Since becoming a stay at home mom, I’ve been looking for more ways to save money and make a little money on the side. I had read about a few different programs where you could earn a little extra cash. At the end of September I decided to give Ibotta a try. Grocery shopping is something I do multiple times a week. If I could get cash back for it, how could I not try it?
What exactly is Ibotta?
Ibotta is a free app that enables you to earn money on purchases. You can do this by scrolling through the offers on the app and finding rebates on products that you normally buy or would like to try and then submitting the receipts for these products. They actually offer a lot of products and even have some great “any” offers as well. This means that if they are offering the “Any Banana” or “Any Bread” rebate, then it doesn’t matter what brand the item is for.
You can also link a loyalty card although I haven’t tried that yet. I have tried doing mobile purchases through the app and that has worked well. The only drawback is that sometimes you have to wait out the return period before receiving the cash back. In early November they offered 20% Cash Back at select stores through their mobile purchases.
Now on to the fun part…..how did I actually triple my earnings? I joined Ibotta at the end of September but didn’t get started until October. In October, I stumbled through adding rebates and submitting receipts. Towards the end of that month is when I discovered stackable bonuses. My goal is to maximize the rebates so I can spend as little out of pocket as possible.
Every month Ibotta has four levels of bonuses that you can hit by submitting a certain number of rebates. I didn’t really pay a lot of attention to this at first. I figured I would earn what I could while submitting rebates and that would be great. I didn’t realize at first that when additional bonuses would come out, the rebates would apply to those bonuses plus the monthly bonuses! Examples of the additional bonuses are the Weekend Warrior Bonus and the Mid Week Boost Bonus. These bonuses are for a very limited time frame. You usually have only a couple of days to complete them.
This is where patience and flexibility are key! If I don’t happen to get a bonus for the weekend, I usually just put off doing a lot of shopping until during the week to see if a Mid Week Bonus pops up. My freezer is currently stocked with a few meals so there really isn’t a rush to get to the store. I also do my weekly produce and dairy shopping at Aldi and the Ibotta rebates do not apply to purchases made there. That is probably my only complaint about Ibotta!
Also, when it comes to hitting the bonuses, remember the “any” offers do not count toward bonuses. A lot of rebates are also eligible for multiple redemptions when purchased on the same receipt. This is great if you have coupons or if it is an item you use a lot. Even if you do the multiple redemptions, it only counts toward the bonus once. That is way I find that it is better to purchase only one of the item (unless the rebate requires more than one) and wait for the rebate to reset. It will usually reset within a couple of days. That way when you go shopping again, you can pick up that same item and it will qualify for the bonus. This rebate for Lady Alice Apples was one of my favorites last month! I love when I can find rebates for healthy options and these apples were delicious. I would just buy a couple of apples at a time to qualify for the rebate.
Another way to earn more rebates without going out of pocket is to use the earnings for Walmart or Target gift cards. I usually “cash out” at every $20 or $25. So far this has been a fun way to save on Christmas shopping. After Christmas is over, I plan to use these gift cards to earn more bonuses at these stores.
The only other advice I can give you is to pay close attention to the details of the rebate. When I first started out, I made a few mistakes and I got a little frustrated. Sometimes they are very specific about the flavor or variety of the item. Also, pay close attention to the size of the item. You can actually scan the product barcode right in the store to verify it matches before you purchase the product. That is what I have started doing and it has worked great.
If you have never joined Ibotta and are interested in trying it, I would love for you to join my team! You’ll get a $10 welcome bonus when you join using my referral code, hkvrquk. To make it easy, you can also just go through this referral link.
I hope this all made sense! Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments. I know I’m not an expert but would love to help you if I can. We all love to save money and I enjoy helping others save money as well!