As a single mom for several years, I had to figure out all kinds of ways to save money. I would much rather spend what free money I did have doing fun things with my son, rather then paying high utilities and insane grocery bills. When Daryl and I decided to move in together, I thought my days of frugality may be behind me. Wrong. Our son was born with Achondroplasia (a form of dwarfism) and we decided it was best for me to stop working and at the time of this post, we still have two mortgages! Thankfully, I already knew a few ways to save us money. I will admit that it’s not as easy now with a house full of people, but one of the major way I save us a good amount of money is to use these 3 mobile grocery apps that I am going to tell you about. Again, I am never going to try to convince you that you will get rich from any of these apps, but rather show you that it all plays into the concept that every little bit helps.
You can easily setup all these accounts on your PC, then download the app on your phone, log in, and start saving!
- Ibotta: As far as I am aware at the time of this post, Ibotta is the best of all the mobile grocery apps out there. They have more offers than any other app as well as bonuses and teamwork challenges. All you have to do is choose the store you are planning to do your grocery shopping at, activate the offers you want (usually activating takes only a few seconds per offer), and then redeem your offers when you are done shopping by choosing the items you bought and scanning or taking a photo of your receipt. You can let your funds accumulate in your Ibotta account and transfer them to Paypal or Venmo, or redeem them for gift cards from a variety of places. I have earned over $400 using Ibotta the last few years! Some tips I have are: (1) combine Ibotta offers with coupons and with other grocery apps, (2) get bonuses for referring family and friends, (3) build your team by connecting Facebook etc. to reach monthly bonuses faster, and (4) you can also use Ibotta for other types of stores too so always check before you shop!
- Checkout51: of all the mobile grocery apps, this one is the smallest. It’s only for grocery stores and there are no where near the amount of offers that you will find at Ibotta. However, sometimes they have an offer that Ibotta has and you can redeem both! I also always do the $0.25 Pick Your Offer option. You unlock a produce item of your choice and get a quarter added to your account. A couple times a month I may find another offer I want. I have still accumulated close to $60 in this account so it really does add up!
- SavingStar: this app seems to be growing. They don’t have as many offers as Ibotta, but do have more relevant offers. They almost always have a 20% cash back offer on a produce item each week, and randomly offer 100% cash back offers! They also have some “Buy One or Many Offers” where you get a larger amount of cash back after you spend so much money on a brand. For example, if I spend $28 on International Delight Coffee Creamer by the expiration date (usually a month or two out) I will get $7 cash back. This app tends to have a lot of offers where you may also find identical paper or internet coupons. Be careful though, because most of the time you can’t combine the offer with a coupon (read the fine print). You can, however, combine offers across multiple grocery apps. I haven’t been using this app as long, so I don’t have as much money in this account, maybe $30.
**BONUS! If you shop at Walmart I strongly recommend you download the Walmart app and use the Savings Catcher feature. You scan your receipt in after you’re done shopping and if there is a lower advertised price from a competitor on anything you’ve bought, Walmart will give you the difference. You can let the funds accumulate and turn them into a Walmart gift card to use on anything you want!
How I Use the Mobile Grocery Apps
So how in the world do you keep all these apps straight? It was kind of a pain for awhile, but I finally found a way that works for me.
I always meal plan. I have to because I am just no good at rummaging the cabinets and fridge and putting something together on a whim. So, on Thursdays I decide what I’m making, make my grocery list, pull whatever coupons I need for what I am buying, and then check all the apps and write the offers on the bottom of my grocery list under a heading for each app. If I have a coupon or another app has the same offer, I write a “C” for coupon, or “I”, “CO51” or “SS” for apps. Then once I know how much the item is, I can see how much I am actually paying for it after coupons and rebates. I always redeem my offers as soon as I get home from shopping.
I’ve gotten pretty good at my method of using these three mobile grocery apps along with my list, but you may have to experiment a little bit and come up with a way that works best for you. If you have any questions about any of these apps or even about how I make my lists, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send me an email. I’ll do my best to help you!
If you do sign up for Ibotta on your mobile device and would like to use my referral code, it is dc3qpa. Thank you so much!
To see other ways I save or make money online see my post 10 Tried and True Ways to Make Money Online.
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