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For years, I would clip coupons to save money on groceries. Each week, I would sit down with the Sunday ads, clip grocery coupons and file them into my handy dandy coupon binder. All the coupons were organized by type of food or health item and were neatly tucked into the multi-pocket sheet protectors. It was a beautiful system. Except it was a lot of work to keep up with, took a lot of time to manage, and to top it off, I frequently forgot to bring my binder when I ran to the store.
A couple of years ago, I was introduced to Ibotta. Ibotta is a basically a coupon app that allows you to “clip” coupons for rebates when you buy certain products. At the time, I wasn’t interested. Fast forward to a month ago… I was interested. I was tired of clipping coupons and not using them. However, the “saver” in me would not let me step away from couponing until I found a better option to save money on groceries.
I decided to give Ibotta a try. That was probably the best decision that I made that day. I used a friend’s link, signed up and headed to the store. I received $10 – just like that. So easy! It was almost, dare I say, a little fun. I cashed out $29.75 within 2 weeks of signing up. That was without crazy couponing or constant shopping. I just did my normal shopping and collected my rebates and bonuses. This was the easiest way I have ever saved money on groceries.
You can get Ibotta for free on iTunes or Google Play. To receive the $10 sign-up bonus, use our referral code cbrwyxo or set-up your account online with this link. Then head to the store, use the app, collect your $10 and keep saving money on groceries!
To get the most from Ibotta, check out my tips and tricks below.
Ibotta is a free money saving app that works by rebating money to you after purchasing select items. The process basically looks like this:
- Select the items that you are going to purchase on the app, and unlock the deals.
- Purchase the items at the store or online (depending on the rebate and retailer).
- Verify the items that you purchased. This is typically done by uploading a picture of your receipt and then scanning the bar codes of the items with rebates.
The app keeps track of your rebate total. Once you have reached a total of $20 you can withdraw your rebate money. I withdrew my money with PayPal and it was fast and easy. Other options include Venmo and gift cards to places like Target, Gap, Wal-Mart, Sephora and Starbucks.
How to Use Ibotta
Selecting and Unlocking Rebates
The main page of the app shows you the featured stores and a list of categories to search from. This main page will also show rebates from retailers that you have designated as a “Favorite.” To view grocery rebates (for example), tap on Groceries and then on the store that you will be shopping at.
Once you see a rebate that you want to select just push the + on that rebate. At this point you may be asked to answer a survey question, watch a super short video or something similar. These are quick and easy task that just a take a few seconds. Just make sure to push the pink “Unlock $__ cash back” button when you are done.
If you are looking for more details about the rebate, just tap the picture of the item. Then you will see how many should be purchased, how many can be purchased on 1 receipt, when the offer expires, the varieties included, and any related bonuses.
When you go shopping, you can easily view your list at that retailer by tapping the price tag icon in the top right corner of the screen. (You will see this price tag icon when you are viewing all the rebates from a particular retailer. ) *ProTip – You can message this list to yourself or someone else by tapping the “Send” icon in the top right of the list screen.
After you purchase your items, you need to verify your purchases through the Ibotta app to get rebate credit. When you open the Ibotta app, you will see the green circle at the bottom of the screen that says “Verify Purchases.” Tap the green circle to begin. There are typically 2 steps to verifying your purchases:
- Capture your receipt – Depending on the retailer you will either take a photo of the entire receipt or of the QR code on the bottom of the receipt. Wal-Mart prints a QR code at the bottom of the receipt which make verifying purchases a breeze. Even if you need to capture your receipt, the process is simple. Many times, I will take a picture of my receipt in the car. It is not a beautiful picture, but it has all the pertinent info required.
- Scan Product Barcodes – This was the part that I was not expecting when I first used the app. For each item you purchase that has an Ibotta rebate, you have to scan the barcode. I was a little annoyed about this at first, but really, it just takes a second. You could even have your kids do it.
If you are shopping at Best Buy, the process is a little different. You verify your purchase with the Best Buy cashier BEFORE you pay for the item. Additionally, sometimes the online retailers require that you make your purchase through the Ibotta app to qualify for the rebate.
Cashing Out and Earning Bonuses
To view your earnings, you need to go to the main account menu, by tapping the three lines in the top left corner of the home screen. A menu will slide out from the left with all kinds of fun stuff – how to withdraw cash, earn bonuses, participate in teamwork and invite friends.
In the main account menu, you can see your lifetime earnings and earnings since your last withdrawal. If you tap Withdraw Cash, you will see all the different ways to redeem your rebates. Currently, all the cash out options have a minimum of $20. I chose to have my rebate money sent to my PayPal account. The transfer was super simple and fast. I then had the PayPal money deposited into my checking account. Easy.
This is where you can make more money, faster. If you tap the three lines in the top left cover of the home screen to reveal the account menu, you will see Bonuses. Tap Bonuses to see how you can earn additional rebates. For example, I earned an extra $5 for using my Ibotta app a week after I installed the app. I also had a chance to get another $5 for using the app again during the third week that I had the app installed. You can see that Ibotta is rewarding their new users for diving in and becoming active Ibotta users.
Additionally, you can earn extra rebates on specific products or other special promotions. To view more information about each bonus, just tap the bonus. Once you meet the criteria to earn the bonus, the bonus amount will be automatically added to your earnings.
In the same account menu, you can view your team’s status. Teams are challenged to meet a certain number of rebates and rebate amounts in a specific amount of time. If your team meets the goal, you get a bonus. Again, more money, faster! If you sign up for Ibotta with our referral code, you will be on my team. Yay! Let’s save money on groceries the easy way! However, if teams aren’t your thing, you can always opt out of participating on a team. To do this, tap the gear in the top right corner of the account menu, tap Preferences and slide the Participate in Teamwork bar to turn it off.
When in the account menu, you can get your invitation code to invite friends to join Ibotta. If you love Ibotta, you should share the love! If you tap on Invite Friends, you can choose how you want to share your invitation code. Each time a friend that you invited signs up for and uses Ibotta within 30 days, you earn $5. Not too shabby. Plus you are helping others save money on groceries! These earnings will be automatically added to your earnings total.
What the Pros Know
There are some little-known tips to using Ibotta that can help you save more money. To get the most from your Ibotta app, check out these 9 pro tips.
- You can use a coupon to purchase an item AND receive an Ibotta rebate.
- Some rebates allow for multiple purchases of an item on the same receipt. For example you can get 3 jars of Nutella on the same receipt and claim $6 in rebates ($2 per jar x 3 jars).
- Items can be purchased repeatedly over different shopping trips until the offer expires. For example, I used a frozen waffle rebate two weeks in a row when shopping at Wal-Mart.
- If you are not sure if the item qualifies, you can scan the bar code. Pull up the rebate on your Ibotta app while shopping, and tap Check Product Barcode to scan the bar code. This has already saved me a few times. I sometimes forget to read which varieties are included in the rebate.
- Like Target’s Cartwheel app, you can scan any item at the store to see if there is a rebate for that item. To do this, just open the Ibotta app, tap the search bar at the top of the home screen, and tap the bar code icon. Then, you can scan the bar code of the product.
- Sometimes you will get a rebate that is a money maker. For example, I received a $3.50 rebate for a bag of Popchips that cost me $2.50. Ibotta paid me $1 to buy that bag of Popchips. Nice!
- There are “any brand” rebates for items like milk, bread, eggs, orange juice and bananas. Currently, each of those rebates is $0.25. Most of us purchase those items on a weekly basis. That is $1.25 back in your pocket each week for purchasing the items (and brands) that you would normally purchase. If you did that every week, you would accumulate $70 in a year. (Take note that “any brand” rebates do not always count towards bonuses. Make sure to read the details if you are working towards a bonus.)
- If you happen to forget to verify your purchase, you can submit the receipt within 1 week of purchase. However, you must submit the receipt before the rebate expires.
- Ibotta is not just for groceries. Save money with retailers like Best Buy, Groupon, Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond, and more!
You Gotta Try Ibotta
If you have always wanted to coupon, but did not have the time, give Ibotta a chance. I’ve ditched my coupon binder for an app on my phone. Less is more, right?
Ibotta is easy, convenient and effective. With all the ways to earn extra rebates like teamwork and bonuses, it makes Ibotta the best choice for busy parents to save money on groceries. Really, it is a great choice for anyone that wants to save some money, and who doesn’t? If you want save money, give Ibotta a whirl. Sign up here with our referral code cbrwyxo. If you submit a rebate within in 30 days of signing up, you will receive a $10 Welcome Bonus! What do you have to lose?
I would love to hear what other apps you use to save money as I am always on the lookout for a good deal!
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