Easy Ways to Save Money at the Grocery Store

I happen to be a pretty good couponer at the grocery store. Not extreme “I get $100 of stuff for a penny” type, but I save a good $20-$30 off a $100 bill each time I go. I’ll take it! These savings help me build up a stockpile of food that isn’t unmanageable, but will get us through about a week or two, should there be any sort of weather or disaster event. (I’d like to build up more, but that is another topic for another post!)

If paper coupons aren’t your thing and you are all digital, there are still ways to save money. For instance, only buy meat when its on deep discount, and store it in a deep freezer so you never pay a high price.

A super simple method I use all the time the involves only my phone is using rebate apps at the grocery store. You make your purchase, and depending on the store and app, you either take a picture of your receipt, or the app links to your store card to verify your purchases. We’ll talk about the 3 I use most often.

Ibotta

I have been using Ibotta the longest of any of the savings apps, and its probably one of the most well-known. Its available for both iPhone and Android, and has a pretty significant user base. In addition to grocery, Ibotta offers rebates on movie theaters, apparel, beauty, and more. The grocery offerings are particularly great because they offer rebates for any brand of a certain item. For example, earn 25 cents back when you purchase any brand orange juice.

You can cash out with Paypal when your balance reaches $20, which is easy to do with the Teamwork Bonuses offered. When your “team” (Facebook friends who also use Ibotta) reaches a certain dollar amount in rebates and you reach a certain number of rebates (this changes monthly), you can earn from 4 different levels of bonuses. The fastest way to reach these levels is to create a Facebook page specifically for Ibotta and join a group such as Ibotta Friends and Bonuses to add others who also use the app.

You can also earn $10 right off the bat after you submit your first rebate by entering code: ksjelw when you sign up!

SavingStar

SavingStar is another staples of my app-based rebate savings each week. If you shop on the weekends, there is a weekly freebie available each Friday through Sunday, such as a free ICE drink, KitKat, or Almond Joy. Each week also brings a brand new healthy offer, usually a percentage off on produce.

One great perk of SavingStar is that you can break out qualifying purchases over several shopping trips with “one or many” rebates. SavingStar keeps track of your purchases throughout your shopping trips and credits your account with the savings as soon as you’ve purchased the required amount.

With SavingStar, you can get paid out as soon as your reach $5 in savings, via Paypal, and you can also access your account on a computer instead of relying solely on the app.

Checkout 51

I don’t use Checkout 51 quite as often, but when I do, they have some pretty good offers. Every once in awhile they will do “any brand” type rebates, and they offer a “pick your own” offer each week for various produce, which is great since coupons don’t often come out for fresh fruits and veggies. Checkout 51 shows different people different offers, based on things you’ve claimed before. The more you claim, the more offers you will usually get.

The major downside to Checkout 51 is that for payout, you have to reach $20 and then you will be mailed a check, instead of being able to cash out with Paypal.

If you do use paper coupons, keep in mind that you can use both those AND rebates apps on the same item. Even different rebates apps can be used at the same time for the same item to add up to extra savings!

Alyssa Johnson