How to save money with 3 shopping tools

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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!

person holding rolled up moneyI 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
  • Sprouts
  • Costco! (Costco doesn’t accept paper coupons, but these rebates do work there – just one more reason to love Ibotta)
  • King Soopers
  • Target
  • Walgreens
  • JoAnn fabrics
  • Jet
  • Amazon
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Payless
  • Dollar Tree
  • Overstock.com
  • 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

dollar bill on counter topTarget, 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 🙂

 

3) Lozo.com

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!

how to save money while shopping

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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44 Comments:

  1. i love using all of these apps because they are all so easy. Love that Ibotta is connected with paypal, so you get that money you saved so easily…and that there are deals you can use while you use Target’s cartwheel!!

  2. Yes, yes, yes to Cartwheel! It has saved me so much money — love that app!

  3. Great tips. I love ibotta but depending on the type of foods you eat they may not have a lot of rebates for you. I have found that there are very few rebates on ibotta for the foods our family eats. But every once in a while I find one and it’s awesome!

    • Yes, depending on your family’s diet, it may not have tons of savings. I tend to not buy a ton of processed foods, but I do buy a select few healthier ones. So I’m probably not the ideal candidate myself, but by combining various rebates and bonuses, I have been able to save enough that I feel it’s worth it for our family.

      I love that they have rebates for “any purchase” and “any brand” items as well as fresh produce!

  4. I use cartwheel and ibotta but haven’t heard of the last one! Will be checking it out! Thanks!

  5. I only use one of these 3 and hadn’t heard of the last one. What helpful tips!!

  6. This is such great advice! I only knew about Cartwheel, but had no idea about the others. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Great! I was really not aware of such amazing app by which we can save lot of money. I am surely gonna try this. And please help me out if I stuck somewhere.

  8. Does anyone know if any of these are available in Canada?

    • Hi Miranda! I reached out to Ibotta to check about that. Unfortunately, Ibotta is not available in Canada yet. As for Target’s cartwheel and Lozo.com, I am not sure. I hope they are!

  9. I’ve been an Ibotta user for over 5 years and love it! Cartwheel is great too.

    I use the Walmart Savings Catcher when I shop at Walmart. I get money back in a gift card if they find lower prices elsewhere.

    • Marissa, I wish I had known about Ibotta 5 years ago! The money I could have saved over the years! I’m just super excited to know about it now! The Walmart Savings Catcher sounds great. I recently heard about one for Amazon called Paribus. I believe it also is supposed to catch lower prices for other retailers as well. However, I haven’t tried it yet so I can’t speak to whether it’s useful or not.

  10. These sound like great ways to save you money. Unfortunately I can’t use them here in Norway. But our grocery store has a great savingsprogram where your debit card is registred. And when paying with that card it automatically deducts your savings before you pay.

  11. I have recently downloaded the Target app and am looking forward to seeing how that works out.

    • Hi Elise, if you try the Target app, please let me know how you like it. It has saved me tons of money since I started using it. And if you combine it with their RedCard (you can do a credit card version or a debit card version), you save an additional 5% for using it to pay. Additional savings!

  12. I’ve heard of Ibotta but was hesitant to try. Using apps for purchasing just feels like hard work. But after reading this article, think I may give it a try! Thanks!

    • I was hesitant to try it at first as well, Patty. It seemed like it would be confusing and time-consuming, and a general waste of effort. Those thoughts couldn’t be further from the truth! It takes a run through to figure out how to redeem the rebates and bonuses, but once you walk through it once, it’s super simple!

  13. I absolutely love Cartwheel! I am that annoying lady in Target who picks up stuff not on my list then stands around seeing if there are any deals on it. Lol. I’ve never heard of Lozo. Definitely going to check that out. Thanks for sharing your tips with us at Merry Monday this week!

  14. Great tips. Always looking to save money. 🙂

  15. Great saving apps. Never heard about them.

  16. Who doesn’t love saving money!!! Great saving tips indeed, i am going to check out those sites out, not sure if they work in Kenya but i’ll find out. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Great saving tips! I haven’t downloaded some of the apps and I’ve never heard of Lozo before. Will try these out!

  18. I use Cartwheel and Ibotta all the time! I’llhave to check out Lozo.com too! Thanks for sharing!

  19. I love Ibotta and use it all the time. I also use target cartwheel when we do get to go to target. I had no idea about the Lozo one.

  20. I need to start using these! I have heard such great things about Ibotta, but I never remember to use it!

  21. I always say im gonna use these and then forget! Thanks for the reminder!

  22. I’ve heard of Ibotta before but never tried it. I guess there’s no time like the present!

  23. Do you know if these work in Canada??

    • Hey Anne! I checked with Ibotta to see if the app works in Canada. Unfortunately at this time it does not (US only). As for Cartwheel and Lozo.com, I’m not sure – I hope so!

  24. Wow I didn’t know these things existed! Thank you!

  25. So informative 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  26. This is great, Lozo sounds like the goods!

  27. Such awesome information, and super, super informative. Looking forward to reading more.

  28. Another Ibotta lover here, just started and up to $24! I will look into the other tips! thanks

  29. Heather – I’m so glad that you LOVE Ibotta as much as I do!!! It really is so awesome that we can save money on the things we are already buying!

    I appreciate the tip on the other money saving sites and can’t wait to try Lozo.com Is there a code so you can get credit referring me?

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