Apps, coupons offer ways to save money

January 3, 2019

With the new year comes new resolutions, and some people may be looking for new ways to save money in 2019.

Many apps and websites offer ways to save money and earn rebates.

Jen Ludwig, of Mount Pleasant, has always clipped coupons, something she learned from her mother. But then she started using apps, or downloadable applications, as well.

“I have saved $900 with coupons grocery shopping per year,” she said. “With apps probably $400 per year.”

For apps she uses RetailMeNot, Checkout 51, Ibotta and SavingStar to either look for discounts or get rebates on items she purchases. Other websites, such as Honey, search for promo codes.

For Ludwig using these methods to save money was a no-brainer.

“I am cheap and like to save money,” she quipped.

Ludwig said coupons are more time-consuming than taking the time to look for deals.

“I spend maybe 45 minutes a week on coupons,” she said. “Apps take me about 30 minutes a week.”

Other websites, such as Paribus, check to see if companies owe shoppers a partial refund on purchases based on lower prices. Acorns invests spare change by rounding up purchase prices and investing the remainder.

Ludwig also uses Facebook to learn about deals.

“There are a lot of Facebook groups made just for couponing,” she said. “Lady Savings for Giant Eagle, and there are also some CVS groups and Target couponing.”

George Hancock, of Scalp Level, takes a different approach. A recently retired baby boomer, he said the best way to save is simple — don’t spend money.

“That is the lesson I am getting from my former co-workers,” he said.

He retired with a 401(k) from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

“You have to do everything very carefully,” he said. “You can’t go on shopping binges.”

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