My 3 Go-To Apps
Plus, Bonus Recommendation
I’ll first start off by saying, none of these apps will help supplement your income in any way—that’s not the point. The goal, or at least mine, is to help with groceries, which is one of my largest budgeted areas, in even the smallest way. While working on my New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve started putting together a budget plan as well. While I can’t take these apps into consideration while planning my budget, they will at some point help. One of these apps gives you direct cash rebates that you can redeem from Paypal (how perfect is that?!) and the other two are built on points which you can then redeem for different gift cards (I’ll be redeeming for Amazon gift cards).
How I’m Planning My Grocery Budget
I’m still in the beginning stages of working it all out, but I plan on using 15% percent of my paycheck for groceries. This will not include pull-ups, diapers, dog food (that’s a whole separate budget with 5 large dogs!), or any other “household” products. I’m talking strictly food and drinks (again, not going to include our wine habit). Since our meal boxes from Marley Spoon have been delicious, I’ll continue those, but possibly on a once a month basis instead of a weekly basis like I’ve been doing.
Side note: We’ve tried all sorts of home delivery meal kits, and although Marley Spoon is a few dollars more than others, we feel like the recipes and ingredients are way better than others.
Okay, so I also have an Amazon Chase card, which I plan on using for food (such as Whole Foods 365 products) as well as gas and other expenses. This means I’ll start racking up Amazon points, giving me EXTRA bonus help for later food expenses. Plus, during my recent Christmas shopping, I noticed Amazon has an offer going on that when you chose “No Rush” delivery, they give you $5 credit towards your Whole Food online order. You do have to be a Prime Member, but at this day in age, who isn’t!? Of course, if you are THAT person, you can always try Prime for free for 30 days.
Grocery Budget Conclusion
So basically, I’ll start by planning my recipes out, starting by going through our pantry and using up whatever we already have. Then, write out a menu that includes budget-friendly recipes. I’ve already started with some from 100 Days of Real Food on a Budget. She’s put together an all-in-one book that goes through everything you need to know about other budgeting apps and all the delicious budget-friendly recipes. I’ve already started making my own granola each week instead of buying cereal! While doing my grocery shopping, I’ll use my top 3 apps to submit my receipts in order to get rebates and points, along with any online Amazon shopping for points.
At some point, all depending on how much I shop, I’ll eventually be able to redeem my points for gift cards and rebate money. All of these will go directly towards my grocery budget—NOTHING ELSE. That’s the key. I’ve already had to explain this to my husband when he noticed we had credit on our Amazon card!
Money Saving Apps
Okay, let’s finally get into these apps I’ve bee talking about. I’ll start with the one I’ve been using the longest. Ibotta is a rebate back money app. Simply put, you search for grocery deals, clothing, electronics, etc. that you plan on purchasing, apply them to your account, and then once you’ve made your purchase, you submit a copy of your receipt and it applies the rebates to your account.
I wasn’t big into using this app when I first installed it, but have tried in the recent year to use it more. This coming year, it’s my goal to use it as much as possible and shop intentionally. As you can see, some months I’ve earned more, and some months I barely used the app. If you think about it, $24 that I earned in November can pay for a large box of diapers! I’ll take that any day, thank you very much.
As you can see, I have almost $200 that I can withdraw right now. I used some of my lifetime earnings earlier this year to pamper myself with a new haircut and color. Again, 2019 is going to be all about groceries, which will mean more money to put aside for other things.
I’ll add too that this app has bonuses too. Especially during holidays, you can earn even more when you purchase a certain number of items, or when your team (your friends that have the app will be a part of your team) reach a certain milestone. So there are more ways for you to earn even more money.
Here’s the best kind of app…one that earns you passive income (read: points). I only recently learned about Drop a few months ago, but I’ve already earned enough for two $5 Amazon gift cards, and then once one of my other purchases finally clears, that’ll be enough for five more $5 Amazon cards! With Drop, you simply link up your cards and it does the work for you.
Below is the screen that shows you Power Offers, which are continual offers, no need to select them. I use Walgreens a lot, which gives me 8 points per dollar, every time I shop there using a card that I’ve linked to Drop. Then there are deals that you can browse and add to your offers when you know you’ll be shopping there.
Then, just like the other apps, you can receive bonus points by referring friends, reaching certain milestones, and sometimes playing certain games. Right now, when you use my code (zfryu) when you sign up, you automatically receive 5,000 points, that’s $5 right there!
This app is brand spanking new to me. My friend referred me to it, and it’s super easy to use. As a minimum, all you have to do is submit a photo from your phone of your receipts. I’ve only been using it for a week and I already earned enough for a $3 Amazon card, plus I’m almost to a $5 one! Hey! Every bit helps, and it all adds up in the end. If you want a $3 card yourself, all you have to do is sign up here. They give you 3,000 points just for signing up with me. Then, just start submitting your receipts.
There are also add on points that you redeem before you shop and submit your receipt. While I’ve done just fine by submitting my receipts, I’ll occasionally take a look at the offers to see if there is anything that I would actually need to buy.
My Final Money Saving App Thoughts
There are SO many apps out there that reward you for shopping—I should know, I’ve just about tried them all! Through trial and error with a good number of them, these are my top picks that I hope will help me save a little bit on my grocery budget this coming year. Again, it’s not going to pay for my groceries each month, but I hope that at some point, I’ll save enough that maybe it’ll help pay for one month’s groceries. If done right, this might just happen.
Hope at least one of these apps will help you this coming year in saving, or help you purchase something nice for yourself! 🙂