You know what I love doing? Saving money. I bet you do too. Every week I challenge myself to make our grocery shopping trip as cheap as humanly possible. I have two grocery stores within walking distance, but I don't go to them because I save more money by driving over the state line into Massachusetts to shop at Market Basket. (PLEASE come to Rhode Island, Market Basket. I need you.)
About two years ago, my great-aunt's niece (wrap your head around that one) told me about this app called Ibotta. She said all you do is scan your receipts after you go shopping, and you get cash back. I thought "wow, that sounds cool" but i never downloaded it because it honestly sounded too good to be true.
Fast forward two years later - I'm browsing around on Pinterest, and I see this pin that says "tips for making money while doing nothing" or something like that. I'm like yea, I want to do that, so I clicked on it. The post highlighted a bunch of different apps and sites for making money shopping (like ebates.) I've never tried any of these apps, but Ibotta caught my eye because I had heard of it before. Ibotta is an app that lets you earn cash back for purchases you make at grocery stores, retail stores, restaurants, and more.
I decided to just download the app and see what it's all about, because I couldn't really undersatnd the concept. To me it sounded like you just get coupons, like the Target Cartwheel App. I was way wrong. It's sooo much better!
How It Works:
Once I downloaded the app, I saw all kinds of stores listed - Target, CVS, Amazon, Groupon, and even my beloved Market Basket! Under Market Basket there were tons of items that I could "add" to my account to get cash back for purchases. For example, I could get $1.00 cash back for buying Purex Laundry Detergent, or $.25 cash back for buying Meow Mix cat treats.
I had just made a big trip to CVS that morning, and saw a few items I purchased were listed on Ibotta so I added them to my account. I used the app to scan my CVS receipt, selected the items I had purchased, and submitted the receipt. Within 24 hours, I had $2.50 in my account. I also got a $10 welcome bonus just for using the app right after downloading it! (and you will too! Use my referral code below.)
It's been one week since I downloaded the Ibotta app, and I'm already up to $19.75! I haven't purchased anything I didn't already need - I just did my shopping as usual. Once you hit the $20 mark, you can withdraw the balance to PayPal, Venmo, or a gift card.
Keep in mind:
- I really only shop the peripheral of the grocery store (produce, meats, dairy) with the occasional trip down an aisle to get things like bread or salad dressing. I do find that the majority of the products on Ibotta are the kinds of things you find down the aisles - cereal, granola bars, canned foods, frozen foods, etc. If you tend to buy lots of stuff from down the grocery store aisles, you will make WAY more than I do!
- I am definitely someone to buy a lot of booze, and was shocked to see you get cash back for it! My husband bought a little bottle of Whiskey for $15, and we got $3 back for it on Ibotta! I think on alcohol alone we are going to be getting lots of cash back. Yay for alcohol!
- Sometimes you have to complete little surveys, or watch a short ad before the rebates are added to your account. That's to be expected - they have to make money somehow!
- You also get $5 for inviting friends. I haven't invited anyone yet, but you can bet I'll be telling everyone I know about this app. I'm in love. Use my referral code if you join! (Disclosure: I'll also recieve $5 if you use my code. )
Jill's referral code: astbcmo
The bottom line:
I'm obsessed. I'm getting cash back in my pocket with no extra effort. Now, I'm sure Ibotta is selling all the data they collect on me. If you are terrified that big brother is watching and you don't want to share any data about yourself and your shopping habits, this is not the app for you. I just figure hey, the internet is collecting all this information from me anyway. Why not get paid for it?