You walk out of the store, scanning your receipt and wondering, "How did it total up to that much?? There's no way these three bags cost $XXX!!"
It's amazing how a quick run to the store, or even what you think will be a quick online order for essentials, can add up so quickly.
One of my favorite ways to save that doesn't involve clipping coupons (I know some people hate coupons, personally, I have no problem with them) is finding apps that give you money back.
Check out the apps below, and their explainers, and click the links to add them to your phone if you see them (an FYI, you will be giving me a referral credit with some of them, which could give you a credit too!)
Ibotta: Among thrifty shoppers, Ibotta is probably the most well known rebate app. It works at many stores: grocery, big box, drug stores, etc. Recently it started adding online shopping cash back options as well, but I still prefer Ebates (see below) for that.
With Ibotta, you check the items on the list of offered rebates, shop for those items (items available for rebate vary by store) and scan your receipt when you are done shopping and it picks those items out and confirms your purchases.
Sometimes you'll have to scan items if the receipt picture doesn't pick them up.
Savings Star: Savings star can be used two ways:
- The incredibility easy way: if your store has a loyalty program, you just enter your shopper number and every couple of weeks it automatically enters your rebates from that store. You literally do nothing, but choose the rebates you want to activate, and then shop for those numbers. This does take a little longer to get your money back
- Scanning the items purchased and then scanning your receipt like most other apps at stores without a loyalty program like Wal-Mart and Target
Savings Star also offers a healthy offer for a produce item, and sometimes has "100% cash back items" on smaller things like candy bars, cream cheese, etc.
Checkout 51: Check out 51 is super easy. Pick out your rebates, and scan your receipt, and go. Randomly you have to scan an item, and randomly items are only for specific stores. Most of the time, however, it's pretty universal, and easy to use.
Ebates: When I first heard of Ebates, I thought it was a scam. How could I get money just for normal shopping I do online? But, you can. My friend Keri convinced me it was real, and it is a great way to make a little extra change. The cash back isn't crazy, anywhere between 1-8% usually depending on the day (they do promotions, like extra cash back) but if you're going to be spending the money anyway, you might as well!
Wal-Mart Grocery: I'm going to sound like a total yuppie here, but I hate going into Wal-Mart most of the time. I'm a Target person. However, I love Wal-Mart's prices, and their wide variety of items, and when you're working on a budget with four little ones, price is king if the quality is the same.
So Wal-Mart's grocery app is amazing because you can shop for groceries right on it, set your order time, pull up in the designated spot and they load your groceries right into your car--you never get out and go inside the store! Plus, there is no convenience charge like many other grocery pick up or delivery services.
If you use my link above you'll get $10 off your first order too and then you can refer others for the same!
These apps can be such money saving tool if you use them correctly. If you only buy things you needed anyway, aren't sucked into impulse buys on extra items, or special sales on Ebates, you'll end up with extra money from items you would have bought anyway.
The rebates offer various ways for you cash out with your sweet moola. Ebates gives you a quarterly payout with options for PayPal, Check, or gift cards, Checkout 51 and Ibotta let you cash out once you've earned $20 with various gift card options and PayPal, Savings Star lets you cash out once you hit $5 with gift cards and PayPal as your choices.
Personally, I uses these rebates as my coffee run money and load it as Starbucks gift cards randomly, OR I put it into savings or an extra payment on our cars to get ahead. It's "found money" and an easy way to slip ahead, which I love.