4 apps I use to save money on groceries

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Yesterday afternoon, I made a quick trip to Walmart to pick up some groceries and medicine. After checking my rebate apps, I saw that most of them had a rebate for my over-the-counter allergy medication, and I wanted to buy it before the rebates expired. I walked into the pharmacy area, and a lady was already browsing the allergy meds so I patiently waited for her to finish. “This stuff is so expensive!” she said to me, as she left. I smiled and nodded. Yes, medication is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! I was about to buy a similar product for more than 75% off.

Use Apps like Ibotta, Mobisave, Checkout51, and SavingStar to save money on groceries and other household items
Check out a list of my favorite apps that I use to save money on groceries.

If you are like me, groceries and other household items are my largest variable monthly expense. Little things like hand soap, napkins, and paper plates add up quickly. Plus, my husband and I have multiple food allergies, which makes our food budget higher than normal. We also try to eat organic and stay away from hormone-enhanced beef, poultry, and eggs. That can get very expensive, very quickly.

About a year ago, I started looking for different ways to save money on groceries and other household goods. I found a link for Ibotta and quickly discovered the joys of rebate apps. To date, I have saved $499.21. Here are the 4 apps I use the most.

Ibotta

Ibotta has saved me almost $400 in the year that I’ve been using it, and is my favorite app by far. Its very easy to use and has rebates for everything from groceries to toilet paper to cleaning supplies. All you have to do is upload your receipt and scan the barcodes of the items you wish to claim. Sometimes they will pay you a quarter just for uploading a receipt.

Also, there are non-grocery store rebates like Joann Fabrics, etc, and even rebates for mobile apps like iTunes or Jet. Just launch iTunes from the Ibotta app, and you can get 5% off of your purchase. Once you reach the $20 limit, you can either buy a gift card or link to your Paypal account for cash. Click here to try it out and get $10!

Checkout51

Checkout51 is very similar to Ibotta. You unlock the rebates that you want and upload your receipt. It does not have the same quantity of rebates like Ibotta, but they do offer rebates on a lot of things I buy regularly. In the year I’ve been using Checkout51, I’ve saved about $50.

Checkout51 is similar to Ibotta with a couple of key differences. First, their rebates have a limited quantity. I have waited too long to upload a receipt before and found that they ran out of rebates. FAIL! The other difference is that they will only mail you a check. No Paypal hook-up. Still, an app worth paying attention to! Check it out here !

Mobisave

I have really enjoyed using this app. It doesn’t have the volume of rebates that the previous two have, but, what it lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. About 40% of Mobisave’s rebates are any item purchases. That means that if you buy any bar of soap, you get $.15 or if you bought any brand of mustard, you get $.25.

To make things even more awesome, there is no minimum payout. If you earn $.15, they immediately deposit that change into your Paypal account. I’ve been using this app for about 5 months and I have already saved about $34. Check it out here!

Savingstar

I just started using this app probably three months ago and have already saved $12. SavingStar doesn’t have the same quantity as the other apps, but the $5 payout limit is very beneficial. One of the key differences between it and the other apps is that some of SavingStar rebates can be redeemed if you make a minimum purchase towards a particular brand.

For example, SavingStar will offer $3 off a purchase of $10 worth of a popular brand of canned food. You redeem the rebate by buying one or many items of the canned food brand, as long as you buy $10 worth of qualifying items. They also offer rebates like $1.00 a purchase of my go-to brand of allergy meds with no minimum purchase required. Check it out here!

Using apps like these is an easy way to save some money at the grocery store. I typically try to stack these rebates to save as much as I can on a particular item. The allergy medication that I bought yesterday normally runs $18 a box. With all of the rebates and a coupon I had, I ended up paying about $3. SCORE!

Have you ever used these apps? Any recommendations for other apps that I can try?

 

6 Techniques I use to save money shopping online

I am not frugal by nature. There…. I said it. I’m a financial independence blogger that likes to spend money and has to fight with herself to save cash. Seriously, what is wrong with me?! My parents are not big spenders. They were always very good about staying out of debt and saving money. My siblings are also good with money. Maybe this just partially confirms my childhood belief that I am adopted.

6 techniques I use to save money shopping online. Use websites like jet.com, ebates.com, raise.com etc to save money buying stuff you want!
Use these techniques to save money shopping online

To be fair, I’m not a shopaholic. I saw that movie. I don’t go on epic shopping sprees that leave my bank account empty and my credit cards maxed. I haven’t had credit card debt for years and when I did, it was the result of not having an emergency fund (A special thank you to the universe for all of the car repairs and failing appliances that seemed to happen at once).

What usually happens to my car if I’m in a hurry. And probably in the middle of the interstate or at a busy intersection. Yes, that happened. Twice.

As I’ve gotten older, my goals have shifted. The thought of working until 65 is not appealing at all, and now I’m more interested in saving money for retirement than going shopping at the mall (are malls even cool anymore?). But I do want to buy stuff sometimes, and I want to be as smart as possible to get the best price.

What are some of the techniques that I use to get what I want AND save money? (please note that clicking on some of these links contain a referral code and I’ll get a little bonus.)

  • Shop Amazon’s competitors. Amazon is fantastic, and its usually the first place I look when shopping for something I can’t find in stores. However, more and more websites are popping up to take Amazon’s place. Some of them are pretty awesome like jet.com or boxed.com. I’ve used both and have been pretty impressed with the results. Getting free shipping isn’t difficult. I’ve used Jet probably the most because of a 15% off coupon for new users and the two day shipping. Jet also will give you additional discounts if you buy more than one of the same item. These sites work even better when coupled with the other techniques I mention in this post.
Techniques I use to save money shopping online.
Someone shopping online thru Ebates and I’m sure they are super impressed.
  • Shop online using Ebates (Here is an article detailing my undying love of Ebates). If I want to buy ANYTHING online, I check Ebates first. Most of the time, you will only save like 3-6%. Still worth it if its something I’m going to buy anyway. Also, if I have to travel, I check Ebates for travel deals at Marriott or Travelocity. Hotel room discounts are usually pretty low, but still will save you a few dollars.
  • Buy discounted gift cards on raise.com. I just tried this out after reading about it on krazycouponlady. If I want to do some online shopping, I check here for discounted gift cards. You can also get ones to use in the store, but they will have to be mailed to you. Just keep that in mind.
  • Download Rebate apps. For retail shopping, I like Ibotta the best, and I wrote about it in this post. You can use Ibotta for coupons at retail stores like Soma, Puma, or H&M. Sometimes Ibotta will have discounts for other mobiles apps too.
Mobile apps used to save money shopping online
Lady drinking ridiculously small cup of coffee while shopping on a mobile app.
  • Look for coupons through RetailMeNot and Krazycouponlady. I pretty much LIVE on my phone and I downloaded Retailmenot and krazycouponlady apps. If there is something that I need to buy, I’ll look at retailmenot for any in-store or online coupon codes. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don’t. Still worth checking. Krazycouponlady will show you any deals in specific store that you might be interested in. Sometimes, they will have a coupon or point me to an app that I might not be aware of.

  • Stack coupons for steep discounts. Yes, this isn’t new. You’re probably already doing it, but it’s still worth mentioning. For example, Cartwheel is Target’s coupon app, and you can add discounts for everything from clothes, household good, and groceries. To maximize savings, I saw that Target was having a sale on toilet paper and cleaning supplies. I added several discounts for toilet paper and other household items in Cartwheel. I also had a bunch of paper coupons for toilet paper. I also had toilet paper rebates in Ibotta! See where I’m going with this? When I checked out, I saved about $12 with Cartwheel. Once I uploaded my receipt in to Ibotta, I saved another $6.75….. And another $4 in MobiSave….All in all, I probably saved about $30 stacking my coupons with sale items. Plus, I got $35 dollars with of Target gift cards to use towards my next shopping trip. SCORE! I’ve stacked coupons with other retailers too, like Soma or JCpenney. 

What about you? Have you tried any of the things I’ve mentioned here? Do you have cool tricks that you use to save money? Leave a comment!

MobiSave: One of my frequently used rebate apps

MobiSave isn’t a very well known app. I’ve never seen it advertised, and I’d never heard of it until I saw it in the Apps Store. The reviews were good so I thought I’d try it out.

How to Use MobiSave

MobiSave is very similar to Ibotta. You check out the rebates that they offer, go shopping, and then upload your receipt. Its very easy to use.

The rebates usually offered are normal every name brand grocery items. I was pleasantly surprised to see quite a few gluten free options available to me.

There are also several very generic cash back offers on items I buy almost every time I go to the store. For example, right now, I can get 10 cents back on any kind of apples, pretzels, or peanut butter.

Why I Like It

My absolute favorite part of this app is how QUICKLY you can get access to your cash back. THERE ARE NO MINIMUM BALANCES TO MEET! If you have a paypal account, you have access to your cash back almost immediate. Even if your savings is only 10 cents.

MobiSave doesn’t have the same selection that Ibotta has, but I’ve still saved around $14 in the last 4 months. Not terrible!!

I can refer friends so if you would like to check it out, click here!