This entry has also been published by the Chicago Personal Finance Examiner.
Have you heard of the Step Diet, which is a combination of walking 10,000 steps per day plus cutting down your food portion sizes? If not, all you need is a pedometer and a place to walk. Walking 10,000 daily steps is much easier than it seems, but you may be less focused on those steps if you're distracted by something else, like great shopping deals.
Whether you're at a mall, a grocery store or picking items up at a local drugstore, you're active. Walking in and out of stores, walking to the fitness room, skipping the escalator for the stairs and parking a few spots further back in the parking lot can all help with a 10,000 daily step goal.
But where does money saving fit in?
The holiday season is as good a time as any to try to save money while shopping for loved ones (and yourself). Smartphone app Shopkick works all year round to help consumers save bucks either by scanning items inside a store or just walking in the entrance. And if there's any skepticism about Shopkick being the go-to app, check out some of these savings for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
After downloading Shopkick, you can check around to see what nearby stores provide points by scanning their products and which ones provide kicks for simply walking in. Retail stores, such as Best Buy and Target, will give you 45 points just for making an entrance. But after you walk in, look at the scan items inside those stores to see what items give the most kicks. Scanning a Smart TV in Best Buy can be 100 kicks. Target's product items vary 10 points to 100 points for everything from infant alphabet games to pumpkin spice wine and KY Jelly.
If you really have a lot of items to purchase, it's strongly suggested to walk through the store and do all of your scanning first. Then, grab a shopping cart or basket and do your regular shopping, specifically if your grocery list is on your phone. The downside of the Shopkick app is once you log out of it, it won't automatically revert you back to the same page you were on. You'd have to log back into Shopkick and figure out where you left off.
The upside is once you scan a Shopkick item, the photo of each item grays out so you know not to do a repeat scan.
And don't try to trick the system by walking in and out of the store. You can only get one set of daily points (in a 24-hour period) for walking into a store participating in Shopkick even if you decide to go to two locations. By the end of your shopping trip you may have accumulated enough to use an immediate gift card. Sometimes the gift cards (ex. Target) are scanned directly from your phone by the cashier. Other times they're sent by e-mail (ex. Best Buy) after a text message confirmation.
And by making two trips -- one to use Shopkick, another one to grocery shop -- chances are higher that your daily steps will improve. Suggested pedometer apps for your Smartphone are Accupedo or NoomWalk. Both are free, but be careful. Glance at your phone a couple of times before starting Shopkick to make sure the pedometer apps don't freeze.
You wouldn't want to walk all of those steps and then they weren't counted, now would you?
To join Shopkick today, click this referral link.