Checkout 51

Another grocery app I use fairly often is Checkout 51. The offers on this app change every Thursday and if you have any rebates for the week, you need to submit them by Wednesday.  Even if the receipt shows the correct date and the offer is the same as the previous week, it will be rejected.

There are pros and cons for this app. I like the fact that once you reach at least $20.00, you can request a payout and a check will be mailed to you. There are a variety of items offered as well, including both brand name items and produce or dairy.  There is no scanning of items. Rather you choose the items that are on the receipt,  take a picture of the receipt, and submit it.

I find myself mainly redeeming the produce rebates, which is 25 cents a week. On occasion, there will be more name brand items that I use, but this tends to be feast or famine. There are also a fewer number items each week than apps such as Ibotta have. Even so, it’s still a wonderful opportunity to cut your grocery budget. I especially like the fact that they always have a produce rebate–have I mentioned my family has a thing for bananas???1420397741764

Another Money Saving Grocery App

The next money saving app I want to introduce you to is SavingStar.  Like Ibotta,  it’s a free app and is available on Androids and iPhones. It is different in that the payment can be through PayPal, directly to your bank account, or you can donate to a featured charity. Personally, I never link apps to an account other than PayPal, but it’s an option.

There are two features that I find myself using consistently with SavingStar.  The first is the Friday Freebie. Who doesn’t like getting useful items for free? These items are under $1.00, but free is free. I’ve seen several varieties of candy bars, and my philosophy is that there are no calories in free candy! Other items include a 26 oz. container of Morton’s table salt and a can of Hunt’s tomato paste.

1420051630368The other feature I use a lot is the healthy offer. Each week, you can get 20% off a featured item of produce. This week was bananas,  which are always a hit with my family. We eat them plain, but I also bake with them as well. I have a lot of recipes featuring bananas,  including oatmeal cookies, pancakes, muffins and bread. Last week’s offer was sweet potatoes, which is another favorite food for my husband.

In addition, there are items where the rebate works the same as Ibotta. For my shopping trip yesterday, Ibotta had a $2.00 rebate off a pound of Truvia brown sugar. SavingStar also had a $1.00 rebate off Truvia. I was able to use both on the same item and get $3.00 off, which was almost a 50% savings on that item.

A feature that I’ve just started using is the “One or Many” offer. An example of this is the current offer on Cottonelle, Viva, Scott,  and/or Kleenex. If, over the course of several weeks,  I spend $30 on these brands,  I receive a $5.00 rebate. This is great, because we already use several of the brands, and the eligible time is long enough that I can reasonably purchase and use the items.

I hope you’re enjoying the information regarding these grocery apps.  I’m hoping they’ll help me with my New Year’s resolutions,  which I’ll write more about later.

Saving Money at the Grocery Store

If you’re like me, you’ve noticed the prices at the grocery store are only going up. It can be frustrating because it seems like no matter how frugal you try to be, the final total at the checkout can still be a shock.

My family is trying to focus on eating better. This means more fresh foods and less processed convenience items. Add in food allergies and sensitivities and you can imagine all the fun I have in the aisles juggling a list, coupons, and a smartphone with all the grocery apps loaded on it as I’m trying to read yet another label to make certain that even my tried and true items haven’t changed their ingredients.

Wait a moment…what was that about grocery apps on a phone? What in the world are those? These are a recent wonderful discovery that I can’t seem to hush up about.  Seriously. I’m telling all my friends about them. After my most recent grocery store foray, I found myself so excited that I was actually texting people about my best deal. I even Skyped with my best friend about it, which then led to the idea of writing a blog about it. (Thank you, BFF!)

Rather than writing a book, I’ll just highlight one app at  a time. The one that I seem to use the most is Ibotta. This is an app that can be downloaded for free and is compatible with both an Android and an iPhone. Best of all, it’s a breeze to use.

Once you download it and set up your account, you just need to look at the items offered and select the ones you want. In order to activate the rebate, you’ll need to click on the item,  and then look for the circle. Simply click on the circle, then watch a short video, answer a question, or read a recipe or fact. This is extremely quick to complete. Once the rebate is unlocked,  just scan the item you purchased and take a photo of the receipt.  If multiple items were purchased, verify all items and then take just one picture of the receipt.

Ibotta is very fast to review the receipt and post the credit to your account. Right now you may be asking yourself what happens with the credit?  How can it be used? There are several options. Once you have accrued at least $5.00, you can request the credit be funded to your PayPal or Venmo account. Or, if you’d rather, you can request a gift card from a variety of retailers including Amazon.com,  Starbucks,  Walmart,  and others.

There are interactive aspects of the app as well. There are bonuses that can be earned, and you can form a team to help unlock items as well. Each person is given a referral code. One word of caution: if my team has two people,  and another person joins the team, only the one person has three people on the team. The other two people aren’t team members–only the one who sent the referral code sees both people in the app.

So after all the explanations, are you curious about my best deal today? It was a 1.5 pound bag of Tate+Lyle fair trade, non-GMO, organic turbinado raw cane sugar. I bought it at Walmart. The regular price was $2.94. I had a coupon from the Sunday paper for $1.50 off. I combined that with a rebate from Ibotta for another $1.00 off. After the savings,  I paid $0.44 for sugar that I would have had difficulty justifying otherwise.

The deal of the day. My tea is saved from boredom!
The deal of the day. My tea is saved from boredom!