*UPDATED JANUARY 2021*
Since making the decision to stay home with my girls, I’ve been on a mission to save as much money as possible. I’ve had some folks asking me what I do from a budget perspective and how I’m saving AND making money shopping for groceries and everything else in our life. I’m sure you’ve read a lot about rewards cards and rewards apps and how to put them to use, but I’m here to explain how you can make a few extra dollars and save some money, all in the same process.
How I’m Saving & Making Money Shopping for Groceries and Everything Else
Apps are the name of the game!!!
There are so many apps out there you may not know where to start. I’ll give you my experience with each of the apps I’m currently using and I’ll link you to their site to download as well.
- Target Cartwheel
- KHOLS App
If you haven’t heard of Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates), it’s an online and in-store application that partners with certain stores to give you cash back on your purchases. The cash back percentages range from 1% all the way up to 30%, and sometimes they have double cash back for particular stores. I useEbates mostly for my online shopping. You can add it to your browser bar so that it automatically shows you the current cash back offer, and then you click to activate the shopping trip and the cash back amount.
That way your account is active while you are shopping and you don’t forget to connect it to your shopping trip and miss out on savings. Earnings are tracked by shopping trips and “Big Fat Checks” (as they call them) are mailed out every 3 months. I recently requested to have my earnings transferred directly to my PayPal account so that I could easily deposit it into my checking account (and not have to wait for the paper check in the mail via USPS).
While your earnings/savings will truly depend on how much online shopping you do (or if you connect the debit/credit card you do most your shopping for in-store savings), I average about $100+ every three months in Big Fat Checks. During the holiday season I earn A LOT more than that as I do most of my shopping online and combine Rakuten with store coupon codes to get the biggest bang for my buck.
You can also earn money for referring your friends/family. The most I’ve seen them offer is $20/referral. Right now (as of January 2021) they are offering $20 for each person who joins and spends $20. In turn, that person will automatically receive $20 back, so technically their $20 spending is only really $0, FREE. Currently there is no limit to the number of individuals you can refer.
Ibotta is a another cash saving/earning app BUT BUT BUT this one though has a lot of wine deals (and you guys know I love my wine)!!! *instantly turned into favorite of mine* So I like to add this to my regimen for savings! Ibotta is a tad different that the two previously mentioned, since you have to scan (take a picture with your phone or capture the QR code) your receipt to redeem your savings AND it really is grocery driven at this time.
To get started you just need to find the offers from the stores you are shopping, add them to your offers, and then once you’ve done your shopping, take that picture I mentioned of the receipt (most times I do it when I get in the car so I don’t forget). Its pretty great b/c it has savings from some of my most favorite stores like Target, Walgrees, Wegmans, etc.
If you aren’t using the Cartwheel offers in the Target app you are MISSING OUT!! They will always have offers on their Market Pantry, Archer Farms, and up & up branded items (eggs, flours, canned goods, bread, cleaning products, paper goods, etc.). During holidays, like Valentine’s Day right now, they have tons of coupons for candy. I had one the other day for $4 off Huggies diapers (packs of 18 or more). That’s a big deal!
If you don’t add them to your wallet, within the Target app on your phone, and then scan it at checkout you are missing out on some serious savings off your total bill. Add to that a RedCard and you’ll get another 5% off your bill (which here in VA covers our taxes). As you can see I’ve been racking up the savings with Cartwheel!
You guys, YOU GUYS. Khols cash + Khols Codes + Rakuten = BEST DAY EVER. You can save some serious dollars if you start mixing all of these up together. I have actually had times where I paid $0 for items at Khols using their coupon codes and Khols cash. Or I’ll use coupon codes, Khols cash, and then Rakuten and I’ll essentially have spent nothing on the items. It’s crazy business! So always always always make sure you check your Khols app at checkout for coupon codes, check Rakuten to see what kind of cash back they are offering, and almost check to see if you have any Khols cash in your wallet!!
So that’s my *edited* round up as of now.
I hope you guys found this helpful. My husband has started calling me a coupon queen (laughing). But I am by no means clipping any coupons or have a binder full of coupons and getting my groceries for free. I just try to find ways to save us a little bit of cash and earn back any money I can. I’ll keep adding to the list as a I go along, so be sure to check in.