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With the cost of almost everything being more expensive than ever, wouldn’t it be nice to get some money back when you shop?

You can if you download some cash back apps on your phone.

But they do come with some downsides, and some are better than others, depending on where you shop.

Shopping expert shares pros and cons

Smart shopping expert Trae Bodge has several on her phone.

“I am a huge fan of cash back apps. I use them all the time,” she said.

But Bodge said you have to get in the habit of checking the apps, especially if you’re in-store. The savings are not necessarily automatic.

“If you’re not looking, you’re leaving money on the table,” she said.

Some cash back sites are better in certain categories than others. compared them and said:

  • Rakuten is best for overall shopping.
  • Ibotta is best for groceries (though make sure your store participates).
  • Dosh is best for travel.

Interested? You’ll find these in the app store.
Once you’ve downloaded the app on your phone, you just click on it, choose from dozens of popular stores and start shopping.

But there are some downsides.

Bodge said there are cases where the deals you find don’t necessarily work.

“But one may be 100% effective and then you’ll be really excited that you’ve saved that money,” she said.

For the greatest possible savings, Bodge said:

  • See how other shoppers rated an app before you download it.
  • Install a site’s browser extension so you’re notified about promo codes in real-time.
  • Stack cash back savings with rewards you already get from your credit card.

“Cash back is stackable in most cases,” Bodge said.
Best of all, signing up is free, so there is no expense to giving them a try.

That way you don’t waste your money.

For more consumer news and money-saving advice, go to

Related: How to Save Money on Groceries