I really enjoy saving money. If you think about it, we work hard for the money that we bring home – why throw it out the window by wasting it? I take it as a personal challenge to try to save as much as I possibly can! I'll try just about every trick in the book, but in order to really stick with it, said trick needs to prove its value by being:
- easy to use
- convenient to use/remember
- effective because it saves a lot of money
After several months to several years of testing many options, these 3 methods have proven their value to me. I want to recommend them to you to help you save money too!
1) How to save money shopping with one main app:
This one app, alone, can save you hundreds (yes, I did say hundreds) of dollars per year!
I have been using an app called Ibotta (love the name!). A friend recommended it to me, and I gave it a try. I signed up about 2 months ago and thought that if it saved me even $10 over about 2 months that I would recommend it to you. Saving anything helps!
However, this app has far surpassed my expectations and even my hopes! In fact, it has become one of my all-time favorite ways to save money. I have saved over $50 in about 2 months! And that's mostly on food!
What's even better? I get to save $ at many more places than just the grocery store, and on many more types of purchases than just food. For example, I can save money on crafts at JoAnn Fabrics (10% cash back) or on sports gear and clothing at Dick's Sporting goods (8% back!) or even on pet supplies at Petsmart (5% cash back online!), and so much more (Kohl's, anyone?).
I'm not kidding when I say the more I learn, the more I LOVE Ibotta!
How Ibotta works:
- Sign up (you get a $10 rebate simply for signing up and confirming your first rebate – easy!).
- Choose your favorite places to shop
- Within each favorite place to shop, there are rebates available – pick the ones you might want to use and select them. The great thing is that some rebates are available at multiple stores. Once you select those rebates, they apply to all stores available. You don't need to select those rebates again and again for each store.
- Once you make a purchase, simply take a picture of your receipt and select the rebates you are confirming for that receipt. Send in the receipt picture, and your account gets credited within 24 hours (it often only takes a couple of hours for my account to be credited).
- Invite friends to work as a team and receive bonuses!
- It's also a time saver because you can select your coupons (new ones added frequently) anytime it's convenient for you: watching sports practice, the waiting room of the doctor's office, waiting for a train to go by, or even watching tv.
What makes Ibotta different?
Traditional coupons are a pain for many reasons:
- They need to be cut out
- If you forget to take them with you, you lost out on the savings
- If they are expired (and you forget to check), you can't use them, costing you extra money rather than saving anything.
- Usually don't include specialty items or modified diet items.
What makes Ibotta great?
- It's convenient
- Using Ibotta is super easy
- It's all done through the app, but if you happen for forget your phone that day, you can still get the savings!
- You can save on “any item” purchases and “any brand” purchases
- Specialty items and modified diet items (such as dairy free and gluten free items) are included
- Organic items are included!
- Fresh produce items are included: bananas, oranges, carrots, and kale just a few I have received rebates on.
- You get bonus savings (extra $ put into your account) when you achieve certain goals (so many rebates confirmed in a month, etc)
- If you get your friends to sign up, you can work as a team to achieve extra monthly bonus rebates!
Where can I use Ibotta?
This just might be the best part! I can use Ibotta at all my favorite shopping places, and more stores are regularly being added. Here are just a few examples:
- Whole Foods!
- Trader Joe's
- Costco! (Costco doesn't accept paper coupons, but these rebates do work there – just one more reason to love Ibotta)
- King Soopers
- JoAnn fabrics
- Dick's Sporting Goods
- Dollar Tree
- Lowes Hardware
- …and more!
How do I receive my earnings from Ibotta?
Once you earn $20 in rebates, you can cash out. You can receive your earnings through a linked PayPal or Venmo account, or you can choose a gift card from Target, Walmart, iTunes and more.
Are you on the fence about trying Ibotta? Know that there is no contract of any kind. Feel free to stop using it and delete the app if you don't like it. However, I challenge you to sign up and try it for 30 days. I feel confident that you'll love it like I do! And honestly, if it saves you money, what do you have to lose?
2) Cartwheel from Target
If you do any regular shopping at
Target, this app is a must. It uses Cartwheel discounts (not manufacturer OR Target coupons) to save money. Thus, to get the very most out of this app, stack it up with any manufacturer coupons, Target coupons, store sales, Target RedCard 5% savings AND rebate apps (like Ibotta) you have to save incredible amounts!
One of the very easiest ways to use Cartwheel is to open the app and scan the barcode of everything in your cart before you head to the register. I often catch things that way that I didn't see when I was picking out the coupons I wanted to use. I have even found coupons for things like 10% off clearance items that I was buying – score!
On a trip to Target last week, I had a subtotal of just over $100, and I saved $20 off that total simply by using Cartwheel discounts! I saved an additional $10 by stacking Ibotta rebates and the Target RedCard savings on top of the Cartwheel discounts – happy dance 🙂
Lozo.com is an interesting service because you type in your grocery list, and it pulls coupons from all over the web to match that grocery list. The site will even email you the links to the coupons so you can easily print them.
I love that you can simply type in what you want to buy and the hard work of searching is completed for you! For more information go to the Lozo.com FAQ page.
Why should you throw too much of your hard-earned money out the window? Use tools like Ibotta, Target Cartwheel, and Lozo.com to help you save hundreds on your everyday shopping needs each year!
Tell us in the comments: have you tried any of these tools before? Do you have other favorites that you use?
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