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If you’re like me, you’re frequently looking for ways to cut down on expenses. This may be for groceries, household supplies, clothing…anything and everything that sucks that bank account dry. While I can’t help you grow a money tree, I can help you find some easy ways to earn extra money and even get some of your own money back, especially on your grocery budget. 🙂
Today’s post will be the first in a series of four posts designed to help you earn money back. Here are the categories that I’ll be covering:
- Rebates & coupons
I guarantee somewhere in those four categories you can find something that fits your daily lifestyle to help you save money! But for today, we’re going to specifically look at coupons & rebates and how they can help you with your grocery budget.
Some people (like me) love to coupon, but it can be hard work! You have to keep up with a meal plan, then compare it to what’s on sale, then check to see what you already have on hand…. it’s exhausting! While I’m currently trying to get a better plan in place for myself on all that, I have still managed to coupon for the things that I regularly use.
I’m no extreme couponer (thank goodness – that would be more than I could handle!!), but I do believe it’s silly to not take advantage of the “free money” that you receive in your weekly Sunday paper or from printable coupons online.
But did you know, you can maximize your coupons even more?! Yes, you can!
There are apps that you can download on your phone where you can earn even more money back. They are ah-ma-zing!!! Even better, if there are rebates available for the same item across multiple apps, you can use all of them. Say what?!
Most of the recommendations on this list are related to grocery shopping, and with good reason. Grocery shopping is the one thing we all have to do, and if you’re not careful, the costs can spiral out of control. It’s difficult to believe that the USDA estimates the monthly grocery cost for my family of 3 is over $600! I’m at a monthly grocery budget now of $450, but have been gradually chipping away at it. With the tips I’ve provided in this post, I’m earning back at least $100/mo, and looking for more ways to save every day.
Let’s dive in, shall we? 😉
This is hands down the king of all rebate apps. Just with this app alone, I earn back almost a 1/4th of my grocery budget every month! They have a WIDE selection of coupons in every category imaginable, and a LOT of stores are compatible with their app. They regularly have multiple rebates for any store, any item. An example of that would be “save .25 cents on any brand of shredded cheese, gallon of milk, bananas, etc.” So, while .25 is not a lot by itself, if you’re already planning to buy milk, eggs, bread, OJ, etc., those .25 cent savings will add up fast!
Usually after 3-4 days, rebates that you’ve recently redeemed are reset so if you need to restock on a common item, you can use the same rebate again. They also have monthly bonuses where you can earn bonuses – eeeeekkkk!! To download their app, just go through this link here. You’ll get an easy $1.00 off any item rebate when you sign up, plus a $10 bonus rebate when you redeem your first rebate within one week. $11 easy dollars just. like. that!! Once you’re ready to cash out your earnings, you can send them to Paypal or onto a wide selection of gift cards.
P.S. Just in case you need MORE convincing to download Ibotta to your phone, they offer rebates on more than just groceries. You can earn extra moolah from stores like Best Buy, Joann’s, Hallmark, Toys ‘r Us, and Home Depot to name a few. Are you convinced now?! If so, just sign up here. 😉
This is my second favorite rebate app, and they also have a wide selection of offers. Checkout51 uploads new offers every week on Thursday, and they expire the following Wednesday. In my experience, some offers are available for more than one week, but don’t dillydally if you want to use a particular one. Checkout51 has a quantity limit on rebates for all items. For instance, I wanted to redeem a rebate that I had saved, but by the time I got back to the app to redeem it, it said all offers had been claimed. Moral of that story – get ’em while you can! Once you have reached $20 or more in earnings, they will send you a check in the mail. Click here to sign up for this one.
This rebate app is not quite as beefed up as the previous two, but it still has some nice offerings. My favorite thing about it is that you get your money back the second your receipt has been approved. All earnings are instantly downloaded to your Paypal account. They have offers similar to Ibotta such as any brand of baking soda, any type of bandage, any type of sliced bread, etc. You won’t get rich off this app, but it still has some great features that I really like. Visit this link to learn more and complete the sign up process.
In my opinion, this app is the smallest of the four in terms of offers, but it’s still been an asset to my grocery budget. What I like most about it is that it’s perfect to use when you’re stocking up on an item. For example, they always have offers that say, “Save $5 off a $20 purchase of XYZ laundry detergent.” So, if your preferred detergent brand is also on sale, you might as well stock up to reach that $20 threshold. (Even better if you can combine with coupons!) Here’s the link to sign up for SavingStar.
This is a fairly new app for me, but it has an interesting spin on earning cash back. Basically, you earn “kicks” for walking into stores, scanning items, or purchasing items. Usually, just for walking into a store, you earn a minimum of 25 kicks. The range of kick points for scanning items is usually between 10-25. Your real points come when you purchase specific items or refer your friends to sign up. Once you’ve reached 500 kick points, you can start cashing out rewards onto gift cards. Sign up today and earn double points when you walk into stores!
I think this particular app has been around forever, but it is super-duper convenient if you only like to shop at Walmart! Basically, all you need to do with this app is scan the QR code at the bottom of your receipt. The app will then scan all the local ads in your area to see if there are lower prices for the items you’ve purchased. If the app locates any sales that are cheaper than Walmart’s price, you will receive the difference back within 3 days. Whenever you’re ready, you can request all your savings to be downloaded to a Walmart gift card. Cha-ching!
If you’re anything like me, Target is the one store I can get lost in for days!! I literally love everything they have there! The baby clothes are super cute (and affordable), the toy section is great, and the grocery options are a step above Walmart/Kroger in some cases. What makes shopping there even better? The Cartwheel app. Simply download this app to your phone, then start adding offers. The lowest discounts start at 5%, but I’ve seen (and used) discounts up to 50%! Holy jamoly! And just like I mentioned in the beginning, if you have an identical offer on multiple apps, you can take advantage of every. single. one.
Recently, I took advantage of a 20% beauty products Cartwheel offer on loofah sponges and mascara. By the time I used the coupons I had on hand, then combined it with the 20% off AND the $5 gift card I got back after spending $20 on beauty, I got all those items for FREE!
What are you waiting for? Click the image above and download this app stat!
Lozo is the first recommendation I have if you are looking for grocery coupons online. It’s another new discovery for me, but I’m already a huge fan! First, you’ll need to set up an account and let it know what items you buy frequently. It will do a search for coupons, and provide you with a list of everything available that matches those items.
There’s also a great search feature to help streamline multiple pages of coupons so you can get right to the coupons you need quickly. Once you’ve set up your account and your list, you’ll get occasional emails letting you know when new coupons are available that match your list. Talk about a time saver, ya know?!
When I first started printing coupons online, coupons.com was the first website I visited. Just about any coupon I wanted/needed to print was there, plus a whole bunch of other ones that I knew I’d need later. They’ve significantly beefed up their offers since I first heard about it, and I guarantee you’ll find something there that’s helpful for you. For instance, if you visit their “cash back offers” section, you’ll find local restaurants that will give you cash back when you dine. Awesome sauce! To see everything they have to offer, visit coupons.com!
I’m planning to cover Swagbucks more extensively in a future post, but for now, they deserve a place on this list, too.
Swagbucks offers a ton of ways that you can earn points which will get you cash back. One of them happens to be with coupons! Simply visit the Shop tab then go to “grocery coupons.” Every coupon that you print and redeem will earn you an 10 points back. Quick tip – it can take awhile for your points to credit, but from personal experience, I’ve seen the points appear in my account about 3 weeks after redeeming. Don’t have a Swagbucks account? It’s easy to get one! Just follow this link to sign up.
So, there they are – TEN awesome apps that you can start earning with today! I’ve personally tried every single one so you can rest assured they’re all legit. 😉
What about you? What apps/websites/resources do you use to tackle your grocery budget?