While we were getting out of debt, we did everything we could to cut our expenses and also ramp up our digital marketing side hustle in order to increase our income.
One of the things we did when we were getting out of debt was clip coupons. Nowadays, there are tons and tons of coupons everywhere.
- You can find coupons in the Sunday newspaper.
- You can find Catalina coupons mixed in with your receipt after checking out at the grocery store.
- You can search for coupons online for the specific products you buy using a browser extension like Honey.
- You can also use the Ibotta grocery coupon app to find coupons.
There was a time when I’d spend hours and hours clipping paper coupons from the newspaper and those I printed from the Internet in order to save a few bucks.
Instead of searching endlessly for hours, I use the Ibotta app.
UPDATE: Ibotta started charging an inactivity fee when I stopped using it this year because we signed up for a CSA and we weren’t going to the grocery store often, so I’ve stopped using it.
If you’re like me and you shop with a grocery list, you will LOVE Ibotta because it’s easy to locate coupons for the exact items I buy all the time.
Here’s how Ibotta works…
- You download the app.
- Link your loyalty card numbers to your Ibotta account.
- Select rebates for products within the Ibotta app.
- Buy the products.
- Scan your receipts.
- Ibotta will deposit your rebate into your account.
Instead of waiting to see what mystery coupons will be in the paper, I can simply open the Ibotta app, search for the product that’s on my grocery list, and then choose the corresponding rebate. (I can usually find a coupon for each shopping trip.)
After I earn at least $20 in rebates, I’m able to select a reward I like. I always choose to receive Amazon e-gift cards since it’s the first place I go to look for anything.
I love Ibotta because it makes coupon clipping a whole lot easier.
Since I’m using Ibotta to save money, I have a few tips for maximizing savings…
Tip #1: Make a List, Check it Twice
Before you open the app, make a shopping list.
If I don’t have a grocery list, I run the risk of buying a bunch of stuff I don’t really need, which defeats the purpose of having lists and clipping coupons. The same goes for the Ibotta app — it’s easy to swipe through rebates and select a bunch of rebates for stuff you don’t really need or that you don’t usually buy.
Tip #2: Find Rebates Before You Shop
Once you’ve made your grocery list, review the information in the Ibotta app before you shop.
Find rebates that correspond to your shopping list ahead of time so that you know which items have rebates and which items don’t; you might even put a little mark next to the items that have rebates. If I put items on the list that I don’t need for another week, I will wait it out to see Ibotta’s refreshed list of rebates.
Tip #3: Don’t Leave the Store After You’ve Finished Shopping
After you purchase your groceries, take a picture of your receipt using the Ibotta app before you leave the store. Taking a picture of your receipt is a must in order to qualify for the rebates and it’s easy to forget once you leave the store!
Tip #4: Avoid the Temptation of Using Too Many Coupons
This can happen with couponing. You see a bunch of coupons in the newspaper or on the app for things that you could buy, but they aren’t on your list. It seems like a good deal, a coupon for something that you might purchase in the future. But…do you really need that item today? Is it on your list? Couponing can be a slippery slope that inadvertently leads to overspending.