Editor's note: this blog post was originally written in May 2016 and has since been updated for clarity and with updated information.
Since I've started freebie hunting, I've been met with a lot of pessimism and scepticism:
- How can you possibly get all that stuff for free?
- Aren't those sites all scams?
- There must be a catch!
Well, I've decided to spread the word and make sure people know that there are genuine ways to save money and get freebies online in a series of myth debunking posts.
Keep an eye out as I explore what people are so afraid of when applying for freebies, and how to overcome those fears and worries and get more people online freebie hunting.
...Cashback mobile apps!
If you have not experienced the exciting world of cashback and effectively getting paid to shop, you have not lived! Time it right with multiple apps and you could save some serious cash on your regular supermarket shop.
So why is no one talking about them?
Myth 1: there are no mobile cashback apps for the UK
Cashback apps have been around for a couple of years and while the US may have had a head start, there are lots of cashback apps that operate in the UK.
Both apps are similar in the way they operate.
Get food, drink and household items for free (or heavily discounted) at lots of major retailers, including Tesco, Sainsbury's, ASDA, Co-op and Morrisons.
Sign up and download in seconds and be instantly greeted with a range of freebies and deals to get you going!
Myth 2: my mobile phone won't support the app
If you have an Apple or Android phone...
and who doesn't these days?!
...You can definitely get involved.
These sort of apps are reliant on their users, so it's in their best interest to make sure the app is as compatible as possible.
Myth 3: I won’t get my cash (or I'll have to wait for months)
I'll admit, some of the more traditional cashback apps can make you wait a little while to get your money back.
The beauty of mobile supermarket cashback apps is that you can receive your cash back within hours.
But how does that work?
When you sign up you can choose whether to receive the money in your bank account or in your PayPal account.
PayPal is quicker and once the money is in there you can always transfer it over to your bank account later. If you are requesting cashback via your bank, it will take no longer than 10 days.
Myth 4: they are all scams and untrustworthy
In these post-GDPR days, a lot of people are wary to be forthcoming with their details.
Mobile cashback apps require sign-up details (like your name and email address) and your bank account/PayPal details. How else are they going to give you your cash back?
If you're feeling unsure, head to the website and check out the T&Cs to get the full lowdown. You could also contact a member of the customer service team who will be happy to put your mind at ease.
Plus, if you change your mind and don't wish to use the app anymore, there is zero obligation for you to keep using!
Myth 5: they don’t have anything that interests me
Do you eat food? Drink? Use household items?
Then you can definitely make use of mobile cashback apps.
The great thing about mobile cashback apps is the variety of offers and how they're constantly updated with new ones.
- Walkers Crisps
- Richmond Sausages
- Kellogg's Cereal
- Yeo Valley Yoghurt
- Frijj Milkshake
- Cow & Gate Baby Food
These are just a few of the free offers that Shopmium and CheckoutSmart have had recently. Sounds good, right?
Plus, the offers are based on consumer habits. So the more you engage with the app, the more likely you are to receive offers based on your favourite supermarket items.
Myth 6: you can only claim one offer at once so it’s not worth the time
I once claimed 8 free items at once on separate receipts for CheckoutSmart, and you can too.
It's easy to think you're only entitled to one item at a time on these apps, especially the free ones...
...but this isn't the case!
You can also use as many apps as you want to claim multiple offers. Coupon fanatics and super savers call this way of combining offers 'stacking'.
I call it common sense!
You can shop with CheckoutSmart and Shopmium if they both have the same offers. If there is a percentage off and you have a coupon as well, that's even better. For example:
- A pack of yoghurts is £1 in Tesco
- You have a 50p Clubcard coupon
- Shopmium are offering the yoghurts for 50p
- Combine the offers and the yoghurts are free!
Myth 7: they're too complicated to use
This is potentially the biggest myth of all.
Mobile cashback apps sell themselves on their simplicity, but for some of us, it just seems too good to be true.
The apps really are very simple to use.
- Download the app
- Find offers on your mobile or tablet while you're shopping
- Upload a clear photo of your receipt
- Receive quick payment
Anyone can do it, including you.
So what are you waiting for? Get saving on your next supermarket shop by downloading the apps and getting started today. Please let me know how much you've saved, I can't wait to.