Would you love to MAKE money via rebates just by going grocery shopping? Who wouldn’t!?! We all go grocery shopping anyway, so why not make a few extra bucks while doing it!
I began a money-saving mission when we made the decision that I would stay home with our kids and we would live off of one income. It was a decision we made knowing that’s what we wanted for our kids and also knowing that we would have to be very financially wise to make it happen. While learning more ways to save money, I also figured out some ways to make a little extra cash on the side as well!
When thinking about balancing your life and making everything groove together, part of that is eliminating certain elements of stress when you can. Money can be one of those big stresses in life, so let’s work on eliminating some of that stress! I don’t know about you, but I am ALWAYS looking for ways to save money. So let’s get started so you can save money on groceries and make a few extra bucks as well!
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Coupons can easily be underrated and overlooked at times, I think because people look at a coupon for $0.50 off and think it won’t make any difference. But it adds up, believe me! When coupons are used wisely, it really can save you money. Even if you only save $10 a week, that’s $40 a month not including rebates, sales ads, or any other money-saving techniques. I’d take an extra $40 a month! How about you? Moral of the story: USE COUPONS!!!
There are so many coupon sources out there, it’s crazy! You can get coupons directly from various brands’ websites, directly off the actual packaging of items you purchase, or directly off your phone!
My personal favorite is Coupons.com. You can use their website or install the app on your phone. I use this app ALL THE TIME!!!! It offers coupons from a variety of stores including grocery stores, clothing stores, amazon.com, and so much more. It also allows you to add any loyalty cards you may have to specific stores for access to even more savings, gaining points, etc. Here are some quick and simple instructions to get you set up with Coupons.com for the website and the app!
These instructions are for setup and use of the website only. If you’d rather get the app, you can go straight to the next section for the app instructions.
- Step 1: Go to Coupons.com
- Step 2: Sign up using your email address.
- Step 3: Add any loyalty cards you may have.
- Step 4: Browse coupons including printable coupons and coupon codes in various categories and stores. When you see ones you like, simply click on the coupon to “clip” it.
- Step 5: Use your coupons!!! If shopping online, get your coupon codes all gathered and ready to use. Then enter those codes when you’re checking out. For in-store coupons, simply print off your “clipped” coupons, and you’re all set to go shopping!
- Step 1: Download the app on your phone right here: Coupons.com App
- Step 2: Sign up using your email address.
- Step 3: Add any loyalty cards you may have.
- Step 4: Browse all coupons in the various categories and “clip” your coupons choices.
- Step 5: Once you’ve finished browsing and clipping, click “clipped coupons” (that’s a mouthful even typing it 😜!) to view all of your selected coupons.
From this “Clipped Coupons” screen, you have the choice to either “Email” or “Print” your coupons. If your printer is a WiFi printer, you can just hit print and have your coupons! If not, then just email them to yourself and then print them off from a computer!
I use this coupon source the most because it’s easy, convenient, and packed full of a wide variety of sources. The coupons are updated weekly, so there are always new deals that you have access to.
Like I said earlier, there are a ton of couponing sources that you can find and use to save money. You can even find coupons directly on the packaging of certain items. Sometimes there are peel-off coupons on Country Crock butter tubs, coupons printed on the cardboard inside boxes of laundry detergent, coupons inside the bag of frozen dinner rolls, etc. You have to look closely sometimes, but they’re there! Just as Daniel Tiger says, “You gotta look a little closer to find out what you want to know.” (If you’re not a mom of young kiddos and have no idea what I’m talking about, just know Daniel Tiger songs are awesome. If you are a mom of little ones, I’m sure you can relate to Daniel Tiger songs serving as theme music for daily life 😍!)
There are other coupon sources, but Coupons.com is definitely my favorite. For more couponing sources, check out The Penny Hoarder’s 100 Awesome Places to Find Free Coupons for Everything on Your Shopping List.
This is an app you can get on your phone that offers rebates for purchasing certain items or brands at a wide variety of stores.
Installation and Setup
- Step 1: Install the Ibotta app on your phone. You can use reference code Ikvdcwk to let them know I sent you and you will receive $10 automatically when you redeem your first rebate 😉!
- Step 2: Register with your email address and personal information.
- Step 3: Connect your profile to your PayPal account so that you can get paid.
- Step 4: Get started!
- Step 5: Browse through rebates from various stores and choose the items you plan to purchase. Each rebate has to be unlocked, which is usually accomplished by watching a video or answering a quick survey. Once you have all desired rebates unlocked, you’re ready to go shopping! After finishing your shopping, be sure to KEEP YOUR RECEIPT!!!
A few of the various stores with rebates available:
A few items with available rebates:
- Step 6: Redeem! To receive your selected rebates, you must verify your purchases. From the main screen on the app select “Verify Purchases”. You will then select which store you shopped at and select which “unlocked” items you ended up purchasing. Once you select an item, you will need to scan the products’ barcode on the packaging itself and then scan your receipt.
- Step 7: Cha Ching! If everything from the verification process is valid then you get paid! Rebate money goes into your Ibotta account. You can even setup notifications under “Settings” so that you will be alerted when money is credited to your account. Once your Ibotta account reaches a minimum of $20, the money can then be withdrawn via PayPal or various gift cards.
Browse, select, shop, redeem, and get paid! There you have it!
#3: Checkout 51
This is an app that is very similar to Ibotta. You register with your email, browse and choose from the offered rebates, verify your purchases, and rebate money is then credited to your Checkout 51 account. There are two main differences between Ibotta and Checkout 51: Variety and payout.
- Variety: Ibotta has a TON of rebates at various stores, including clothing stores, all organized in categories, whereas Checkout 51 is mainly groceries in one long list. Because Checkout 51 offers a smaller variety of items when compared to Ibotta, I’ve found that my Checkout 51 account takes longer to build up. But they are both awesome apps and I use them both!
- Payout: With both apps, you must have at least $20 in your account before withdrawing the money. When using Ibotta, you can transfer the money to your PayPal account or withdraw money in the form of gift cards. Checkout 51, on the other hand, sends you a check once you request it.
Even though there are slight differences between these two apps, they are pretty much the same thing and both give you rebates!!!
Checkout 51 Screenshot:
#4: Walmart Savings Catcher
This is an app that works similar to the rebate apps, but is solely focused on Walmart and price checking. Walmart has always been known for allowing price checks. If you are purchasing an item at Walmart that can be found anywhere else for a lower price, Walmart guarantees you that lower price.
I used to price check as much as I possibly could, but there were so many occasions that I simply just didn’t have time to go through every sales ad to price check every single item. Well, have no fear because price checking life just got WAY EASIER!
The Walmart app now has a special “Savings Catcher” feature that does the price checking for you. Follow these steps to get started now:
- Step 1: Download the Walmart app onto your phone or mobile device.
- Step 2: Register with your email address or login if you already have a Walmart.com account.
- Step 3: Shop in the store for anything and everything that you would normally buy at Walmart. After shopping, be sure to keep your receipt!
- Step 4: From the “Shop” page of the app, which is the default screen you’ll see any time you open the app, scroll down until you see the green piggy bank labeled “Savings Catcher”. Click on it to be directed to the main “Savings Catcher” page. This is where you can add your Walmart receipts, view your reward dollars, see your price check results, etc.
- Step 5: Click the bright orange “Add a Walmart Receipt” button, as shown below. From here, you will scan the barcode at the bottom of your receipt. Once you add your receipt, the app will search your area for competitors and their prices to make sure you get the guaranteed lower price. It takes a few days for the receipts to be processed and prices to be compared, but you should be notified via email when it’s all done!
- Step 6: Money! If lower prices were found at any of the local competitors, the difference between the lower price found and the price you paid at Walmart will be given back to you in your Savings Catcher account. You can withdraw this money via Walmart e-gift cards or through Bluebird. Seriously awesome! Soooo much better than arguing with the Walmart cashier while price checking items the old school way. You gotta try this app out!
#5: Receipt Hog
This is another app for your phone that gives you points for receipts, which you then redeem for prizes. Instead of focusing on certain products, stores, or brands, Receipt Hog gives points for any receipt from any store! Get it now and get started!
- Step 1: Install the Receipt Hog app on your phone.
- Step 2: Register using your email address and create your profile.
- Step 3: Start feeding the Hog some receipts! You take pictures of any and all receipts you get after any shopping you do, and then you get the points!
- Step 4: Redeem! After earning some points, you then redeem those points for prizes! Woohoo!
Feed the Hog, get coins, and redeem for awesome prizes!
Here is another point-earning type app, but instead of earning points or coins, you earn kicks. I know, doesn’t sound pleasant at all, HA! But it is pleasant and super awesome! You get “kicks” for being in a store, scanning certain items, or purchasing certain items and scanning your receipts. Your “kicks” can then be redeemed for rewards including gift cards, iPad, TV, and more! There are a ton of prizes available! Get started now!
- Step 1: Download the Shopkick app on your phone.
- Step 2: Register and create your profile.
- Step 3: Browse all rewards and choose the reward you’d like to work toward. This can be changed at any time, they just have you pick a prize at the beginning so that you have a goal to work toward.
- Step 4: Go shopping! Anytime you go shopping, open the Shopkick app and see what “kicks” are available to earn at that store.
It will show you kicks you can earn for just being in the store, by scanning specified items, and for purchasing certain items. With the scans, you don’t have to purchase these items at all. You literally just find the specified item in the store, scan the barcode, and get the kicks.
- Step 5: Redeem! Once you earn enough kicks, you redeem them and get your chosen reward!
You can easily save money on groceries by using these apps and websites. Using these various techniques along with meal planning saves you even more money on groceries!
Methods of My Madness
To save as much money as possible, I have a very methodical system I follow before I go grocery shopping. Here are some of the secrets to my method of madness:
- I leaf through all coupon sources looking for items that I know I can use in recipes for dinners and freezer meals.
- I browse through rebates in Ibotta and Checkout 51, again, looking for products I know I can use in one of my recipes from my repertoire.
- Then I check out local sales ads for specials.
- Next, I make a list of items that are on sale, I have coupons for and can get rebates from.
- This list then becomes my starting ingredients list for meal planning. So, I take my ingredients list and decide what meals I can make using these specific ingredients.
For example, if this is my list of ingredients corresponding with sales ads, coupons, and rebates:
Then here is my list of main courses for dinners for the week plus freezer meals to make:
Check out this What’s for Dinner? Meal Planning Tools and Techniques post for even more information on meal planning as well as FREE printable meal planners :)!
What couponing methods do you use when shopping? What are some other ways you save money on groceries? I’d love to hear your ideas!!!