Ibotta is my go-to app to save money

Groceries are EXPENSIVE!

Groceries are my largest variable monthly expense. I spend a FORTUNE on food. Kinda funny considering how much I hate cooking. Unfortunately, both my husband and I have multiple food allergies/intolerances, so our food choices are somewhat limited.

Because of our food issues, we mostly buy meat, fresh produce, non-dairy milk, and gluten free bread/tortillas. We also gravitate more towards grass-fed, free range, and organic when possible. There aren’t tooooo many coupons available for items like that. I have a couple of coupon app I’ve downloaded, and they are GREAT for things like toilet paper or cleaning supplies. Not so much for food. (if anyone knows of a way to get coupons for produce, please leave a comment!)

Saving Money with Ibotta

One of the awesome-est apps I’ve started using the past few months is Ibotta. I don’t remember how I came across it….But so far, my app says I’ve saved around $300 since I started using it last year. Not bad!

Ibotta is an app that you can download to your phone and it offers a variety of rebates or cash-back for various food items. After reaching $20, you can redeem your earnings for gift cards or just have the money sent to your paypal account. Ibotta works with 318 stores (not all are groceries). All you have to do is download the app, create an account, look for the grocery stories you frequent, and start adding the rebates you are interested in using. At the store, you scan the item’s barcode (you’ll have to give Ibotta permission to use your camera) and then upload the receipt. Pretty simple.

The items available for rebates are different for everyone! I do see a lot of Coke products, Dove deodorant, and other popular brands. The BEST thing about Ibotta is that it will offer cash back for generic items like 25 cents back for 1 lb of ground beef, oranges, or even potatoes. You can use any brand, any variety. Perfect for items you can’t normally get coupons for.

Non-Grocery Rebates

Ibotta also has rebates for non-grocery stores like some clothing stores, shoe stores, craft stores etc…I’ve seen H&M, Jo-Ann fabrics, Best Buy, Puma, Clark’s, etc. They are usually like $5 off a purchase of $40 or $10 off a purchase of $75. It varies. I’ve used a few of those rebates over the holidays.

If you make a lot of purchases through apps, Ibotta also has cash-back options for  Jet, Hotels.com or Groupon. You have to have the app downloaded to your phone in order for these rebates to work.  Ibotta give me 5% back on iTunes purchases which is probably my most frequently used rebate.

How to Get Your Cash Back

Biggest complaint about Ibotta…you have to reach $20 before you can cash out. Ugh! That can take a while if you don’t use it frequently. Plus, I’ve noticed a few glitches with the app. Once, they accidentally retroactively decided to NOT credit my account with a rebate I redeemed fair and square. I’d already moved my rebates to paypal so they left me with a negative balance. Customer service was able to fix it though so no harm done.

Ibotta is still probably the app I use most frequently when I go grocery shopping. Its easy to save a few bucks on stuff you buy normally. Although, to be completely honest, I have to stop myself sometimes and ask “Do you really need this or are you buying it because there is an Ibotta rebate AND its on sale.” 😛

If you would like to try it, click here and check it out.

Why I love Ebates…

Saving Money on Online Shopping

I LOVE online shopping. No struggle to find parking, no crowds, no waiting in line…. During the holidays, I ONLY shop online. Not even Black Friday deals can entice me. No sir, I will stay warm and cozy in my bed while everyone else can throw elbows in the aisles of a department store.

Even during the rest of the year, I find myself gravitating towards online shopping more and more. Its easy to compare prices on multiple websites, and sometimes the deals are pretty sweet compared to what I can find in a box store.

Use ebates to save money shopping online
Ebates is one of my favorite tools to save money shopping online

Ebates!

Just a few months ago, I discovered Ebates. Ebates has been around for a while, but its quickly become one of my favorite apps. I use it constantly! I remember reading about it and thinking it was fake. I was wrong. So far, I’ve saved around $100 just by doing my regular online shopping.

How to Use Ebates

Ebates is a shopping portal. First, create an account on Ebates’ site. From either their website or the app, search for the retail store you want to shop at (ex. jcpenney, ulta, groupon etc). Click on the “Shop Now” button, and Ebates will send you to the retailers webpage. Shop like normal! Ebates gets a commission from the retailer for bringing you to their site, and they share it with you! Most of the rebates are probably 1-6% (a few are higher). Every three months, they will either mail you a check or upload your rebates to your paypal account.

If you keep forgetting to use the app (it happens), you can also download the Ebates “button” for your browser. If you go to a site where Ebates offers cash back, it will alert you and offer to activate the rebate. Also, Ebates will show you all of the current coupons that the retailer is offering. Very cool.

In-Store Savings

If you don’t want to shop online, there are a few retailers that offer in-store cash back options. You will have to upload your credit card and link it to the offer in Ebates. I haven’t tried this option yet, because the in-store options are limited.

Just a Few Issues

I have two complaints about Ebates. My biggest issue is that the Amazon.com deals are a little lacking! I do a lot of shopping on Amazon so it kinda sucks that there aren’t more options available. This is probably because Amazon doesn’t need help getting suckers like me to use their site. Secondly, the rebates checks are done QUARTERLY which means I have to wait a while to see my cash-back pop-up in paypal.

Bottom line, this app/web portal will definitely save you money when shopping online. I joined about 9 months ago, and I’ve saved over $200. If you want to try Ebates, click here.