I had been using coupons when I purchased my groceries for years, but never really felt like I was saving big money. Then I took yet another coupon class and was queued in to rebate apps! What a lovely way to get even more savings on groceries because you can stack these savings on top of your coupon and store sales! If you haven’t already, start HERE to get the low down on how you can be saving money on groceries with coupons and sales. Then once you are ready to take the next step, read on for some tidbits about saving even more with free rebate apps.
Rebate apps aren’t hard to use, in fact everything I know I’ve learned by trial and error. I use four of them on a regular basis and have learned a few things you may want to also know as you get started with saving. If you have found another rebate app you love please share it in the comments!!
Step one with every app is to just download it onto your smart phone.
(I suspect you may be able to enter rebates on the computer too, but I’ve never tried it that way so can’t speak to how that exactly works). After it’s downloaded you want to set up an account. I also recommend getting your PayPal account set up right away too as three of the apps I use make their payments into that account.
After you have your account activated you can scroll through the savings offered and ‘save’ or ‘star’ or ‘activate’ them.
Each app will look a bit different, but it’s usually pretty simple to figure out. Keep in mind that these apps are usually VERY specific about size, brand, and quantity so it’s essential to read each rebate before you add the items to your grocery list. I have often found that when I compare the size on the rebate app to the coupon I have they don’t match up so you can’t stack them for extra savings. I’ve also gotten burned by purchasing the wrong size or flavor of something so it’s doesn’t qualify either! The key here is to pay close attention to detail.
The rebate apps that I use are not store specific – meaning you can purchase items at a variety of stores and still use the rebate app. It also isn’t just limited to grocery stores, so poke around and see what you find…you might be able to enter for rebates on your clothing purchases too!
Once you’ve gotten your preferred rebates marked in the app it’s time to go shopping.
(Personal Tip: remember to do your activating BEFORE shopping because they won’t let you enter a receipt for a date that comes before when you activated the rebates). Write down the items you are purchasing, making sure to indicate quantity and size on your list so it’s not super complicated when you get to the store. I also highly recommend writing down what products you are purchasing from each rebate app, especially if you are using more than one app, so that when you go to enter your receipt it’s quicker to get everything entered.
After you shop, you just need to upload your receipt and get your rebate!
Entering your receipts is also self-explanatory, but each app does it in a slightly different order. Essentially what you need to do it take a photo of your receipt (you do it within the app) and scan the barcodes of the items you purchased that qualify for rebates. I always do this BEFORE I put away my groceries so I’m not hunting all over the house for what I bought. Looking at my list I grab the items for each app and then enter the receipts one at a time. Most receipts are credited to your app account within 24 hours.
Your account within each app will track your savings for each of the receipts you enter. Each app does their payout differently, but most of them don’t give you the money right away – you have to hit a minimum balance before you can request you payout. It usually takes me several weeks to hit my minimum balance for a payout, but it’s still worth the time because I know I’ll get the money eventually!
Like I said before, I have been couponing for a long time without seeing a huge savings to our grocery budget. Since I started adding the rebate apps to my shopping plan 4 months ago I’ve made over $120 in rebates – with is really just free money because it’s things I was purchasing anyway!
These are the four rebate apps I use and the little quirks I’ve learned about them along the way…
Checkout 51 –
- Your app account has to hit $20 before you can request a payout, which comes in the form of a check in the mail.
- These rebates reset on Wednesday nights at midnight
- There are a limited number of each rebate available. Even if you have ‘starred’ a rebate to use, it can be used up by others before you enter your rebate. I always recommend double checking if the limit is reached (it will say 0 remaining) before you purchase something expecting to use this savings.
- These often can be used more than once, so read each rebate to know the limit. If it says “limit 2” you can redeem both of them on the same transaction which is awesome if you have coupons that require you to purchase two anyway.
- This app pays directly and instantly into your Paypal account! The rebates are often very small, but over time even 10 cents adds up to dollars.
- I haven’t found much rhyme or reason to when this app resets so I always double check my saved rebates right before I shop.
- If you don’t already have this app feel free to use my referral code.
- Payouts for this app go directly into your PayPal account and can be requested when you hit $5.
- New offers are uploaded at 6am est on Sundays and there is a limited number of each available to jump on your app and save your preferred offers quickly so you don’t miss out. These offers are also re-loaded every month so be sure to check out what’s new on the 1st of each month.
- Once you have activated your offer it’s yours to keep until you use it or it expires. If you want to see your saved offers you need to go to your ‘list’.
- I have found with this app many offers are renewed each month – especially for some of the items I purchase often. So it’s a bonus every month to get a rebate on some of my family’s favorite items.
- This app also often has offers that accumulate over time – so if you purchase a few of the items for the rebate each week, once you hit the total you’ll get your rebate!
- Your payout is put directly into your PayPal account and you can request the payout once you hit $20.
- This app adds new offers randomly throughout the week. And often several days after you redeem them they will ‘reset’ so you can unlock and use the rebates again!
- You have to select your store before you can see the available rebates – for instance, click on groceries for a list of nearby options. Then select the store to see what is available as a rebate from that particular store.
- There are tons of bonus’ in this app that you can earn if you redeem a certain combination of offers. It’s a great way to add even more savings and get free money
- If you haven’t already joined, you can join ‘my team’ and get a $10 bonus when you redeem your first rebate! https://ibotta.com/r/pmueega