Have you ever wondered exactly what we use to save money, budget travel, or our favorite travel gear? You don’t have to wonder anymore! Here are our recommended products we use to save money and explore. We have divided them into categories so it’s easier for you to look through them. If you have any questions, please feel free to send us an email or a message on our Facebook page so we can help you out.

Thrifty Traveler Tips is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. By clicking on a link below, we may receive a commission when you sign up/purchase. We only recommend products we have personally used and feel comfortable recommending to our friends and family. 

Money Saving Apps

Ibotta– I love Ibotta because it gives you money back on everyday purchases. I usually use it to get money back on groceries that typically don’t go on sale like bread, milk, eggs, etc. You can also use it for restaurants, beer and wine, clothing stores, convenience stores, and so much more. It’s easy to use and easy to redeem your earnings. If you sign up using my referral link (click here), Ibotta will put you on my team so we can help each other earn more rewards! That means less effort, and more money.

Groupon- Groupon can help with many of your money saving needs. My favorite way to use this app is to plan cheap dates with my boyfriend or to treat myself without breaking the bank. I actually check this app every night before I go to sleep in case an awesome new deals were added that day. My best score on Groupon was a $29 hour long massage! It was absolutely incredible and was normally $80 an hour. The app tells you what local deals are being offered for food, drinks, activities, concerts, products, and so much more. Just make sure you will use the product within the specified time limit. You can sign up by clicking here.

Money Saving Tips- AcornsAcorns- The Acorns app is essentially a virtual piggy bank that rounds up all of your purchases to the nearest dollar. The cool thing about this is that it also invests your money into stocks of your choosing. It costs $1 a month to manage your stocks, unless you’re a college student! College students who sign up with a .edu email address get their money managed for free for up to 4 years. We found that we made much more than the $1 we spent for them to help us manage it though. Click here to start saving money with Acorns!

Digit- This is one of my favorite apps of all time. The Digit app secretly stashes away money based on your Money Saving Tips- Digitspending habits. For instance, if it notices you are spending a lot of money on nonessential things, it will start sneaking out small amounts (usually $10 or less at a time) into a secret savings account. The goal is to save money without really realizing you’re doing it. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars since I started using Digit simply because my bank account had a little less in it, so I splurged a little less. If you’re someone who needs to spend money when they have it but still wants to save, this app is PERFECT for you!

Money Saving Cards

Target RedCard- If you’re a frequent shopper at Target, you’ll want to get the RedCard. You save an extra 5% on whatever you purchase on top of your Cartwheel app discounts (there are certain things that aren’t included in that like Pharmacy items so make sure you look into that). There are two options for the RedCard. You can do the Debit RedCard which works just like a debit card and takes the money directly from your bank account. This is what I have and I LOVE it, because I can never spend more than I have. If you’re looking for a Credit card option and shop at Target frequently, you can take advantage of 5% off while also building your credit. With both the Debit and the Credit card, you receive 5% off your purchases online or in store, as well as an additional 30 days to return items. Why not save an extra 5% while doing your daily shopping? Click here to sign up!

Discover Card- I absolutely ADORE my Discover card. I got it a few years ago to build my credit score and have been very impressed with it. They offer 5% back on certain categories like gas, retail stores, home improvement stores, etc. Every 3 months, the 5% back offer changes to something different. It’s helped me save money on the every day items that I need to buy like gas and groceries. They’re currently running a promotion where you receive $50 if you sign up using my link (click here) AND make a purchase with it within the first 3 months. That’s free money!

Money Saving Plugins

Honey- Honey is a neat plugin. You know when you’re shopping online and during checkout you’re wishing there was an easy way to see if there are any coupons out there for what you’re purchasing? GOOD NEWS! There is! This app will put in any discount codes currently active for that site and automatically apply whichever one will offer you the most money off. All you have to do is install the plugin and click the button to search when you’re in the checkout section. IT’S THAT EASY! It recently saved my boyfriend 60%. Yes, 60% off a huge purchase he was making for Christmas, without him having to do any extra work. Click here to install the plugin and start saving money!

Money Saving Tips- SwagbucksSwagbucks- I can’t say enough good things about Swagbucks. We’ve been using it for a couple years now, and I love that it’s always helping me save money or giving me money for easy tasks. After you install the plugin, whenever you visit a website that Swagbucks offers money back on a purchase, a banner will appear at the top of the screen for you to activate it. It ranges in % with the highest I’ve seen being 15% back. This is GREAT when you’re booking a hotel, flight, or buying Christmas gifts. After the purchase is validated it puts the money directly into your account to be redeemed as gift cards or put into your Paypal. It also rewards you for using their search engine when the plugin is installed. It’s usually not much but getting paid 25 cents for looking for information I needed to know, is fine with me. Click here to sign up for Swagbucks and start getting paid to shop!

                    Money Saving Websites

Groupon- I already told you how much I love Groupon the app, but did youknow they have a website too? For those of you who prefer to do your shopping on a computer, you can visit their site instead. It’s really easy to use and you can search based on location, type of item/activity, look for coupons, or search by the nearest holiday.

Money Saving Tips- SwagbucksSwagbucks- You can use Swagbucks as a plugin or on their website. If you want a more active approach to earning money, you can watch videos, answer surveys, and much more on their site to earn money. If you meet your daily goal multiple days in a row, they will give you bonuses! It’s not hard to meet your daily goal and it keeps you motivated to earn more money. What are you waiting for? Go start making some money!

Investment Apps/Websites

Money Saving Tips- WealthfrontWealthfront- If you’re new to the investment world and looking for something that uses a more hands off approach, then the Wealthfront app is for you. It asks you simple questions about your financial situation, how much you want to add each month/year, and what your investment goals are. It uses this information to help you create a portfolio and adjusts it when needed to maximize your growth for FREE! What are you waiting for? Get started by clicking here!

Money Saving Tips- MotifMotif- This is another great app for those venturing into the investment world. Motif already has some premade clusters of stocks for you to invest in that have a certain theme, investing style, or multi-asset model. They give you detailed reports to show you what’s going on, how it’s affecting your investment, and how to make smart investing decisions. It also helps you track your progress towards your financial goals to help motivate you. Click here to give it a try!

Money Saving Tips- AcornsAcorns- Acorns helps you save money, and helps you invest your money. With the money it rounds up from purchases with your card, it invests it into stocks of your choosing. It costs $1 a month to manage your money, unless you’re a college student. Sign up with a .edu email address and you can get up to 4 years of free money management. We found that we made much more than $1 a month, and enjoyed the beginner friendly atmosphere to investment. Start saving and investing with Acorns by clicking here.

Travel Gear

Packing cubes- Packing cubes have really saved my sanity while traveling. If you’re looking for a way to keep your clothing compact and organized while traveling, you definitely need these. Our favorite brands of packing cubes are: Shacke Pak, PRO Packing Cubes, and Eagle Creek. They’re all durable and handy. The Eagle Creek one comes with a garment folder to keep your fancy clothes wrinkle free while traveling. We love having that along.

Underwater Camera- The Fujifilm FinePix XP80 is the camera that I take the majority of my pictures on when I’m near water or exploring all day. It’s lightweight, durable, waterproof, and takes amazing pictures and videos. It also has wifi capabilities so I can sync the camera to my phone to help us take pictures. You can zoom, take a picture, take a video, see what the camera is seeing, etc. all on your phone with the app. I can also move pictures from my camera directly onto my phone. How awesome is that?! If you want to know more about the camera, check out my review on the Fujifilm FinePix XP80. Oh and don’t forget to get a floating wrist strap for your camera if you plan on taking it in the water. You would be surprised how many times it’s slipped out of my hands when I get hit by a wave or lose my grip. Having the neon floatable strap helps you find it and keeps it from sinking to the bottom of the ocean!

Long distance Camera- Alright, the Nikon COOLPIX P530 is one of the coolest cameras EVER!! The zoom on this thing is absolutely INCREDIBLE. In fact, my boyfriend’s mom saw me use it and the zoom capabilities and was completely blown away. That’s all she asked for for Christmas this year and she already had one of those big fancy cameras with changeable lenses. I like the ease of this camera and that I don’t have to stop to change lenses between shots. A photographer knows that you don’t always have 2 minutes to change a lens, so this eliminates that worry completely. This camera takes high quality pictures and videos, even at full zoom. Let me put it this way, we saw dots on a mountain that looked like they were moving. We set up my camera on a tripod and zoomed in on them. The picture we got, looked like they were 20 feet in front of us, not a speck moving in the distance. If you’re looking for a camera with high quality photo and video capabilities, crazy zoom features, without the added weight/hassle of carrying around lenses, then the Nikon COOLPIX P530 is for you! Don’t forget to get a tripod to help keep the camera steady when you’re fully zoomed in.

Go Pro- While I use my Fujifilm and my Nikon, Tyler prefers to use his GoPro HERO4 Silver. I was amazed by the quality of the pictures and videos taken by the GoPro. The colors are so rich and lifelike that it felt like I was actually standing where the picture was taken. I also appreciated the wide angle that the GoPro uses. We were able to get all of the scenery in a shot with his GoPro when I wasn’t able to with my camera. If you’re looking for a user friendly video camera, then this is for you. We use the GoPro to catch awesome first person shots skiing, four wheeling, hiking, racing, etc. Make sure you get an accessories pack like this when you order your GoPro HERO4 Silver.

Travel Booking Websites

Groupon- Groupon is the travel booking website we use most frequently. You can get insanely discounted trips around the world or discounted activities in your area. We found some fly fishing trips, beer tours, hotel deals, car rentals, vacation packages, etc.! You can search for vacation packages based on general location. You can also search by feel you’re looking for like romantic, all inclusive, adults only, kid friendly, flight included, etc. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, check Groupon before making any travel plans. Be careful if you’re traveling solo as there may be an extra fee. Check Groupon out by clicking here! Act fast, because these deals only last a couple of days at a time!

Those are our recommended products to save you money, help you invest, and to plan your travels. Don’t forget to share this post with your friends so they can save some money too!