It’s no secret people have to eat. It’s also no secret Americans spend a lot of money on doing so.
The United States Department of Agriculture estimates a thrifty budget for a family of four would be about $561 a month, and a liberal plan would be over $1000. A two-person family should expect to spend between $385 and $775.
One easy way to scale back your spending on groceries is to use a mobile rebate app called Ibotta. There’s no coupon clipping, no altering your shopping, just cashback, and bonuses for your favorite buys at your favorite stores.
Ibotta Basics to Start Saving Money
- Download the app. After downloading the app, you may want to consider linking it to your Facebook account if you have one. The benefit to this is that it will automatically connect you with any of your Facebook friends who already use the app. These users become your team. It is entirely unnecessary to have an Ibotta team, but it does make earning bonuses easier
- Find your favorite stores. Scan through the app for brick and mortar stores or online retailers you already frequent. Save them as your favorite stores.
- Find offers. Browse by retailers or by category. If you are looking for something in particular, type in the item name or brand.
- Unlock your offers. Once you identify a rebate you are interested in, unlock it. Usually, this involves a one-question survey or watching a 15-second ad. Sometimes, though, it is reading a fun fact or glancing at a recipe.
- Shop & scan. If you are shopping online, make sure you buy through the app. If you are shopping in a store, carry on as usual. Just make sure to save your receipt. When you get home, scan your receipt and wait for approval.
- Cash-out! Once you have saved $20 in your account, you can redeem it for a variety of gift cards or cold hard cash via Venmo or Paypal.
Not a month goes by without a handful of bonus saving possibilities. There are three types of bonuses worth paying attention to, including calendar bonuses, mobile bonuses, and brand bonuses.
Calendar bonuses. Each month, Ibotta sets up a reward users can earn once they meet individual and team thresholds. They do vary somewhat by month, but they typically look like the one below:
You earn 5-10 rebates on your own, and your team crosses an amount between $5 and $15. As the levels progress, so does the amount of extra money you can earn. There are also other calendar bonuses set around specific seasons, weeks (like before Christmas), or days (like the Super Bowl).
Mobile bonuses. As Ibotta looks to compete with other cashback portals, Ibotta is rapidly expanding the stores it has partnered with to offer cashback for mobile online shopping. When new partners are added, Ibotta tends to provide users bonuses for crossing a certain threshold with online shopping.
Brand bonuses. Each month, Ibotta will spotlight different brands in conjunction with saving bonuses. These bonuses are the most unpredictable. As you review the rebate options, you will want to get in the habit of quickly noting whether or not there is a bonus available. You can also browse all of the available bonuses by clicking on the Account button.
Tips & Tricks to Save More Money with Ibotta
There is a right way and a wrong way to use Ibotta. Keep these three tips in mind before you download the app, and you’ll have money savings accumulating in your pocket in no time.
- Plan before you go. Make your usual grocery lists to carry out your regular meal planning. Before you head to the store, check Ibotta. This saves you time in the store and staves off the temptation of visiting additional stores.
- Stay the course as you shop. Remember, you downloaded this app to save money on your current grocery spending. Avoid impulse buys. If you find yourself buying things you don’t need, then you aren’t saving money.
- Know what they reward. Ibotta seems to offer the most generous rebates for baby and kid items like diapers and baby food, as well as beer, wine, and spirits. Personal and household items are also worth checking out, mainly because they offer rebates on eco-friendly things, like Seventh Generation, that may not go on sale often.
- Be reasonable. Ibotta is a great way to score a little more for your usual shopping. Are you going to save hundreds of dollars in one month? Certainly not. But do you have the potential to earn a few hundred dollars by the year-end? Absolutely.
Click here to join Ibotta to start saving money on your groceries and earn an extra $10 after your first rebate. After signing up, you’ll score a code of your own to earn referrals–at no cost to you or anyone who uses your code.
Article written by Penny
Have a money question you’d like answered? Submit it here.