The Ins and Outs of Shopping Rebate Apps
I have been holding out on a secret with you. Well, not really. But I have been “testing” some apps and discovering that just by using them I am making over $80 a month simply from grocery shopping by using these grocery shopping rebate apps. As you know, I like to test things out and research them before sharing it with you, but it’s time to tell you about these so you have the chance to increase your monthly income by about $80 or so too! How I like to view this is that it is nearly a week’s worth of groceries for our family of 8. So by just putting in a few minutes for each shopping trip, we are basically eating for free one week out of each month!
Basically, when I grocery shop, I am able to get money for buying (sometimes just scanning) certain items on these shopping rebate apps. It is offered on several different apps, and many items crossover onto many apps, meaning I can get paid two even three times for the same product. They are basically shopping rebate apps, but for items you buy in the grocery store.
The cool part is that I am not changing the way I grocery shop…much.
What do I mean? Well, many of the grocery items are for things I am already buying, which is mostly natural, organic options and produce. There is a surprising number of these items offered on these shopping rebate apps, along with the popular name-brand items.
My top three favorite categories are the ones that give me a lot of freedom in my shopping.
Category #1: I get paid to by any brand options like the following:
- Make $0.25 on any brand milk
- Make $0.25 on any brand cheese
- Make $0.25 on any brand eggs
- Make $0.25 on any brand ketchup
- Make $0.25 on any brand cereal
- Make $0.25 on any brand bread
- and so on…
Category #2: My other favorites are the ones that pay me to buy produce – conventional or organic. It will say something like:
- Make $0.25 when you buy onions
- Make $0.25 when you buy bell peppers
- Make $0.25 when you buy bananas
- Make $0.25 when you buy apples
- and so on…
You will notice that the “any brand” or the “fresh produce” options seem to pay lower in comparison to “name brand” rebates; the payouts on name-brand items are generally much higher – like 4-8 times higher ($1-$2 payout). However, for my family, I simply buy the items I had originally planned to buy (from categories #1 and #2) and still make $3-$5 on these items every time I shop with these shopping rebate apps.
Category #3: Getting paid for shopping for household items.
This is the only category where I let the savings dictate, or rather decide, what I am going to buy, which is what I meant above when I said I am not changing the way I grocery shop…much. If it wasn’t for the savings, shopping and rebates I would probably be buying the cheap, generic brands. But I can get name brands for less with store sales and coupons, plus get paid for buying them too! This is for the items like tissues, toilet paper, sandwich bags, etc. Yes, we pretty much have a different brand of TP in our home every couple of weeks as the brand or type of household product I buy is influenced by these shopping rebate apps.
Finally, if you are a name-brand, coupon shopper, you will make MUCH more when you grocery shop and get paid through these shopping rebate apps because many of the items are for the name-brand items that often have the coupons and sales to go with it.
How do the shopping rebate apps work?
- Before shopping decide which products you might be buying and “add” that rebate to your shopping list. It does not mean you have to buy it. I add many more items than I actually buy for the “just in case” option.
- Then shop like you had planned.
- After shopping “verify” or redeem your rebates on your different apps. Open each app, click on “verify” or “redeem” and then just take pictures of your receipt. If you purchased any name-brand items, you will also need to take a picture of the bar code.
- Click submit and wait for your money to appear in your account.
- Cash out via PayPal or gift card!
It’s really that simple and takes me about 10 extra minutes when I get home from the grocery store, while I am putting groceries away. It also takes me about 10-20 minutes before shopping to select the foods I might buy. I actually have my kids help with this. They love to go through the list of potential rebates and select those options for me.
Why would they pay me to shop?
It’s much of the same idea behind coupons. It motivates and encourages you to buy their product. It raises brand awareness, it is a much cheaper form of advertising than traditional forms of advertising, etc.
Many of the offers and shopping rebate apps require you to answer a quick question like this one (so they are basically paying you for market research in this case):
Some of the offers have a picture of a new product and recipe idea, or a 15-second commercial.
In all of this regard, they are advertising directly to the customer and rewarding the customer directly with this new form of advertising in the age of mobile apps.
So now I am going to show you the BEST grocery rebate apps with the highest payouts and I am going to rank them in my personal favorite order with the BEST on top!
My pick for #1 “Get Paid To Shop” App – Ibotta (I make $30 monthly from shopping)
I love Ibotta. Perhaps it was because it was the first “get paid to shop” app that I downloaded and began using and I have used it for a while, but I just also find that they have the largest selection, the best overall payouts, and great bonuses to help me earn more monthly and really easy to use.
Here’s some of the examples of some of the rebates:
But I am not the only one to say that this is one of the best, countless others also say this one is the best.
Get Started $10 Bonus
To give you an idea of how high the payouts are on this “get paid to shop” app, they give all of their new users a $10 joining bonus. To get your bonus, just register and then download the Ibotta app using this link HERE. When you do so, you will also get a free $10 from joining through the link provided after you redeem your first rebate. So $10 in your pocket right away just from reading this post. ? Then just login before you go shopping and select which cash-back rebates you would like to take advantage of. I can even do this while in the grocery store.
I make the most from this app out of all of the shopping rebate apps. In 2015, I made about $20 a month. For the majority of 2016, I made $30 per month because I started paying better attention and taking advantage of the bonuses like “Verify 10 rebates and get an extra $5”, type of easy bonuses.
Join Ibotta HERE and receive a $10 Joining Bonus (or use bonus code: abqiri when joining)
I also wrote about Ibotta in my post about How I make $3,500 as a Stay-At-Home Mom.
My pick for #2 “Get Paid To Shop” App – Checkout51 (I make an extra $10-$15 a month)
I am placing Checkout51 in the second position probably because it was the second “get paid to shop” app that I downloaded and have used. I also make between $10-$20 a month from this app.
They do have “any brand” fresh produce/dairy items that I appreciate that double/triple-dip on.
This is the app that I make the most from the “household” category – meaning the toilet paper, tissues, diapers, etc. The payouts are like $1 – $2 on most household items.
So just a few of these a month, plus the “any brand” items I am already buying and I can bank some fast cash.
Also, they have an “extra” bonus for those that join as a welcome bonus through this link HERE.
My pick for #3 “Get Paid To Shop” App – SavingStar (I make an extra $10-$15 per month)
I am placing SavingStar as my #3 app. Although they have one “healthy offer of the week” rebate (generally a fresh produce item), I like this one for my coupon items as the rebates are large. I can combine these rebates with the store sales, in-store coupon, as well as manufacturer paper coupons or digital coupons. This means when my favorite store, Kroger, has a big Sargento rock-bottom sale, making them 3 for $5, I can stack manufacturer coupons, the sale and this rebate on the cheese and end up paying like 30% off the price! And on the other apps, when they have money off any brand cheese – this qualifies! That means MASSIVE savings and pay!
SavingStar has also been around for one of the longest of all of these apps. So it’s usage is quite sophisticated, including scanning the item attached to the rebate in-store to see if it qualifies for that rebate. This is helpful!
Join SavingStar HERE
My pick for #4 “Get Paid To Shop” App – ShopKick (I make about $10 a month extra)
This is my #4 pick for “Get Paid To Shop” apps. There are several ways to earn and get paid to shop on this app and I only use some of them and make about 1,600 “kicks” per month, which translates to about $10 extra a month. This means that 100 kicks equal about $0.40.
I use the scans and “walk-ins” regularly and the receipt kicks infrequently as most of the items are rarely on my shopping list. But while I am shopping, I don’t mind scanning a few items to make about $1 each trip.
In this example, the blue shows how many “kicks” for scanning and how many “kicks” for purchasing. The toilet paper scan kicks and purchase kicks are yet another way to double/triple-dip on those household items as the same one is also offered on the other shopping rebate apps too.
Here is an example of walking into a store and getting “kicks” just for walking in! Since it is worth 300 kicks, that is about $1.20 just for walking into the store!
You can also connect your debit/credit and earn a lot faster. We primarily use cash when shopping in-store (and debit online), so I haven’t used this aspect of ShopKick. Although I trust the app, I am not sure if it is really worth connecting my debit/credit card to track my purchases and pay me more. For me, that just isn’t worth it. I am happy with $10 extra per month for the other 3 activities.
Join ShopKick HERE
My pick for #5 “Get Paid To Shop” App – MobiSave (I make about $5 a month extra)
My favorite part of the MobiSave app is that they too pay me to buy “any brand” products. However, the payout is only $0.10 in most cases, as compared to Ibotta and Checkout51 where they are $0.25-$0.50. HOWEVER, this is where I can “triple-dip.” If I am buying bananas and Checkout51 gives me $0.50, Ibotta $0.25 and MobiSave $0.10, I can earn $0.85 in total for my bananas. With bananas at $0.55 per lb in my area – this is a free 1.5 lb of bananas nearly each month. This is just one example of triple dipping, but it happens often with many items.
Here are some of those examples:
They also have a number of other foods, which are occasionally on my shopping list for that much extra!
Join MobiSave HERE
My pick for #6 “Get Paid To Shop” App – BerryCart (I make about $2 a month)
When I first found this app, I was so excited. Why? Well, every item on this one is a natural, organic grocery item. This is the bulk of my shopping. But I realized that after downloading, my “natural and organic” shopping primarily comes in the form of fresh foods and then I buy rice, oats, quinoa, and more in bulk.
So I don’t end up making a lot from this app because it is primarily natural and organic “convenience” foods. However, I still earn from this and since it just takes me an extra minute, I still use it. I just wish there were more offers for the more affordable natural and organic brands.
When I do end up getting paid for one of the items on this app’s list, it’s generally because it was on sale or markdown and I had a paper coupon, in addition, to get this convenient item much cheaper (but still not as cheap as buying fresh and making homemade). When those natural and organic sales, coupons and rebate stars align and it fits in my budget, I can’t lie and say I don’t appreciate these convenience foods in my freezer to feed everyone fast on a busy (or a bad) day. 🙂
I still like this app and highly recommend it, I just wish I could move it all the way to the top. But, I just can’t!
Join Berry Cart HERE
My pick for #7 “Get Paid To Shop” App – ShopMium (I make about $1 a month)
This app works similar to Ibotta, Checkout51, and Mobisave except that the selection is about 1/10th that of Ibotta. So there are not many items on their list that are on my shopping list. It does happen, although not as often as I wish. The products are also name-brand products, so when there is a sale and coupon I can use with the rebate, it results in a stellar deal! It’s just not that often!
And Shopium is giving you a sign-on bonus. Instead of cash though, your sign-on bonus is Chocolate. HELLO!
To get your free Lindt Chocolate Bar for joining, use this link and apply code: AKEYHUHE when you register!
My pick for #8 “Get Paid To Shop” App – Receipt Hog (I earn about $2 per month)
I would move this one higher up because it is the easiest app in the world to earn from however it does seem to take a while to earn enough to cash out – thus, the lower placement on my list.
All you have to do is quickly snap a picture of your receipts – every receipt. No matter how big or small, no matter the store, restaurant, gas station, etc. This is one app where you can earn from literally every single purchase. There are no restrictions or requirements that I am aware of in terms of when, where, how much, etc. Any and all receipts qualify.
You earn between 5-20 virtual coins when you snap a picture of each receipt. These virtual coins equate to about a value of $0.50 per 100 coins. You can cash out via Amazon gift card or PayPal when you have at least 1,000 coins (or $5 worth).
The reason why it is at the bottom of the list is, that although it is the easiest app to earn from on our list, as a result, it takes longer to earn. The other apps are able to reward you more because of the brand or store sponsoring the pay rate. That means a higher payout.
For Receipt Hog, I am not entirely sure who is sponsoring the payment, except that they collect the information for market research and are paid based on the research they collect to monitor consumers habits. So because it is so generic with no guaranteed profit for any store or brand, it will take longer to earn. But it is easy! I still use it and cash out my $5 every 2-3 months!
Join Receipt Hog HERE
In the end, I get paid around $80 a month to do my grocery shopping. For our family, this is nearly a week’s worth of groceries! That’s a HUGE blessing and a nice gift for about 10-20 minutes of extra work each shopping trip.
I assume that as time goes on, retailers and food brands are going to continue to find that their marketing and advertising dollars go much further by paying us as consumers directly. As a result, I think these offers and additional shopping rebate apps will continue to pop up and become even more profitable for those who use them. I am looking forward to getting paid even more in the future!
If this list is overwhelming for you, start with Ibotta first as it has the highest payout. Once you are comfortable and accustomed to the process, add the other shopping rebate apps in to add to your paycheck!
I already use the first three and the last one, Receipt HOG, has a waiting list. I am eager to check out the other ones you mentioned! Thanks!!
Hi Jill! Thanks for the head’s up on Receipt Hog. I didn’t realize they had a waiting list. We’ve been using it since August of 2016, so not sure when they had to start a waiting list. Will you get an email when you can join? Or what did it say?
Any idea if these work in Canada? Thanks for sharing these sites.
Thanks, I hadn’t heard of a few of these
Jenny|Running On Life
I love this. I use Ibotta all the time but really didn’t know there were other apps like it. I’ll be checking those out now!
You should add Fetch Rewards to this list. You get point for each receipt you upload, additional points for certain brands (there were 194 brands listed today). You can then trade your point for gift cards and other goodies.
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Hello. I would also like to create such an application. How much will it cost to develop and test it?
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What a great resource! Thanks for putting this list together.
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I loved your shop apps review. I have a small internet grocery store and I think I need this app. Do you know if you can develop it for me right now?
Sabina, without a proper task set for them, most likely they will create whatever they like, according to their understanding of what the shop’s app design must look like. Can be something different from what you really want. I would check https://orangesoft.co/blog/mobile-app-design-process and read an article about what is included in the design process of an app.