I have shared many tips on how to maximize savings when shopping.
At Target, you can stack paper coupons, store coupons and the Cartwheel app coupon, giving you triple savings. At Kroger, you can download a digital coupon to your loyalty card.
I encouraging participating in store reward programs, too. Rite Aid has Plenti points, CVS has extracare bucks, and Walgreens has Balance rewards. All of these programs help you get more for your money.
But what about rebate programs? The easiest way to use most of them is to download the apps. Here’s an example of three programs that I think are worth checking out.
▪ Ibotta is a free smartphone app that lets you earn real money for items you buy at Kroger and other stores. Currently, there is no policy against stacking paper coupons to maximize your savings.
When you open Ibotta, click on grocery (it alsos offer rebates on restaurants) and choose your store. Each store will include offers available everywhere but will sometimes have store-exclusive offers. Choose the offers you want, and they will be added to your pending list.
At checkout — you can buy the item at any of more than 50 retailers where Ibotta works — use your loyalty card or phone number, and the app will do the rest. Ibotta will verify your purchases and send you cash within 24 hours.
The best part about Ibotta is that you receive money, not points. To get your cash, link your Ibotta account with your PayPal account. Ibotta earnings can be transferred to PayPal as soon as you’ve earned $5. You also can take advantage of other cash-out options, including gift cards from iTunes, Redbox and Starbucks, among others.
Download the app enter referral code vr569g, and start saving.
▪ Checkout 51. After you check out Ibotta, move on to Checkout 51. You can use both.
One of the best parts about Checkout 51 is that you don’t have to have a smartphone. You can upload your receipts to your computer.
Here’s how it works: Use either the mobile app on iTunes or Android, or the Checkout 51 website. Flip through the offers and buy products at any store. Checkout 51 will confirm your purchase and credit your account. When you have $20 in your account, Checkout 51 will mail you a check.
New offers go live each Thursday. The offers expire the following Wednesday. You must submit your receipts while the offers are live. Offers are available in limited quantities. You may only upload each receipt one time.
Items bought from Amazon and other online retailers are eligible for cash back. Save the packing slips for your proof of purchase.
▪ Saving Star. By giving Saving Star your ZIP code, you will learn about stores near you that are offering deals. Enter your store loyalty card numbers for double savings. SavingStar has specific deals on specific days: There’s a healthy offer on Tuesdays and a freebie on Fridays. Your savings go directly into your Saving Star account, and it can be deposited into your bank or PayPal account, onto an Amazon gift card, or as a donation to American Forest.
Other rebate apps
▪ BerryCart: Save on organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegetarian foods.
▪ MobiSave: Similar to Ibotta and Checkout 51.
▪ Snap by Groupon: Also similar to Ibotta and Checkout 51.
Other savings with rebate programs:
▪ Print out a $3 coupon Gillette Venus Razor Pack at Coupons.com. Check your Ibotta for $3 off. The offer expires Friday.
▪ Print out $2 off two Tone body washes at Coupons.com. Buy Tone body wash at Walmart for $2.92 each. Submit a 75 cents off Ibotta deposit plus a bonus Ibotta deposit of 50 cents off, making your cost $1.30 each.
▪ Print out a $2 Advil Menstrual Pain coupon at Advil.com/offers-coupons. Buy Advil Menstrual Pain 20 or 40 count at Walmart for $3.98. Use the coupon plus a $1 Ibotta deposit, making your cost 98 cents.
▪ Print off a $1 Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths coupon at Coupons.com. Buy the item at Target for $1.99, then submit for a 50-cent Ibotta rebate.
▪ Buy one Mentos NOWmints for $2 at CVS, on sale, two for one. Submit a 50 cent Checkout 51 rebate, making your purchase $1.50 for two packages.
▪ Starbucks has an offer from 2 to 5 p.m. through Sunday: Buy a grande iced espresso and get one free. No coupon is required.
▪ Sonic is offering medium slushes for 79 cents all day June 29.
▪ Bank of America and Merrill Lynch customers can get free admission to more than 150 museums nationwide this weekend and the first full weekend of every month in 2017.
▪ IKEA will host an IKEA College Life Your Way event from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 14-16. The first 250 IKEA family members will receive a free gift, and two shoppers each day will receive a $100 IKEA gift card. IKEA also is offering coupons good for $25 off a $125 purchase that weekend.
▪ Mark your calender for Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation Day, July 11. Get a free meal when you dress up like a cow, from opening until 7 p.m.
Deborah Morris’ every-other-week column, The Fru-Gal, can help you get more for less. Go to Fru-gal-friends.com.