Here’s an easy way to make some extra cash back on grocery and shopping. And here’s $10 to get you started (not a scam, I promise it’s a nothing-to-lose game).
I don’t know about you, but shopping (as in going to a mixed-use or grocery store) is not my most favorite things to do in the world. I get bored easily after walking one round. After all, why would Amazon Prime become so successful? I truly believe that it was invented by folks like me and for a guy like me.
But mrsRandom loves to go around and around the stores. And I do like to spend time with her. So we go walking in the stores quite often. Surely there’s something more that I can do while walking, right? Just like any regular guy out there, I reach out to my phone a lot and check my emails. But that gets old, I’m usually always up to date anyway.
I wished that there was a “real-life game” I can play, kind of like scavenger hunt that mrsRandom approves. On the other hand, she loves getting discounts. If only there’s an app that marry the two… well, there is! It’s called Ibotta. Ding ding ding ding ding!
How the game works
- Search for merchant in Ibotta app
- Add items
- Scan barcode to confirm cash back eligibility (optional step)
- Scan receipt
- Get cash back
More detailed version:
Here’s how I play the game. Let’s say we are in Target. I go search for Target on the app and start browsing through the deals. I ask my wife, “Honey, let me see your shopping list. I’ll help you get the items”. Then I start to hunt.
In this case, we were shopping for Probiotic drink. The app mentioned that you can get 45 cents back on KeVita. I used the app to scan the barcode to confirm (and it was confirmed). Sweet, one down!
Track your net worth for free! Sign up and download the app now.
I continued moving down the shopping list. Sometimes you get lucky that the item in your list is also listed in Ibotta (meaning you can get some cash back). But often times, the particular brand is not exactly what you or your spouse wants. This is the art of influencing your loved one, “Honey, what about this brand? We can get 70 cents back to bring the cost lower”. Sometimes it works, often time it doesn’t.
But hey, the point is to have fun and get cash back while playing a scavenger hunt. It’s a win-win situation, nobody loses.
Things to remember
Don’t forget to add the item in your Ibotta app (a button click on the item you browse in the app). You may be required to watch a short video or answer a quick survey to get the item added for potential cash back. But this is a relatively quick and painless process.
After you are done hunting around and shooting bar codes, you continue to pay in cashier’s station as usual. Of course you want to use the right card to pay to get some extra cash back. Some cards like Chase Freedom offers 5% cash back on grocery on rotating promotional months.
The last (most important) part of the process is to scan your receipt using the app (it basically take a series of pictures of your receipt). Make sure that the item, price, date, and merchant are displayed clearly on the scan. I usually do this before leaving the store, get done with, and move on. Read Ibotta’s How it Works page for more details.
A couple hours later (sometimes minutes nowadays), I got a notification on my phone. Cha ching! I got $1.40 in my Ibotta account. I had fun doing this, my wife got the goods, and we got cash back.
Once your account reaches $20, you can withdraw the money using PayPal or Venmo.
You might be asking yourself, geez it will take a while before I can reach $20. Here’s one way to speed it up. Use this promotional code to get $10 Welcome Bonus from Ibotta just by opening an account. Collecting $10 in cash back is much easier than $20, it’s a smaller bump to go through to cash it out.
By the way, you can use Ibotta on more than just grocery and physical stores. It’s also usable for online stores, such as eBay and Groupon. More ways to earn cash back.
Have fun while shopping. And get cash back while doing it! But remember, don’t overspend on things that you don’t need just to get the cash back. Only use this on the items that you need to buy anyway. After all, we’re all trying to retire early, but go ahead and have a little fun during the journey.
Updates: April 23rd, 2018
We just claimed $100 from Sears yesterday through Ibotta! (15% off in store purchase in Sears). We needed a new mattress and was shopping around in Sears. We were able to stack $20 Sears coupon on the deal (as well as $9 of our existing Sears point).
After adding Sears to my deal through Ibotta, I simply scanned the receipt and within 24 hours later, $100 cash back was deposited in my account! This is definitely a sweet deal to bring the cost of goods significantly lower.