stretching your grocery budget: money saving apps

photo credit: corrine kutz @unsplash.com

(this post contains affiliate links which carry no cost to you but help support this blog)

 

I’m serving up something a little different for you today and talking about money. Specifically, how you can save it.

While paper and printable coupons are still around, there are newer kids in town who are here to save you money: apps. They function similarly to paper coupons, but (I think) carry higher payouts and are much safer than printable coupons which can invite viruses into your computer.

While money saving apps involve a little extra step than simply clipping coupons and handing them to the cashier, they are completely worth it. If you aren’t doing this, you’re leaving money on the table. In fact, just today, I was able to put $20 back into my grocery budget and another $20 is on its way in the mail.

 

In case you were missing a recipe, here’s a budget-friendly meal: best basic burritos. Click the pic for the recipe.

 

Here’s why I love these money saving apps:

  • No paper coupons to organize, lose and forget – all the offers are easily found within the app
  • You can earn money back on fresh produce!
  • With one of the apps, I can earn money back just for submitting a picture of a receipt.
  • Sometimes there are offers for the same product in more than one app which = even bigger savings!
  • It’s easier to let others in on the savings – with coupons, I just keep them for myself; with the apps, I can alert others of savings plus get a bonus for referrals.

All you need is a tablet, ipad or smartphone to download the apps plus your receipts and you’re ready to go. Since I’ve started using these money saving apps, I’ve earned back more than $140!

 

photo credit: alexander mils @unsplash.com

 

Below is a list of my favorite money saving apps plus how to use them. If you don’t have an account with these apps already, you’ll want to use the codes I give you for extra savings! (For transparency’s sake, I get a bonus too).

 

Ibotta:  This is my favorite app and that one that’s netted me the most money. As an added bonus, you can use it for mobile shopping and for more than just groceries. And there are bonuses available to increase your earnings. Here’s how it works:

  • Download it to your phone.
  • Sign up for an account (use this link to create it online https://ibotta.com/r/nuqylud or enter this code into the app itself: nuqylud) You get a $10 bonus for signing up and when you join my team, we get extra earning opportunities.
  • If you don’t have Ibotta already, you’ll definitely want to get it this month because you could earn back more an additional $100!
  • To use it, look for rebates in the app to match with the stores where you shop. Unlock the rebate and then redeem the offer by submitting your receipt (with a photo) once your purchase the item.
  • Once you bank at least $20, you can request a payout to PayPal, Venmo or in the form of a gift card.

 

Fetch Reward: A newer app which is even easier to use – all you need to do is submit a photo of your receipts and the app does the rest. At minimum, you get 25 points per submitted receipts and can earn additional points for product-specific purchases. Plus when you enter this code into the app: X3MCY, you will get a bonus 1,500 points when you complete one receipt (equal to $1.50). You can redeem your points for gift cards when you reach a minimum of 5,000 points (equal to $5)

 

Checkout 51: Similiar to Ibotta where you identify offers to redeem and take a photo of your receipt and submit it. Also has fresh produce offers and an added benefit of submitting receipts from any store. You can request a payout when you accumulate $20 in savings.

 

 

 

Saving Star: Similar to Ibotta and Checkout 51, but you can request a payout after only $5 of accumulated savings. Like Ibotta, Savings Star is only good with certain stores, so be sure to double check these before you shop.

 

 

 

Makeena: A newer app which works similar to the other apps and is geared to the organic/natural foods market and offers rebates on organic produce. You’ll want to enter this code: OJVUQZ in the app when you create your account to earn a bonus 1000 points (equal to $1). Like Saving Star, you can get a payout after $5 in savings.

 

 

 

Berry Cart: Also caters to the organic/natural foods market and works similarly to the other apps. Use this link: https://www.berrycart.com/rf/vT2VwMeSwX to create an account online and then download the app. Also allows you to get a payout after $5 in savings.

 

 

 

BONUS MONEY SAVING APPS

These are a little different than the ones mentioned above, but worth mentioning for their money saving power.

Target: If you haven’t started using Cartwheel yet, you need to as it saves you a percentage of selected products! The easiest way to find deals under cartwheel is to scan the barcodes for the products you’re purchasing in the app (and it’s fun too!). When you check out, have the cashier scan your barcode (in the app) and saving will automatically be applied as you checkout. Additional way to save: get a Target debit or credit card and save 5% every time you shop.

 

 

 

Whole Foods: Includes coupons in the app. Scan the barcode at checkout to have the savings applied when you checkout.

 

 

 

 

 

Ebates*: So this isn’t exactly for grocery shopping but it’s definitely worth mentioning. Ebates is mostly for online purchases, but there are some in-store options too! You get a certain percentage back for your purchases and they send you a check every quarter when you’ve accumulated savings over $5. Use this referral link https://go.ebat.es/imsk/yyy9XGYsVC for that so you can save $10 off your first purchase of $25 or more.

 

 

 

 

 

brown bag mondays: saving greens

brownbagmondayI’ve lost track of the dollars I’ve wasted in throwing out fresh greens that ended up spoiling before I used them up. Frustrating especially when I need them for a recipe.

So to save some green and some greens, here is today’s tip:

storing greensHere’s how:

Asparagus: store upright in a jar that has a little water in the bottom. Change the water every few days when it starts to get cloudy.

Cilantro, Parsley: Can also be stored upright in a jar that has a little water in the bottom. Change the water every few days when it starts to get cloudy. You also can pesto the herbs with a little water or oil and freeze them to use in recipes.

Basil: Fresh basil turns black after only a short time of being exposed to air. Best way to make it last is to pesto what you can’t use. I like to freeze mine in 1 T quantities so they are recipe ready.

Lettuce/kale: Buying the whole bunch instead of the pre-bagged and washed kind is a great place to start. I also found that removing any elastic bands or ties from around the leaves keeps them from getting slimy. Mine usually keep for a week like this in the plastic bag I place them in from the grocery store.

 

 

new series: brown bag mondays…tips you can take with you

brownbagmonday

New series: Brown Bag Mondays:  I see Mondays as a fresh start, another opportunity to face the week head on and move forward living life. But as the week wears on, I recognize our ideals don’t always play out the way we think. My heart for this series to provide you with something you can use or chew on as you go about your hours and days in the week ahead.

 

This is how my family calendar has looked for the first half of this month.

may calendarNot that we had nothing to do…quite the opposite. But I hesitated to write down all the things that were filling it up, because, well,  I rather liked the look of those blank spaces. It is my soul craving some unstructured time amidst all the structure that keeps us on track.

I find it easy enough to plan for things that are consistent in our days…time with the Lord, school, work, church, chores, weekly or monthly gatherings with friends. But sometimes I fail to plan for the unexpected like school events and appointments and suddenly our unstructured time is nibbled at bit by bit.

As summer vacation draws near, I want to be mindful of our time…to balance the structured with the unstructured. To allow breathing room for the unexpected to be easily accommodated into the structure of our days.

So here is this week’s “brown bag monday” question:

time may calendar

I think when we feel overwhelmed, it’s because we’re not leaving enough time in our schedule to handle the things we can’t plan for…the extra load of laundry required from an ill child, the repairman we need schedule for a leaky faucet, the errands we need to run because we forgot something on our list, the moments our children ask us to sit and read, or color or play a game, the friend who would love to get together, the unexpected blessing of sun in string of rainy days.

Care to explore this topic a little more? I would love to do a coaching session with you on this. Click on over to my contact page so we can set something up.