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Money Saving Monday: Store Rewards Cards—App Style!

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Store rewards programs are great, but the plastic cards that attach to your keychains are not. The days of walking around with a key ring full of plastic cards with peeling edges appears to ending, however, as more and more companies are developing apps instead. More often than not, you can download a store app and sign up for the rewards program electronically. If you’re an existing rewards member, enter your card number and be freed from your little plastic burden!

I regularly use several store reward apps. It is so much easier having everything stored electronically and in one place, rather than finding a card for someone to scan or trying to remember the balance of a gift card.

A few that stick out as my favorites are:

1. Target’s Cartwheel. This app will give you a discount of 5%-50% on select items. It can be used in conjunction with the Target Redcard or Target Debit Card (which will get you an additional 5% off). Scan the barcode on your phone at checkout and the discount is instantly applied. Offers tend to align with the season, and feature items all over the store, including toys. The only downside is that this only applies IN-STORE, for now.
2. Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. I love iced coffee. It’s my weakness and can also be a HUGE drain on my wallet if I’m not careful. Both of these apps will allow you to load the balance from gift cards and carry them on your phone. Another cool feature is that you can pre-load any amount of money from $5 on up. When you’re ready to pay, the barista scans a barcode from your phone screen and payment is automatically deducted. This is a GREAT feature for those of us who budget. I can load my “coffee money” into an app at the beginning of the month and easily keep track of what I’ve spent. Every time you use these apps to pay, you earn points towards free beverages and treats. I get about 2 coffees a month for free using these apps.
3. Kroger and Walgreens. I love both of these apps for the coupons. At the register, the app provides your reward info and—BOOM!—your coupons are automatically applied. The Kroger app will track your fuel points, and the Walgreens app will track Balance Reward points, so there’s no guessing on whether or not you have a discount. Both of these apps feature weekly ads, and both have a “list” function that will allow you to add items to a shopping list you can then have easily accessible when in the store.
4. Hobby Lobby and Michael’s. These apps allow you to view the weekly ads, but the best feature for them both is the coupon code you get for up to 40% off any item (sale or regular priced). The code changes each week, so it’s a must have for someone who is into DIY and crafting. 40% off adds up—especially when coupled with sales! These codes can be used in-store OR online.

I would encourage you to peruse the iOS app store or the android Google Play store for these and other store reward apps.  Sign up for rewards programs whenever you can—those points and percentages off, no matter how small, WILL add up over time! Happy shopping!

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