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How to Use Money Saving Apps

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Part 7 of a 9 part series about Couponing for Beginners explains how to use money saving apps to save even more at the grocery store! 

There are so many coupon apps out there today and I'm breaking down the best ones and how to use them for coupon beginners!  Just another way our smart phones can help us save some moolah!

Can you believe that we’re almost finished with our couponing series?  Me either!  We’ve talked about so much already and pretty soon you guys are going to be bouncing off to the store, coupons in hand, ready and pumped to save hundreds.  Yeah, hundreds!  You’ll hardly believe it!

If you’re new around these parts be sure to take a look at the entire Couponing for Beginners Series!

When I asked several good couponing friends if they’d like to contribute to this series my friend Jen jumped at this post about money saving apps.  She saves way more on Ibotta than I do and I think she could probably teach whole classes on this app.  I am so happy to have her here chatting with you today.

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Hello, all!  Thanks so much, Meaghan for having me today!  Like she said I am all about these money saving apps and Ibotta is my favorite!  I’ll be telling you more about that and Meaghan will finish up with some other couponing apps you can use to save money at the store.  Here we go!

What is Ibotta?

Ibotta is my favorite money saving app and it is available for Android and Apple products including the iPhone and iPad.  Ibotta basically pays you to shop for items at your local stores!  If you sign up through Meaghan’s referral link (http://ibotta.com/r/nspea) you can get an extra $2 when you claim your first offer!  Once you log in you’ll see a list of categories that look like this.

Couponing for Beginners Series: How to Use Money Saving Apps | DIYfaerie

Definitely take some time to poke around but I usually choose Grocery.  Ibotta has a ton of retailers to choose from and they’re tailored to fit your location.  Choose the store you’re planning to shop at and you’ll see a list of rebates or offers for products.  Some rebates are exclusive to that store and they’ll be marked.  Choose the item you want to purchase and you’ll see this.

Couponing for Beginners Series: How to Use Money Saving Apps | DIYfaerie

Ibotta will ask you to do a few things to unlock the rebate.  Usually you’ll answer a question, read a blurb about the product, watch a short video, etc.  Once you unlock the rebate it’ll look like this.

Couponing for Beginners Series: How to Use Money Saving Apps | DIYfaerie

If you look down at the VERY bottom of the screen you’ll see a check mark with the word “Redeem” under it.  You’ll click that button and this screen will pop up.

Couponing for Beginners Series: How to Use Money Saving Apps | DIYfaerie

Ibotta wants you to verify that what you bought qualifies so make sure you’re paying attention to any size, flavor, or number of product requirements.  Just like you would on a coupon!  Click Verify Purchases and you’ll be prompted to scan your item barcode.  If it matches Ibotta will tell you and then prompt you to submit your receipt.  Follow the directions on the screen to submit your receipt and then get ready to wait!

Don’t worry, Ibotta usually doesn’t take more than 24 hours to approve your rebate.  Once you reach $5 in savings you can cash out.  Ibotta gives you the option to use Paypal or Venmo.  They also offer gift card options, as well.  {I like to maximize my savings by waiting until Christmas to cash out and use the money towards gifts.}

Couponing for Beginners Series: How to Use Money Saving Apps | DIYfaerie

The last thing I want to talk about are bonuses.  Ibotta offers you great opportunities to earn rebates like earning an extra $0.50 when you claim two rebates.  Bonuses can overlap each other and some are even hidden.  You can unlock them by completing so many certain tasks.  Not all bonsues have a cash value but are for merit.

Couponing for Beginners Series: How to Use Money Saving Apps | DIYfaerie

Some of the bonuses you can earn are team bonuses.  When you sign up you’ll be prompted to connect your Facebook account and if you want to earn bonuses this is a good thing to do!  The more Facebook friends you have who actively use Ibotta the easier it is to earn these monthly bonuses.  Often there are levels.  Unlock one level to get to the next.  Here’s a pic of October’s first level.

Couponing for Beginners Series: How to Use Money Saving Apps | DIYfaerie

This month, if I complete all the levels I can earn up to $20 in bonuses on top of the money I’m already earning by claiming rebates.  This is free money!  Before I go to the store I check Ibotta for what products they’re offering and I try and match it up with sales and coupons to get an even better deal.  If I can get an item free by using a coupon in the store and then come home and submit my receipt to Ibotta for a $1 rebate, Ibotta has just paid me to buy this item!  Even if you’re not a couponer it just makes sense to use Ibotta.

Thanks again to Meaghan for having me!  I hope you’ll sign up through her link (http://ibotta.com/r/nspea) and then start using Ibotta to earn, earn, earn!  Keep reading for Meaghan’s tips on some other great money saving apps!

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Isn’t she great?  I’m constantly amazed by how much money she makes using Ibotta on things she’s already buying at the store!  Even though Ibotta is probably the best money saving app for really adding up those pennies there are several other, easy to use apps that are definitely worth your time.

Checkout 51

I like Checkout 51 because it’s not store specific.  So this gives you the ability to claim things from smaller stores or non chain stores.  My mom likes to shop at Aldi because they have great prices on produce so when they have produce rebates on Checkout 51 I’ll pick it up from Aldi, where prices are already great, and claim my extra 25 to 50 cent savings!

Couponing for Beginners Series: How to Use Money Saving Apps | DIYfaerie

You’ll upload your receipt at the bottom then check the items included on that receipt.  Super simple.  If you have more than one receipt you’ll just have to go through the process a couple different times.  Checkout 51 offers are valid Thursday to Wednesday and any purchases you’re claiming must be dated within that week.  So if I buy oranges on Wednesday I cannot claim them on Thursday {even if they’re still listed as an offer} because I didn’t purchase them in the same week.

You don’t earn money as quickly with this app because there aren’t as many products to choose from and they don’t offer bonuses a lot but I love being able to save a few extra pennies on produce and specialty items!  Checkout 51 is available on Android and iPhone.

Shopmium

Shopmium is very similar to Ibotta with the way you have to verify your purchases and submit your receipt but they are not store specific and don’t offer as many rebates in volume.

Couponing for Beginners Series: How to Use Money Saving Apps | DIYfaerie

Choose a product and you’ll be asked to “discover” it.  Some products offer you different varieties you can claim like this rebate from Naked Juice.

Couponing for Beginners Series: How to Use Money Saving Apps | DIYfaerie

Choose the flavor you want to claim and then request your rebate.  It’ll ask you to scan the barcode to check your product eligibility.  Once your product is approved you’ll upload your receipt and done!  It’ll take about 24 hours for your rebate to be processed.  Shopmium does not offer bonuses but if you enter my referral code when you sign up (KCHKGAUJ) you’ll get a rebate for a FREE Lindt chocolate bar!  Shopmium is available for Android and iPhone.

SavingStar

This isn’t my all time favorite app but it’s pretty much the least fussy of the bunch.  They’ve only recently allowed you to upload receipts from certain stores including Target, Walgreens, Walmart, and a few more localized stores like Safeway, WinCo, and Vons.  I have never done this but you choose the little picture at the top of the screen that looks like a receipt.  At least I’m guessing that’s what it’s supposed to look like.

Couponing for Beginners Series: How to Use Money Saving Apps | DIYfaerie

Scroll down and choose your store and you’ll see this.  You’ll only be able to request rebates for the items you selected on the home screen.

Couponing for Beginners Series: How to Use Money Saving Apps | DIYfaerie

Since I don’t have anything to scan for those products I can’t show you what they would look like but I’m betting it would take you through a similar process as Ibotta and Shopmium where you’ll upload your receipt.  I much prefer to use it the other way where you connect your account to your savings cards.  It’ll give you options for the stores in your area it will link to.

Couponing for Beginners Series: How to Use Money Saving Apps | DIYfaerie

Choose one and select continue.  Then it’ll ask you if you want to scan the store card to add it to your account or input the number on the card.  Then click add card.  Navigate back to the home page and select offers.  You can scroll through the offers and add the ones you want.

Couponing for Beginners Series: How to Use Money Saving Apps | DIYfaerie

Next time you go shopping and swipe your card at the stores you’ve added it will automatically add it to your account for you!  Keep in mind that this can take anywhere from 2 to 22 days to show up but you will eventually see it in your account.  Saving Star is available for Android and iPhone.

You don’t have to use all of these apps but since they’re all free you’re being paid to shop!  Even if you never use a single coupon!  Don’t forget to sign up through Ibotta using my referral link (http://ibotta.com/r/nspea) for your $2 bonus!  Or using my Shopmium code (KCHKGAUJ) when you register for your FREE Lindt chocolate bar!

My favorite thing about these apps is that they’re not mutually exclusive so sometimes you can claim the same item on more than one app and get it better than free!  Believe it or not I was actually paid by Checkout 51 and Ibotta to purchase the parmesan cheese I needed in my One Pot Chicken Alfredo and got the cheese for my Creamy Mac and Cheese FREE using these apps!

Sometimes using these apps can be confusing, especially if you’re a beginner.  Which is why I’m always here to answer any questions you might have!  Need me to clarify something?  Or want a more in depth lesson on how to use one of the shopping apps we talked about today?  Comment below or email me at cookcraftloveblog{at}gmail{dot}com for more info!

Meaghan

 

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