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We have to eat to live and since we have already discussed earlier about how detrimental restaurant dining is to our budget, that means we need to focus our efforts on saving money at the grocery store. You can read my complete Grocery Coupon Strategy, but let’s focus on rebate apps today. Here are my tips for the three rebate apps I use:
This is by far my favorite and most-used grocery rebate app. It features a lot of different rebates and it is very user-friendly. Some rebates are brand-specific and some are not (eg: milk, bananas, eggs, loose apples). I usually go through the app and “unlock” the rebates I will be using while I plan my grocery list. This may help me determine which seasonal produce or which specific brand of a product I will purchase this week. It is important to note that just because there is a rebate does not necessarily make that item a smart purchase. If that item is already on sale at the store this week (bonus if you also have a manufacturer or store coupon) and you need it or can stock up on it, then it is a perfect buy.
Some grocery stores on the app allow you to link your savings card (Food Lion) and all rebates are automatically credited to your account after checkout as long as you unlocked them BEFORE your shopping trip. Most stores do not yet have the automatic program (Harris Teeter, Walmart, Ingles, Target), so you scan barcodes when you get home and then take a picture of your receipt. Hold on to that receipt until you receive notification that your rebates were approved. I once had to dig through the trash because my photo was too blurry and had to be resubmitted. Lesson learned.
Here’s how it works:
Start by selecting the “Grocery” category and then choosing your grocery store.
This will bring you to the page of available rebates.
Choose your rebate and click “unlock.” This will bring you to a fun fact, recipe, or short video (very short… hang with me here).
You then select the red “unlock” button again and, voila, it is unlocked.
To redeem your rebates after shopping, open your store as before and select the price tag icon in the upper right corner.
This will bring you to a list of your unlocked rebates.
Select the green “verify purchases” and then scan your barcodes on all your rebate items and submit your receipt. A few hours later, your purchases will be verified and your account will be credited.
You will have the option to cash out your rebates for gift cards or to a Paypal account when you get $20 or more in your account. Ibotta also has EXCELLENT referral bonuses. If you sign up here*, you automatically get $10 when you redeem your first rebate. If you do not use this link, you will not get the $10 (I know this because I did not use a referral link when I signed up- sad realization). After you create your account, share your referral link with your mother, sister, friends, and coworkers and you will receive $5 for every referral. That kind of passive money-making is exhilarating. You’ll be at home one evening and receive a notification from Ibotta that you just made $5 while you were sitting on your couch. I love that.
If you are comfortable with linking it to your Facebook account, any of your Facebook friends who use the app are considered “teammates” as well as anyone you referred with your link. You and your teammates are eligible for extra bonuses if you unlock enough rebates during the month. More passive income. Winning.
2. Checkout51: Similar to Ibotta, but with fewer rebate options and no referral program. The beauty here is that sometimes the same item is featured on both websites and you get double the rebates for that purchase. In combination with a store sale and a manufacturer coupon, there is potential to get an item FREE. Man, is that fun. This one also has a $20 limit before you can request your pay-out. Check it out here.
3. BerryCart*: This app has rebates for specialty items such as organic or gluten-free products. Rebates here rotate far less frequently, but the dollar amount is higher. They also have a referral program. You earn $2 for every person who redeems a rebate after signing up with your referral link. There is no minimum amount required to cash-out. You can get started here.*
What are your favorite money-saving Grocery apps?
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