Have you ever had an “aha” moment?
The kind where all of a sudden you feel dumb for having not known what you know now?
I’ve recently discovered that you can get rebates for everyday purchases. At normal stores.
[pause for astonished gasps]
But really, there are apps that I definitely thought were a hoax, until I got desperate enough to prove I could spend less, and eventually downloaded a few. Y’all! It. Is. Magical.
Was “magical” a little dramatic? Ok, you win. But, these are real. And they work! If you are wondering what I use on a regular basis to help my family save money on everyday purchases, read on…
Note: ALL of these options are free, I have not downloaded any apps or joined any programs that require you to pay to use… So, you literally have nothing to lose. Check these out!
Top 5 Tools I Use to Save Money
First and foremost, my absolute favorite! There are so many functionalities in this app, but in short you can get a Cash Reward in 2 ways:
a. Scanning Receipts
Simply browse through the deals in your Ibotta app, load the Offer for items you plan to purchase and submit the receipt for applicable credits.
Be sure to keep your paper receipt, Ibotta will ask you to capture images of the entire receipt in order to redeem an Offer.
The app works by validating eligible items on your receipt to the available Offer (and sometimes asks you to scan barcodes of an item you’ve purchased – to ensure eligiblilty.)
As soon as Ibotta validates eligible items on your receipt to the available Cash Rewards, a credit is added to your Ibotta account.
b. Online Shopping
Are you as fond of online shopping as I am? (Y’all we used to get packages delivered from online orders nearly every single day! – Kinda ridiculous!)
Ibotta displays multiple available Cash Rewards for Mobile Shopping.
Just search for your favorite stores in your Ibotta app to view Offer details (usually 1% – 10% cash back) and select “Shop”
Your phone will redirect you to that store’s website or app (if installed).
Simply checkout like normal and Ibotta tracks that session to submit a Cash Reward for you, automatically! (I told you, it is magical!)
You can cash out once you reach $20 (which I have done twice in the last 5 months).
TIP: View possible bonuses you can earn by going to Account > Bonuses within the app. I’ve found usually these are from manufacturers looking to promote a certain product, or even Ibotta themselves to increase participation. Bonuses are applied automatically if you qualify – which totally helps you increase your Cash Reward quicker, especially if you were going to buy those items anyway. Score!
This one also is a receipt scanning rebate app, similar to part of Ibotta’s functionality. But it doesn’t quite have as many product options as Ibotta, and does not offer a mobile/online shopping option. But, Checkout 51 is really easy to use and you can select rebates with 1 click versus the occasional video ad or multiple choice question Ibotta can require. And in my mind, the more options you have to potentially get rebates, the better!
3. Ebates *
This one I have just started to use recently, but it has been out there for a long time. Many of you have probably seen commercials for them or have used them in the past. Ebates is similar to the Online Shopping functionality of Ibotta, but has many more online retailers to shop through!
SPECIAL OFFER: If you use my link to Ebates you can automatically get a $10 credit to your account with your first purchase of $25 or more at any store.
TIP: I recommend checking out the rebates available for online retailers on both Ebates & Ibotta before making your purchase. Especially if it is a somewhat large purchase, that way you can be sure to get the best rebate!
There are TONS of resources for coupons. Of course there is a time investment, but I have found it worth it! Here are my main coupon sources:
They also have an app, which is mainly what I use. The app allows you to submit receipts for digital coupons, or even select physical coupons to print.
I’ve only used the “Printable Coupons” feature, but I’ve printed multiple and used them.
Free Newspaper Subscription
When I downloaded The Krazy Coupon Lady app, she has a whole key to reading her posts and which newspaper insert from which week the coupon referenced is from.
Our local newspaper, Dallas Morning News, costs $2.99/week for just the Sunday newspaper (the one with all the coupons).
Granted, that’s not a huge investment but you have to consider if you’ll get that back in coupon savings, plus some to make up for your time and efforts. I just didn’t have enough confidence that I would, especially on a regular basis. And enter the free option… Dallas Briefings
I encourage you to search for your local free option, or check out the local dollar store (they may run out quickly, but a $1 investment occasionally is easier to chew than $3 each week)
5. Store / Restaurant Apps
Plus there are usually apps for most mainstream stores and restaurants, many of which offer regular deals or a point-based system to help you save.
Literally the easiest option is Walmart’s Savings Catcher. Have you used this before? It requires nearly no time commitment (can I get an “Amen,” mamas?), and you can use the account credits toward future Walmart purchase. The feature is created to literally guarantee you get the cheapest price locally for what you purchased at Walmart. It’s like they’re couponing for you. Kind of. [more details here]
Yes, most of these take a little time to comb through, but I nearly kicked myself when I realized I could have been doing this for years. And had just started.
Enjoy, my friends! You can do it!
Share your success stories with me, I’d love to hear them!