It seems like every week we hear about food prices going up again. First, beef prices. Then, it was milk and eggs. Now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that the price of fresh fruits and vegetables will rise 6% in the coming months. That’s due in part to California’s historic drought. (See 29 ways to keep your fresh produce fresher for longer!)
Although there are price hikes in every corner of your supermarket, there are still ways to stretch your dollar. Utilizing your grocery store’s weekly circular, reducing food waste, and clipping coupons are just a few of the strategies to keep costs under control. And technology can come to the rescue too...
Here are 3 apps that are bringing supermarket savings into the digital age
Ibotta is an app that provides rebates on a number of retail items, but you’ll find the most savings opportunities at national and regional grocery stores.
After downloading the app, you can complete simple tasks to unlock rebates. The tasks include watching videos, taking polls, playing trivia, and learning facts about products. Most tasks will save between 25 and 75 cents on items that change frequently.
Several grocery stores in my area partner with Ibotta. They currently offer rebates on items such as milk, fresh meats, salad, frozen dinners, ground coffee, and even some generics.
After shopping, verify your purchases by uploading your receipt using your smartphone. Once you’ve earned $5 in rebates, you can have the cash transferred to a PayPal account or you can use it to buy a gift card from various retailers.
Checkout 51 works a bit differently than Ibotta. It features a new list of about 20 offers every Thursday morning. They include rebates on items you don’t normally find coupons for, such as tomatoes, strawberries, and bananas. There are no tasks to complete with Checkout 51. Just shop at any store where the items are sold and upload your receipt when you get home. You’ll get a check in the mail once your account balance reaches $20.
Like Checkout 51, the rebate offers on Shopmium can be redeemed at any store where the products are sold. Chobani Greek Yogurt, Naked Juice, Thomas’ Bagels, and Sabra Hummus are among the items currently available. Rebates range from 25 cents to more than a dollar.
After verifying your purchases by scanning the product’s barcode and uploading your receipt, your rebate will be automatically deposited into your PayPal account. There’s no minimum needed for a payout.
All 3 of these cash back apps are available for both Apple and Android devices. They’re also free, so it doesn’t hurt to give them a shot. Remember, these are rebates, not coupons. That means you can combine these offers with traditional or digital coupons to maximize your savings. Also, check your weekly circular to see if any of the items featured on these apps are on sale.
Are you changing your shopping habits due to rising food prices? Write in and let me know!
About the author: Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years when he was 27. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, Save on Almost Everything.