If you're an avid couponer, chances are you already collect digital coupons from apps and websites to maximize savings at drugstores and grocery chains. But with the rise of receipt scanner apps, there's another way to maximize savings: You can simply take picture of your receipt from a grocery store and scan it to earn cash back.
"There is no shortage of grocery receipt scanning apps these days. (However) you can get carried away if you are not careful and end up with a time-consuming task for claiming your cash back," says Nermeen Ghneim, who runs the personal finance blog SavvyDollar.com. She recommends sticking with two or three cash back apps that you like if you're a casual couponer looking to leverage savings.
With that in mind, we pinpointed seven receipt scanner apps to add to your arsenal. Best of all, each app is free and compatible with Android and iOS devices.
Here are grocery receipt scanning apps you should try:
-- Fetch Rewards
-- Checkout 51
-- Receipt Hog
A well-known grocery app that enables users to earn cash back at more than 300 stores, including Walmart, Target and Walgreens, as well as regional chains, like Kroger, and even some online stores, such as Amazon (for non-grocery purchases), Ibotta is an ideal app for those looking to score savings. Here's how it works: Once you download the app, you can look for offers from your favorite brands on the platform. Then, you can scan a receipt or sync Ibotta to a loyalty card from your preferred retailers to automatically activate cash back offers through the app. Within 48 hours, you'll get some cash in your bank account. "I average about $15 to $20 cash back per month," says Joe Murphy, an avid shopper and interior design specialist at TheShowerHeadStore.com, which is based in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
"Of course, I do not spend as much time searching and planning as many others do," Murphy adds. "The key for me is the cash back through their mobile shopping. So I order from Amazon and Shipt as I normally do and earn anywhere from 2% to 6% additional (money) just from going through the app." Murphy adds that he also uploads paper receipts for cash back.
"With this app, you scan receipts and receive points for items that qualify. You can cash in the points for gift cards. Every thousand points equals $1. My goal currently is a $50 Amazon gift card," Murphy says.
Ghneim also likes it since aside from downloading the app, all users need to do is scan their grocery receipts after shopping to earn rewards. "(It's) effortless to use," she says. "No requirement to preselect any items. You just need to scan your grocery receipt." She adds that while the pay is less than Ibotta, for just a few seconds of work, it's a worthy addition.
With ReceiptPal, after you scan your receipt for your grocery purchase, you can accumulate points that can be redeemed for gift cards or cash. While you can certainly use the app when shopping at the supermarket, you can also scan in receipts from any affiliated store, including clothing stores, gas stations and even car dealerships. Here's how it works: Once you snap a photo and submit a receipt, you'll receive points that can be redeemed for rewards such as cash prizes and gift cards at retailers like Target, Amazon and Home Depot.
With the savvy Checkout 51 savings app, updated offers are released every Thursday and are available to shoppers on a first-come, first-served basis. Once you take a photo of any receipts using the app's built-in camera feature for a highlighted offer by 11:59 p.m. local time, you can redeem your cash back. Some items must be purchased in a specific store to be eligible, but most are for food or drink items that can be bought from any supermarket, brick-and-mortar store or online.
Once you get a balance of $20, you'll have a check mailed to you. You can also request to receive money electronically or opt for a gift card. "Not as many savings opportunities as Ibotta, but it has many items that Ibotta does not. It's an excellent way to squeeze out additional savings," Ghneim says.
Most offers from Receipt Hog are available at grocery stores, but not all of them. Here's how it works: After you make your purchase and take a picture of your receipt, you'll receive digital reward coins. You can redeem your reward coins for Amazon gift cards, a PayPal deposit to your bank account, magazines and sweepstakes entries. If you get 1,000 or more coins, you can receive cash (1,000 coins equates to $5).
With the CoinOut app, you can upload store receipts to your phone to collect random rewards. You can use the app after purchasing groceries at Kroger, Albertsons and Walmart. It also works with 7-Eleven, Burger King, Chipotle, CVS, Subway and Taco Bell, among other restaurants and retailers. Take a photo of your receipt, and for every receipt uploaded on the app, you'll get a random reward. Typically, users receive 15 cents or a quarter for their random reward, which can be deposited directly into users' bank accounts via direct deposit. You can also redeem points for an Amazon gift card. Even better, once you hit $2.50, you can cash out your reward via PayPal.
If you're a health nut who often purchases nutritious foods, BerryCart is an ideal app for you. If you buy the product that BerryCart is promoting at one of the 100,000 locations that the app partners with, including Kroger, Walmart and Whole Foods outposts, and you snap a picture of the receipt, you'll have money sent to you within 24 hours. How much you'll earn depends on the deal. It might be a quarter, 75 cents or more. The rewards you accrue can be cashed out through PayPal or redeemed for gift cards.
More From US News & World Report