HOUSTON – Groceries, clothes, travel, no matter what we buy, we always want the lowest price. Even if you search coupon codes and scour clearance racks, if you aren't shopping with a cash back app at checkout, you are missing out on money.
Consumer expert Amy Davis is showing you four of those apps and how they work.
Ebates was one of the original cash back sites in 1999. Now it's also an app.
"I know it's a solid company," said mom blogger of ModMomTV. "I always get my checks. They're always coming to me every time I buy on there, you know.
Just sign up for Ebates, and then shop online through the site. Ebates gives you a percentage of what you spend right back.
"Once I make that purchase, Ebates gets credited for that purchase and they in turn give me money back," Thornquist siad.
Ebates mails you a check every quarter or sends your cash back through PayPal. Ebates also lets you shop in stores now, too. You have to link your credit card to your Ebates account. Search store offers and click "link offer" when you find one. When you make the purchase in store using your linked credit card, Ebates automatically transfers a percentage of your purchases to your Ebates account.
The new app Dosh works the same way. When you open the app, it shows you all of the cash back offers near you. One of our Channel 2 producers got back $1.42 on his $14 Firehouse Subs order.
"What I love about this app is it allows for travel. If you want to go stay in a hotel, there's some really nice options there," Thornquist said.
You get $25 the first time you book a hotel room when you find an offer on Dosh; and smaller amounts depending on the hotel every booking after. Dosh pays you when you accrue $15.
Ibotta is also an oldie, but goodie. Many people use it for groceries, getting rebates for products you purchase. There is more effort required than on some other apps. You have to snap pictures of UPC codes on products you bought and your receipt.
"I found over time though the last thing I wanted to do was take a picture of my receipt, take a picture of the item. It just got to be a little bit too much for me," Thornquist said.
But now you can shop through the Ibotta portal, just like on Ebates, and earn cash back. We found a 4 percent cash back deal when you shop at World Market.
The last money saver is Honey. It's not an app, but an extension for your internet browser. After you sign up, every time you hit the checkout button when shopping online, Honey goes to work searching for promo codes for you and applying each one to lower your purchase price. Manually searching for those codes is time-consuming.
"It takes a lot of time," Thornquist said. "But if it's gonna populate for me and I don't have to go searching, it's awesome."
We're not suggesting you use every one of these apps. Some take more time than others. Some are better at different stores. Check them out and choose the one that works best for how and where you shop. Then you can sit back and watch the cash flow in.