I used to be big into extreme couponing! When my husband and I first got married, I was unemployed. My husband was in graduate school and worked as a shift leader at Blockbuster until after midnight most nights. So, I spent roughly twenty hours per week reading sales ads, matching coupons to sales, and shopping at three different stores. My friends made fun of my endless stash of toothpaste and toilet paper but I was convinced that super couponing was worth the effort.
However, as our family grew and our eating habits changed I began to have a few problems with couponing:
- Coupons are mostly for name brand products. I can usually buy generics for the same price or cheaper than the name brand with a coupon (especially when factoring in the cost of the paper I bought to get the coupons).
- Coupons usually don’t cover produce, dairy products, and meat. As we have begun to eat healthier, I have begun purchasing less pre-packaged boxed and frozen foods.
- Couponing takes time. As a busy mom of two, I don’t have the time to go to multiple stores and spend hours cutting coupons and planning my shopping trips.
Even though I love a good deal, I gave up on couponing for three years. That is when I discovered the Ibotta app and the Kroger app.
I primarily shop at Kroger because it is adjacent to our apartment complex and it seems to have a decent produce department. I save time by only going shopping at one store one time per week.
I downloaded the Kroger app, which features digital coupons and the weekly ad. When I downloaded the app, I linked the app to my Kroger Plus card. Each Friday, I go through the digital coupons and simply add the ones I want to use to my Kroger card by clicking the plus sign next to the desired coupon. When I go shopping at Kroger, I just swipe my Kroger Plus card and the coupon is automatically applied to my purchase. No clipping or extra time at the register required. My favorite part of the Kroger digital coupons is that they have a Free Item Coupon that you may download each Friday and redeem up to a week later.
I know many of my readers shop at other stores, so research your grocery store to see if a similar app is available.
Ibotta is a rebate app. Before I go shopping, I just select the store I wish to go to and browse the available rebates. I simply click on rebates I may use, answer a survey question or watch a brief video, and unlock the rebate. When I purchase the item, I simply scan my receipt (select stores allow you to link your store purchasing card to eliminate this step). After your rebate total becomes greater than $20 you can cash out to your paypal account or get a gift card to several popular stores.
Each week, Ibotta features a few “Any Brand” rebates such as $.50 off any brand of milk, eggs, or bananas. I buy mostly generic brands, so I appreciate this feature. They also offer bonuses when you redeem a certain number of rebates. In less than one month, I earned $35 in rebates simply by buying items I would otherwise buy.
If you sign up through my link, you will receive a $10 bonus when you redeem your first rebate and I will receive $5.
What ways do you like to save money that don’t take much time or effort?