receipts all the time since I do bulk shopping and use shopper cards and coupons; this has to be my least favorite part of Ibotta, which has nothing to do with Ibotta and everything to do with lining up the edges and where I left off from the previous photo.

The amount you’ve aggregated in rebates goes into My Balance with which you can transfer cash to a linked PayPal or Venmo account or you can buy gift cards to places like Target, Olive Garden, JoAnn Fabrics, and more.  Of all of these options, your balance must be $20.00 minimum.

Ibotta is all about teamwork.  The social media accounts you link will be checked for “friends” that also use Ibotta, and without you lifting an extra finger, your teammates “work” together to save and earn towards Teamwork levels.  You also are rewarded for inviting friends; currently, if a friend joins Ibotta with your referral code, they receive a $10 welcome bonus and you receive $5.

There are more ways to save, like with Bonus Rebates and completing little challenges that differ each month.  These help you move along towards reaching that $20 threshold.  Without the sign-on bonus and these extras, it looks like it would take me a long time to reach that cash out amount.

Screenshot from my Ibotta account

Pros:  Easy to use; can select frequently visited stores to make finding rebates easier

Cons:  Required to scan product barcodes; like most coupons, these rebates are mainly for name brand or new products, both of which I tend to avoid

Verdict:  KEEP USING

 

App Name:  Checkout 51

Google Play Rating:  4 Stars (47k reviews)

Earned in First Month:  $1.00

My Thoughts:

The set-up was very simple and similar to other savings apps’ opening procedures.  I recommend looking over what’s offered before going shopping to match the rebates with other coupons and sales.

There is a very long list of offers each week that can be refined by selecting categories or stores.  There is not, however, a search bar.  This makes scrolling necessary and tedious.  Frequently, I do not find any offers that suit me.  The offers you “star” are listed, you select the option to take the photo(s) of your receipt, then once you click “finish”, you wait while it uploads.  And wait.  Then you get a congratulatory screen telling you how much you’ve saved.

It says, “You can request a check when your account balance reaches $20.”  This could take a very long time, considering most offers are like coupons and for only 10 or 40 cents. Once you claim a starred offer, you most likely won’t be able to claim it again.  You don’t have to scan the individual items. The receipt-photo-taking process is similar to other rebate and savings apps.

Screenshot from my Checkout 51 account

Pros:  Many options; get a real check

Cons:  Rarely are there offers I’ll use; terminal scrolling to view all offers

Verdict:  DELETE

 

App Name:  MobiSave

Google Play Rating:  3 Stars (2,393 reviews)

Earned in First Month:  $1.55

My Thoughts:

I don’t recall how I even heard of this one, but I liked the idea that I received the benefits of selected offers right away, like if I were using a paper coupon at the checkout.  The set-up was quick and simple.  There is a short list of offers.  After photographing your receipt, you’ll “paperclip” which offers actually apply to that receipt.  Once they’re confirmed, the money saved is sent directly to your PayPal account.

I do bulk shopping so the last time I used MobiSave, I had 6 receipts that were all quite long.  The way this app is set up to capture images of your receipts makes it difficult to know where your last picture ended and your next needs to begin.  In the end, there were 4 offers that applied to me.  There were 4 deposits made to PayPal within an hour.  My first payment from MobiSave was only $.40, but I got it right away without waiting and saving up to a $20 threshold.

Screenshot from my MobiSave account

Pros:  Immediate deposit into PayPal; frequently offered “any type, any size” deals

Cons:  Not many offers; can’t see previous pictures in series when photographing long receipts

Verdict:  KEEP USING

 

App Name:  Coupons.com

Google Play Rating:  4 Stars (18,800 reviews)

Earned in First Month:  $0.00, but I may have saved some by loading deals to my Pay-Less card

My Thoughts:

I have used Coupons.com in the past to select deals and print coupons to present at checkout.  This app allows that as well as linking to your store shopper cards for automatic digital coupons.

You *must* visit the app prior to shopping, not after.  They don’t want to capture your receipt if you have a store loyalty card; they want to provide coupons directly to the card.  Part of the set-up for this app is typing in the numbers on your loyalty cards.  If you are like me, you don’t even have these because you provide your phone number to the cashier.  I use my Kroger Plus card and I frequently use their digital coupons option, so I logged into that account to access my card number to copy-and-paste into this app.

For stores you frequent that do not use loyalty cards, you will submit your receipt after shopping.  When you’ve submitted receipts and they’re accepted, you receive cash back via PayPal.

Coupons.com has a whole slew of other money saving options, like printable coupons and online coupon codes for sites like Overstock and Guitar Center.  I’ve used their printable coupons in the past, from their website and not this app, and can attest to the safety of the printing software they need you to use.  If you use the app to select coupons, you have the option to print or email them.  I do not have a WiFi compatible printer but have emailed myself the link to print directly from my computer.  Check your library for wireless printing if you’d like to use this option.

Although I downloaded and accessed this app the same as the other savings apps, I have yet to use anything off of it.  I don’t use the products they have presented in the time I’ve been doing this little experiment (seven weeks at the writing of this review).

Screenshot from my Coupons.com account, showing what I could redeem with either loading to my loyalty cards or submitting receipts.

Screenshot from my Coupons.com account

Pros:  Many ways to save

Cons:  Lots of offers to scroll through only to discover I won’t use any of them

Verdict:  DELETE but keep visiting the website on my laptop for paper coupons

Why I Don’t Talk Politics or Religion

I have an opinion.  I have lots of them.  Just like I have a lot of passions and dislikes and feelings and hairs on my head.  There are certain things I just don’t discuss, though, like politics and religion.

Here’s Why

I am 33 years old.  I not only have a formal education but also knowledge gained through experiences and that which I sought out because of my interests.  I consider myself to be above-average intelligence.  I have a husband, children, parents, family, in-laws, a priest, friends, a routine, books, access to the Internet, and so on and so forth.

What I am saying is I am an individual capable of original thought.  I am smart and have varied interests.

What I have learned in 33 years is that most people can say what I’ve just stated, or some variation of it.  Therefore, we all have our childhoods lived, our opinions formed.  Barring crises of faith, most of us aren’t interested in hearing others’ opinions to HAVE OURS SWAYED.

Think About It

Really, now, when was the last time you engaged in a conversation in order to have someone else TELL YOU HOW TO THINK OR FEEL?

I cannot fathom why another adult would think I need him to tell me what to believe.  If he disagrees with the way I believe tax dollars ought to be spent, I am not really open to him telling me I AM WRONG and that I SHOULD believe otherwise.  If she doesn’t think my religion is THE RIGHT ONE, I do not want her to tell me I AM WRONG and that I SHOULD follow a different religion, or that there even is a “right” one.

Seriously, people:  wars are started over this stuff.

So why on earth would I want to ARGUE WITH FRIENDS about it?

I guess I’d rather have friends.

Difference of Opinion

I believe that having a friend or family member with a different opinion or viewpoint is quite healthy SO LONG AS we continue to BE ADULTS and agree to disagree.

Shouting at me that I need to think differently because the Constitution says thus or snidely remarking under your breath that my faith is misplaced because the news has sensationalized the Catholic priests who have done wrong IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE MY OPINION or my beliefs.

No, really.  Think on it.  A difference of opinion is quite healthy and normal; what is neither healthy or normal is attacking another for it.

I respect that your faith is different than mine.  I respect that you have feelings about how this country should be run.  I respect that you are an adult, that you are capable of independent thought, and that you and I are not exactly alike.  In fact, I prefer that; that’s probably why I am friends with you.  I respect all persons for all their differences, whether it be choices of religion or choices of diet or even things that are not choices, like skin color and the demographic in which you were born.

Please respect me in return.

Love and Friendship

I personally feel that discussions regarding religion and politics ought to be kept as such:  discussions.  I want to talk about my feelings (yes, that’s a biggie in my generation) without being concerned of who will be offended or will try to sway my judgements.

But I can’t.  I cannot talk to certain friends or family members regarding politics because it is never just a discussion, a comparison, an enlightenment.  With certain people, it becomes a battle.  They are so set in their opinion and so passionate about what they know and feel that they can only see the point of the conversation as conversion.

They want to convert me to their way of thinking.

How is that either friendship or based in love?  How is believing my opinions are WRONG any sort of open and honest relationship?  How is thinking I MUST CHANGE for you healthy for either of us?*

Well, Maybe I Would Talk Politics and Religion

If you truly want to know what way I’ll vote in November or why I’ve chosen which church I frequent on Sundays, please ask.  I’d love to discuss my faith and feelings WITH OPEN-MINDED ADULTS.  Maybe you have some input or insight.  Maybe you’re looking for input or insight.  Maybe we will both learn something, like that our differences have common ground.  Or that we don’t see eye-to-eye but can respect that.  Or that we have no differences at all and now have someone to openly talk to.

If you just want to attack me, prove me wrong, change my view, shatter my faith, have an argument, or whatever… if you have an agenda, please don’t ask.  Please don’t start that.  Please don’t pick a fight with me if you truly consider me a friend or loved one.

That is neither nice nor respectful.

And you won’t “win.”

Never in all of my years have I ever thought, “Yes, you’re right.  I’m an ignorant idiot who has been WRONG ALL THIS TIME.  Thank goodness you and your aggressive approach to our differences have CHANGED ME into what you want.  I’m so glad you’ve usurped my autonomy.  Thank God you had an agenda. Gracious, you’re a good friend.”

Nope, never thought that.  And if I said it, you heard my thickest sarcasm.  Good for you!

The Facts

I do not feel threatened by your political viewpoints.  I do not feel threatened by your religion or your faith-based choices.  I do not feel threatened by your gender, your sexuality, or how you’ve chosen to present yourself to the world.  I do not feel it is my place to dictate how you live your life, so long as your choices do not cause harm to those I love or myself.

Now, if we could all agree to that, and we could all have thoughtful discussions about our beliefs, viewpoints, knowledge, and differences, there wouldn’t be so many problems in the world.  But I can’t control the world.  I can merely control what I choose to discuss and with whom I discuss those topics.

If you are out to attack my beliefs or change my opinions, I am not going to talk to you about politics or religion.  If you are curious and want to learn, please know that I am curious and want to learn.  But that I am not interested in a sales pitch. I will not further your agenda.

And I certainly don’t want anyone telling me I’M WRONG.

 

*I apologize for those split infinitives.  If you heard me say these out loud, you would understand by vocal inflection how I’m trying to pose these rhetorical questions.  As it is, you’ll just have to muddle through reading those.  Sorry.