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?

 

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!

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.