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App of the week: Checkout 51

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By Becca Goss 

Most people have heard of extreme couponing – the art of buying 700 Gatorades, 250 bars of soap and 42 bottles of ketchup and getting it all for free.

That’s great for those people and all, but who has time for scouting out deals that intensely? We’re students, we just want to save a few bucks to afford a six-pack on Friday night.

Checkout 51, an app based out of Toronto, is a simple way to save you money on your inevitably expensive trips to Loblaws.

Every Thursday morning, the app sends out a new list of products you can save money on. The products range from makeup to yogurt to dish soap and more. The best part of the app is that the products are practical items you would normally buy anyway and you don’t need to buy an absurd amount in order to save money.

Redeeming the coupons is easy. You go out and buy whichever products you want, use the app to take a picture of the receipt and it uploads to your account. Your receipt will then be processed and the money saved will be totaled to your account. Once your account reaches $20, Checkout 51 will send you a cheque.

Now, with great couponing comes great responsibility. Use your head while using the app. Don’t buy hummus to get your $1 back if you hate hummus. Don’t buy the Ben & Jerry’s to get the $1.50 back if you prefer another brand that’s cheaper even with the savings from Checkout 51. Put those math lessons on unit cost to good use.

The app is a great way to save a few dollars here and there, but don’t rely on it to help you pay your rent. You won’t become a sudden millionaire with all the money you’re saving and you won’t save enough to justify spending outside your means. You won’t become an extreme couponer using Checkout 51 – hey, you might, but we’re not here to judge – but you can definitely justify buying an extra pint on Friday night. That’s really all we care about anyway.

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