Savvy shoppers know how to clip coupons and pair them up with store deals for even bigger bargains. But if you haven’t learned how to earn cash back on your grocery shopping, you’re missing out on serious savings.
There are a variety of cash-back sites that will pay you for buying certain items at participating retailers. This is a great way to earn a little extra cash on purchases you were planning on making anyway.
8 Ways to Earn Cash Back on Your Grocery Shopping
Use these websites, apps, and resources to help you earn cash back on your grocery and household shopping.
Ibotta. Ibotta is an app available for iOS and Android that pays you cash back on a variety of purchases from groceries to restaurants. Simply purchase the qualifying items, submit your receipts and collect the cash. Ibotta also offers bonuses when you and your friends complete special shopping challenges using Ibotta. Ibotta has a variety of ways to cash out that include Paypal and e-gift cards, and you can usually get paid after you’ve earned $5 to $10 in cash back.
Checkout 51. Checkout 51 is a cash back app that pays you when you buy select grocery items. You have to earn $20 before you can get a check from Checkout 51, but they do frequently offer cash back for products you really find coupons for such as milk, bread, and fresh fruits and vegetables. This app doesn’t require you to shop at a specific store, which makes it very appealing to those of us with limited shopping options.
Receipt Hog. Snap a picture of your receipts to be entered into sweepstakes and to earn coins that can be used for sweepstakes entries or turned into cash via Paypal or Amazon gift cards. The best part of this program is you can snap receipts from just about anywhere for just about anything.
BerryCart. BerryCart is a smartphone app that allows you to earn cash back on organic, gluten-free and non-GMO foods. This is a great way for all of you who are choosing to avoid certain foods whether it’s for personal reasons or due to food allergies. You can choose to get your cash back via Paypal or through an e-gift card.
Shopmium. Shopmium is a smartphone app sponsored by Coupons.com that allows you to earn cash back on select purchases. Purchase the select products, scan the barcode and snap a picture of your receipt, and your cash back will go to your Paypal or bank account.
Walmart Savings Catcher. Scan the QR code on your Walmart store receipt using the Walmart Savings Catcher app or enter your receipt number on the Walmart Savings Catcher website. Walmart will search to see if you could have gotten any items cheaper elsewhere and if so, they’ll pay you the difference. There are a few restrictions on what you can earn, and you can decide whether to get your cash back on an American Express Bluebird card or on a Walmart e-gift card (both of which can be used online or in stores).
National Consumer Panel. If you’re eligible for this program, all you’ll have to do is scan in your receipts from all your purchases and answer brief surveys on your shopping experiences. You’ll spend about an hour a week doing this, and in return, you can turn points you’ve earned into rewards.
Ebates. Ebates is one of the most popular cash-back sites on the web, but most people only think about it when they shop online for electronics, toys or travel. But you can earn cash back on your groceries and household goods by using Ebates to shop for those items at places like Walmart.com, Target.com, and Amazon. Ebates pays cash quarterly, plus you can get bonuses for referring friends.
Tips for maximizing your cash back earnings
Once you’ve decided to implement cash back sites into your grocery shopping strategy, you’ll want to make the most of those savings. So here are a few more tips:
- Keep using those coupons. Keep using coupons and matching them up with deals because you can still earn cash back on your purchases. For example, I used a buy one, get one free coupon for bread to get a great deal on two loaves of bread at my grocery store. Then I submitted my purchase to a cash back site to make it an even better deal.
- Submit your receipts right away. Some cash back programs require you to submit your receipts within 3 to 7 days of purchase. If you forget to submit your receipt within the required timeframe, you’re leaving money on the table. Make it a habit to submit those receipts the same day as you make your purchase.
- Save your receipts until you get paid. The picture of the receipt you sent to make your claim may seem clear to you but might not to others. Keep your receipt until you get paid in case you need to re-submit a claim.
- Get your friends to sign up. Most of the cash back sites have referral programs that pay you for each friend or family member you get to sign up. In addition, some apps, like Ibotta pay you and your friends bonuses when the friends you refer use the app.
- Sign up for e-mail alerts. You’ll get the latest information on hot new cash back earning opportunities as well as any changes programs may make to their terms of service.
- Remember to use those rewards before they expire. Make sure that you know the terms of each cash back site you use so that you don’t lose out on any cash back earnings.
- Use a rewards credit card. Shop for your groceries and household goods with a credit card that rewards you with cash back or points that you can use to earn gift cards and other merchandise to help you save money. Just remember that you must pay your credit card bill in full each month or the interest you’ll get charged will negate any savings.
- Get cash back from multiple sources. This is my absolute favorite money-saving tip for cash back sites. You can sometimes double or even triple dip on your cash-back earnings. For example, you may find that a gallon of milk has rebates on more than one of these cash-back apps. Submit your receipt to each one and rake in the savings.
Using a cash back site to save on groceries is just one of many simple strategies you can use to make your household budget stretch further. If you’re looking for more information on trimming your food budget, get our free e-book, Northern Cheapskate’s Guide to Saving on Groceries. It talks about how to use coupons and other smart shopping strategies to save money on food.
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