I know I’m not the only one who’s ever gone to the grocery store without a list. Even worse, I’ve gone without my list AND hungry. Bad combination. If I’m planning a regular grocery shopping trip, I look at Kroger’s or Walmart’s sale ads (depending where I am planning on going, although it’s usually Kroger), looked at what coupons I already have, and then search for more online. If there are any, I print them. Otherwise, I grab my shopping list and reusable bags and head out.
Now as stated previously, that’s a regular shopping trip, which means stocking up and purchasing enough for about two weeks or so of meals, not including drinks and perishable items. My average grocery trip costs between $150 and $180 every two weeks, which may seem like a lot for two people. However, that does include toiletries, household items, and pet supplies (cat and dog food, litter, etc). There are some months I go over and others I go under, depending on what is stockpiled in our small deep freezer. We invested in this one a few months after moving down here and I am so glad we did! The bulk of every shopping trip goes in the freezer and then we write the items on a dry erase board that tells exactly what and how many of each item we have on hand. Sounds time consuming, but it really isn’t. Keeping the list on the dry erase board keeps us in check as far as what we have, need and don’t need. About 2-3 times a year we empty the freezer and check to make sure the list is still accurate. I would highly recommend this trick for anybody who has a deep freezer, especially since items can shuffle to the bottom and you don’t know what you have after a ton of shopping trips.
Despite my typical shopping trips where I try to save as much as possible and I set aside two hours of my day where I could totally be doing something else, there are those times where I go to Kroger or Walmart for 1-2 things and come out $50+ poorer. The culprit is usually hunger. Yes, not having a list is at fault too, but if I’m hungry, forget it. All thriftiness and shopping responsibility goes out the window. Well, thanks to cash back apps, I feel less guilty for dropping my hard earned money on items I most likely did not really need at that time. If you are unfamiliar with cash back apps, they are just what they sound like: Apps for your phone or iPad where you earn cash back for your purchases. If you shop and have a smartphone, there’s almost no reason why you wouldn’t want these apps, even if you’re not a crazy coupon lady like me. Simply check the apps to see what’s available and then after scanning the item and receipt after you get home, you wait for the money to be put in your account. The checkout amount varies depending on the app, but I’ll explain those below.
My number 1 favorite cash back app ever is Ibotta. I find it has the most rewards and the most categories. Matt and I had a date night at Ruby Tuesday’s a few weeks ago and after submitting my receipt, I earned $5 in my account! The items change every few weeks, so it’s good to check ahead of time what’s available. Today was one of those shop-while-hungry days, but I was still able to get $4 back. Pretty nice since I didn’t even have any coupons with me. Once your account reaches $20, you can cash out for either a gift card or have the money put into your PayPal account. It is a great way to earn some extra money, which I know we all could use. Here is a referral code that you can enter when you create an account: kiqiglb. With that code, you’ll get an automatic $10 in your account! Also, Ibotta has the option to have team members, and more members mean more money earned. It’s a fantastic app all around. Information can be found here.
My second favorite cash back app is SavingStar. The nice part about SavingStar is you can cash out after only $5, which adds up quickly when you grocery shop a lot. The concept is similar to Ibotta in the fact that you scan your item’s barcode and then upload the receipt, except there aren’t as many options. Easy enough, right? Information can be found here.
Another cash back app is Checkout 51. As with Ibotta, you cash out when you earn $20, but they mail you a physical check.I recently found out that checks cannot be deposited via a mobile device because the checks are Canadian, but you can still deposit or cash them at your local bank. Information can be found here.
Although there are a couple other apps I love and use frequently, I will touch on them more later. For now, go ahead and check out the apps mentioned. I guarantee you’ll be earning money soon enough!