Stealz App developed in Triangle helps save money

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Some Triangle entrepreneurs have developed a new app, called Stealz, and the first steal you can snag is a freebie at hundreds of businesses. (WTVD)

If you have a smartphone, you know having the right apps can really help you save money.

Some Triangle entrepreneurs have developed a new app, called Stealz, and the first steal you can snag is a freebie at hundreds of businesses.

Raleigh entrepreneur Jim Zidar is one of four co-founders of the Stealz app. It was launched in February 2013 with the premise of helping small businesses market their products through customers' social media sites through the app.

"When you use the app, what you are trying to do is earn points so you can get the different Stealz," Zidar explained. "Think of a steal as a reward or different deal you can get."

While Stealz is only a little over a year old, hundreds of businesses are offering deals through it. The idea is to give users freebies and points for sharing pictures on sites like Facebook and Twitter to earn more free stuff.

For small businesses, Zidar explained it solves the problem of how to promote on social media.

"It's the idea of having your customers do your marketing for you," said Zidar.

Once you download the Stealz app, you can immediately get a free item or a deal at every store featured. For example, at Cafe Carolina you can walk right in and redeem a coupon on the app for a free Carolina blue cupcake.

After the user redeems a coupon, there is always a bar-code at the business. You scan it, and it tells you how you can earn points for more free items at that business. At Cafe Carolina, you can earn five points by sharing a photo on a social media site like Facebook or Twitter. Those five points can then be redeemed for a free dessert item.

"Every time you use the app at a business for the first time, you get an instant steal," said Zidar. "So think of it almost as the Groupon effect, you'll get to go and redeem something right away. For example, right now at McDonald's, you can get a free McFlurry by using the app."

Some of the other instant steals in Raleigh include a free jumbo pretzel at Flying Saucer, free chips and salsa at Armadillo Grill, and a buy one get one free class at Wine and Design. Because the app started in the Triangle, there are hundreds of local businesses on board. But, it has already grown into businesses in 19 states across the U.S. as a way for users to grab Stealz while helping to spread the word through social media for small businesses.

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