Are you stressing about your monthly bills?
With the cost of living going up, are you finding that the grocery bill is really weighing down your finances?
This is the position I found myself in not too long ago. I had just moved out of my parent’s house, I was still learning to budget, and I quickly realized that the cost of living was a lot higher than I had expected.
It definitely gave me a lot more appreciation for what I’ve had, and lent perspective on what many people have to struggle with.
I knew that I needed to find ways to save money every way that I could!
And one of the best resources that I’ve found, by far, is the Ibotta app…
What is the Ibotta App?
Essentially, Ibotta is a free app that you can download onto a smartphone, that will give you money back on your groceries.
I searched for quite a while, trying to find an app like this that would actually be helpful.
I initially tried an app called Shopkicks. It awarded points for buying specific groceries, that could eventually be exchanged for small gift cards to stores like Amazon. I quickly realized that there were VERY few products that even qualified for a rebate, the amount of points necessary to cash out was HUGE, and the size of the rewards was tiny.
Luckily, my discontent motivated me to keep looking, and I found Ibotta.
Ibotta is actually connected with several hundred different stores, that you can shop at both online or physically.
It includes not just groceries, but pharmacy items, clothes, beauty/personal care products, flowers, and even money back on purchases on Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, Best Buy, Cabela’s, etc.
And it pays you in actual dollar amounts!
So How Does It Work?
What you see above is just a screenshot from my phone of what it looks like.
As long as you have an Android or iPhone with a working camera, the app can scan the bar codes on whatever groceries you’re purchasing. If the products are on Ibotta’s list you can get cash back on them.
You also need to save your receipt so that you can scan it too, before throwing it out.
Ibotta is as simple as that!
What Products Qualify for Rebates?
There’s a very large variety of brands that qualify for rebates with Ibotta. It can be anything from a frozen pizza to a bottle of hair gel, and the qualifying brands are cycled, so they are not always the same.
Inevitably, there will always be some grocery items in a weekly grocery trip that count.
Ibotta will generally pay better for brand purchases. They can afford to be a completely free app because brands pay them, so Ibotta will give back more generously on brand purchases.
This doesn’t mean that generic or store-brand purchases will never qualify!
Every month, Ibotta rolls in a variety of “Any Brand” offers, that will give you some cash back on certain products, whether it’s a brand they have available or not!
You can see from this screenshot, there are always products that you can purchase from any brand when you are grocery shopping, and get $0.25 back on each.
These are sometimes on things like bleach and protein powder, but are most common on everyday purchases like eggs, milk, and bananas.
This makes it especially useful!
Bear in mind (and I’ll mention this again), don’t purchase more expensive brands than you normally would just to qualify for cash back! This defeats the purpose, because the goal is saving!
What Stores Participate?
When I first started using Ibotta, one of my first concerns is that my local grocery stores would not be available with Ibotta.
The good news is, there’s an INSANE number of grocery stores that are available on Ibotta, all over the United States (unfortunately, it’s only available in the U.S. and Puerto Rico at this point).
This includes: Walmart, Kmart, Kroger, Wegman’s, Price Chopper, Weis Markets, Shop ‘N Save, ACME, Food Lion, Food Giant, Harvest Market, Dollar General, Family Fresh Market, Winn-Dixie, Tops, Target, Trader Joe’s, Costco, Sam’s Club, and Meijer…. just to name a few.
How Much Money Can You Make With Ibotta?
This is a screenshot of my earnings so far with Ibotta. And I’ve only been using it for a couple months! Also bearing in mind that this doesn’t include another $20 that my wife received last week.
That’s over $55 in savings in about 2 months, sent through PayPal into our bank account.
This may not seem like much, but saving around $240 a year just by reducing your grocery expenses with a free app is a good way to cut costs! It can also be used in addition to coupons (it feels good to get a $3 item for free).
And this current amount is only from buying our weekly groceries (and a pair of slippers)!
You can see below, adding in toiletries and hygiene products results in higher rebates, averaging around $2.00 per item.
These rack up quick.
Pros and Cons
To sum up, these are the pros and cons that I’ve narrowed down, since using the Ibotta app.
- Easy to use
- Tons of products that qualify for rebates
- Tons of participating stores
- Pays the best of any app like it
- Pays in clear dollar amounts. Not points.
- Can be used on top of coupons.
- Only available on Android and iPhone smartphones
- Only available in the U.S. and Puerto Rico
- Qualifying brands are sometimes more expensive (whatever you do, do NOT buy costly brands just to qualify. It defeats the purpose… not that I mind these mozzarella sticks…)
This is just one way that you can save money on your regular expenses. If you’re interested in other easy and free ways to save money fast, check out this list.
If you are looking for more lucrative ideas for actually building income online, I would recommend looking HERE.