Over the last year I’ve taken a closer look at our finances and tried to find even more places to trim back and save a dime. I knew we would be going down to one salary and wanted to make sure we were not only able to make ends meet but also to make progress towards our savings goals.
One surprisingly fruitful avenue has been through various apps that help you both save money through coupons and promotions and even help you MAKE money. One of my favorite apps is Ibotta; a cash back for groceries app.
Ibotta was launched in 2011, so frankly, I’m a little late to the party.
If you haven’t used Ibotta before it’s a free app (ios and android) that gives you cash back on select grocery items for completing a small task, like answering a question or watching a video, and uploading a picture of your receipt.
The tasks generally take less than 30 seconds a piece and the cash back usually ranges from $.20 to $2.00 per item. Ibotta actually helps you make money instead of save it.
Why I like Ibotta:
Quick, Easy Cash: I started using Ibotta in March of 2015 and as of November 29th, I’ve earned $118.75… Or about $15 a month.
I like to think about that $15 a month as $4,406 towards Caleb’s college education!
(Calculation: $15/month at 2% interest every month for 18 years).
Bonuses: Ibotta rewards serious users with monthly cash bonuses. The monthly bonus is earned by reaching that months individual and team redemption thresholds. Every month has different thresholds and different amounts of cash bonuses. For example, the thresholds in June were $8/$15 for the level 1 bonus of $1. So, if you earn $8 in cash rebates and your team earns $15 then you will get a $1 bonus. Lately, the bonus thresholds have been structured a little differently. This month (November) you must redeem 12 rebates over $.25 and your team must earn $10 in rebates to earn the $2 bonus. Most fresh food rebates are worth less than $.25, basically you must redeem 12 non-fresh food rebates to earn the bonus.
Processed Foods: Recently Ibotta has shifted from cash back on processed foods only to offering cash back on both processed and fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, milk, and cheese. While this is great, the cash back is minimal at $.20 per item, whereas the cash back for most processed foods is at least $.50.
Unnecessary Spending: I’m a sucker for a good deal and consequently I’ve ended up purchasing a few things that really we didn’t need and that I usually would have passed on. The lesson I’ve learned is that a good deal is only good if it’s something you actually need and would have bought anyways. Ibotta definitely tempts me to buy things I don’t need!
Payout Threshold: Ibotta requires at least a $10 balance before you can cash out by transferring money to PayPal. Considering how many fresh food deals are available, this should be easy enough for most people to reach in just a few months.
Have you tried Ibotta? What’s your take?