Us Bacons are on a budget. Most people are, I suppose, but this is a fairly new commitment for us. We have gone through periods of extreme saving throughout the span of our marriage, but never quite had details set in stone to stick to. It’s hard to fully follow through with something when you don’t have specific goals in mind.
So the second week of January (we were a little behind the curve on timing), we sat down and budgeted every dollar (thank you, Dave Ramsey). Our short-term goal? Pay off debt. Our long-term goal? Buy a house in the next 3-5 years.
Naturally, we are looking for any and every way to save. I saw a friend of mine post about a rebate app on Facebook, and I would have never guessed that within about 1 week I would have made $101… and not even off rebates.
To disclaim from the front end, no one is paying me to review this app or to promote it. I just really am impressed with the concept of the app and how simple it was to make money. Additionally, there really are no “catches” or “hidden fine print”. If there were I would not have the nerve to post this! I have explained below how to use the app and to make the most money off of it. *Disclaimer over*
The app is called Ibotta. When I first learned of the app, I was hesitant to even download it because we shop mostly Aldi (a post on how much I’ve come to adore Aldi over time coming soon…) and Aldi is not a supported store for Ibotta rebates. However, they have nearly almost any other grocer and pharmacy you can think of. There are many from all over the country. Specifically in Chicagoland, they have rebates from Walmart, Mariano’s, Jewel, Meijer, CVS, Walgreens, Target, Whole Foods, the list goes on…
Although they didn’t have the store we shopped at the most, I decided to download the app anyways to check it out, since we do occasionally go to Jewel, and live about 4 blocks from a CVS pharmacy.
I was pretty amazed at the rebates I was finding. The lowest I could find was $0.25 and the highest was $6.00 They carry rebates for tons of standard grocery items, types of alcohol (I’ve noticed those have the highest rebates), medicines, baby products, cleaning supplies, and more! They even have rebates on Seventh Generation products and Hyland’s baby products (such as Nighttime Tiny Cough Syrup, or Tiny Cold Teething Tablets). [[Side note- I will disclaim that I have noticed that some rebates come and go. So while these are current rebates available, by the time you read this I have no guarantee they will still be available. I was very sad that I only had 1 opportunity to earn $1 back from Ben & Jerry’s icecream!]]
Anyways, check out the app yourself if you’re curious to see some of the rebates they offer. But I have included 2 screenshots so you can get a (small) sample of the vast amounts of rebates available. I will then explain how to use/earn with the app.
How to use the app for redeeming rebates:
After downloading and signing up (WHICH… STAY TUNED TIL THE END FOR $10 FREE CODE), search any store for rebates, or search for any specific product. You can see the search bar in the pictures I posted above.
From there, click on the rebate you would like to redeem. This (for example) will pop up. Click “Unlock $x.xx Cash Back” (insert whatever the rebate amount is for “x”)
Occasionally they will ask you a random poll question such as (in this scenario) “When do you and your family most enjoy eating a bowl of cereal?” Options: For breakfast, as an afternoon snack, for dessert, while watching tv. (If you’re curious, I legitimately enjoy eating cereal in all of these scenarios. But I choose “for breakfast” to appear to be normal…)
From here, you can see that the rebate has been unlocked. Also note the expiration date of the rebate. You must use it before this date (each expiration is different).
Now. IMPORTANT- YOU MUST UNLOCK THE REBATES YOU WANT TO USE BEFORE GOING SHOPPING.
AGAIN- YOU MUST UNLOCK THE REBATES YOU WANT TO USE BEFORE GOING SHOPPING.
(repeated for emphasis)
**EDIT**- Ironically after being so emphatic someone informed me that they have been able to use receipts retroactively (in other words, did not unlock the deals before purchase). But I also know two people that have tried this thus far and it has not worked. So feel free to try it- no guarantee it will work though!
Anyways, moving on. Next, do your shopping. BE SURE TO SAVE YOUR RECEIPT. I was not in the habit of this until very recently, so this takes some extra effort on my part.
When you arrive home, click the “verify purchases” option within the app. You should be able to then select all of the rebates you have unlocked. Sometimes will have to scan the barcode of each item, sometimes you will not. If you do have to do this, this should take you about 2 seconds per item, because it matches the bar code very very quickly.
Your last step is to scan your receipt (which you will see an option for). For some stores, you just scan the QR code for the receipt. Mariano’s has a very cool option where you just link your card to the app and you don’t even have to scan the receipt since your card automatically tracks your purchases for rebates.
Now, please note that you must hit a balance of earning a minimum of $20.00 before cashing out with PayPal or Venmo. If you prefer a gift card to a retailer, you must wait until hitting $25. This doesn’t take very long to do, especially after first signing up. You can choose gift cards from Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Express, iTunes, or a few other options.
How did I earn $101 in a week? Upon signing up through my friend’s referral and redeeming my first rebate, I received $10 free. That’s already halfway to cashing out at $20. If you sign up in the month of January, you can get an additional $2. These are redeemed through the “Bonus” section of the app. As I just mentioned, the $10 free does not come through until you redeem your first rebate within 30 days **EDIT- this rule has since changed. The new rule is that you must redeem your first rebate within 14 days**. So basically, you can start with $12 free once redeeming your first rebate. That’s already 60% of your way to being able to cash out at $20.
Then, I redeemed some more rebates over the course of the past 9 days. But the most lucrative thing that I did with this app was to SHARE IT WITH OTHERS. Get your own referral code under the “invite friends” tab and put the link on your facebook page or text it to friends. I can honestly say before this I had never once in my life promoted an app. But with each referral, the person you refer gets the free $10, and you receive $5 once they redeem their first rebate. So they get $10, you get $5. Everyone wins! Who doesn’t want to save on groceries? And who doesn’t want $10 free dollars? I have shared this app with quite a few people, so that is where I made most of my money the last 9 days. It took VERY little effort on my part. And you’re not inconveniencing anyone or asking them to do you favors. You are benefiting them by giving them $10 from your referral, in addition to the hundreds of rebates they can unlock to save money on everyday items.
Here is a screen shot of some people who used my referral code and the money they got back from rebates. As you can see, someone saved as low as $0.50 in one shopping trip, while someone else saved as high as $9.25 in one shopping trip. Amazing!
So if you would like to try Ibotta to save on groceries and pharmacy items, use this link with my referral code for the $10 free! Then we both can save. If you have any questions, comment below or contact me directly.
And YES, I have successfully redeemed my $101 with no fees. I had it sent $71 to my PayPal on Saturday (two days ago) and the money has already come through. Today I sent an additional $31, which is still pending.
So that, my friends, is how I made $101 in 1 week.
GET THE APP HERE (includes my referral for the $10 free)
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