How One Florida Woman Lost 23 Pounds — and Gained $1,200 With a Free App

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When Missy Novak stepped on the scale and realized she’d lost 8 pounds, she felt alarmed. In her words, she’s “a woman of a certain age,” so unexpectedly losing weight isn’t always good.

Then she realized the culprit: Shopkick.

Thanks to the shopping rewards app, she’d kicked her sedentary lifestyle and had become more active. It pays its users to complete certain tasks, like walking into a retailer or scanning an item’s barcode. Users then exchange these points for gift cards.

Since Novak started using Shopkick less than two years ago, she’s made more than $1,200 and has lost about 23 pounds.

How? She walks. And walks, and walks, and walks. Shopkick is like a scavenger hunt, taking her from retailer to retailer, aisle to aisle.

“I might be a little addicted to it,” Novak admits.

How Shopkick Works

First, download the Shopkick app through iTunes or Google Play.

Then, start earning “kicks” when you complete certain tasks, which include:

  • Walking into an affiliated retailer, including Walmart, Target, TJMaxx and more.
  • Scanning barcodes on Shopkick-listed products.
  • Taking a photo of your receipt that includes qualifying items.
  • Purchasing particular items with a connected credit card.
  • Shopping online.

Don’t make the mistake of buying things you don’t need — just for kicks. And remember you can earn kicks without even making a purchase.

Once you accumulate enough kicks, exchange them for a gift card. For example, 500 kicks will score you a $2 Target or Walmart gift card.

And hey, you just might drop a few pounds, too.

Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She uses Shopkick on occasion, though it doesn’t seem to cancel out all the desserts she eats.