Saving Money With Rebate Sites: 101

Who wants to save more money on groceries? I’m pretty sure everyone is raising their hand!

money calculatorI think all of us want to save a little bit of money on their groceries, but not all of us have the time or desire to clip coupons. I totally get that: it does take time to clip or print/cut out coupons, plus time researching to match coupons with current grocery deals (for those who are over-achievers!).

Your time is precious. That is why I recommend rebate websites. If you’re looking for a way to save money without clipping coupons, rebate websites are a great resource.

What are rebate websites?

A rebate is when you receive money back for a purchase. So rebate websites are sites that offer you rebates on select purchases.

groceries bananasThese websites will list which specific items are eligible for rebates. Sometimes they have to be brand-name items, others can be any brand. Eligible purchases may be groceries, baby items, household goods, or even online or in-store retail purchases!

Once you purchase the select item, you will submit a request for a rebate. This may be done in a number of ways, it just depends on the specific website:

  • snapping a picture of the receipt
  • scanning the barcode using the camera on your device
  • or some sites actually sync up with grocery store loyalty cards and can track your purchases as long as you scan your card at check-out

Depending on the product, you could earn rebates from 20 cents up to several dollars. Yes, that’s small, but over time these small amounts add up to become extra money in your pocket.

So, what’s the catch?

Does it sound “too good to be true”? Seriously, it’s not!

However, I do advise you to pay close attention to the requirements for each rebate. Be sure to note things like

  • Size or quantity. Ex: The rebate may only be for the 16oz bottle of salad dressing, not a 10 oz, bottle.
  • Store. Is there a certain store you must purchase the item from?
  • Dates of purchase. As in, what is the timeframe that you have to purchase the product?
  • Deadline to submit purchase. By what date do you have to upload the receipt?

One Caveat

The one caveat I offer is this: you actually aren’t “saving” money up-front on your purchases by utilizing these rebate websites. However, you are earning money back for purchases you were going to make anyway!

The money that you earn back through these rebates could be some extra money you can use for Christmas gifts or even some fun money to use to treat yourself after all your hard work being thrifty. 🙂

saleI also advise you to remember: it’s better to not spend any money at all than purchase something you don’t actually need or want just because it’s “on sale.” Just because there is a rebate offered for a certain product, doesn’t mean it’s a wise purchase. If you see a comparable product at a better price, I would buy that one instead. Remember to use your head and don’t get suckered in to “discount fever.”

Are you excited to get started earning rebates?! Here is my list of the rebate sites I use, ranking them by how useful I find them.

ibotta

1. Ibotta

Ibotta is where it’s at! Ibotta is by far my FAVORITE rebate website. They offer a long list of rebates every week and a bunch of “generic” rebates that can be any brand.

Ibotta also has a “teamwork” function that makes earning rebates actually…fun! You can team up with your Facebook friends to complete various earning goals each month, which unlocks additional rebates!

How to get the rebate: You have to “unlock” each item, often by watching a short commercial video. Once you unlock all the rebates you want to claim, you will scan the barcode for the products and upload a picture of your receipt. Or, for some stores, the purchase is tracked through your store loyalty card.

Time-frame for purchases: Ibotta runs Sunday-Saturday. So you must purchase the select product and claim your rebate within that time frame.

Cashing-out: You can cash out once you accumuluate $10 in your account. You redeem your money in the form of a gift card or transfer money directly to a PayPal or venmo account. There are various gift cards available to choose from.

You can sign up for Ibotta here!

mobisave

2. MobiSave

I’m pretty new to MobiSave, but it comes in as my second favorite because all rebates are immediately deposited into your PayPal account…no minimum cash-out requirements! Also, the little swimming whale is pretty adorable.

One note: after signing up for MobiSave, it took several weeks before I was admitted. It seems as if they limit how many new accounts they take on at one time…probably because it is such a new site, they want to make sure they have enough supply to meet demand.

How to get the rebate: You must select which items you will purchase before you check-out in the store. Select them and put them in your “cart.” After making the purchase, you simply upload a picture of your receipt and select those rebates from your “cart”. And, done!

Time-frame for purchases: MobiSave runs Monday-Sunday. New deals appear Mondays at 12:00am. You must purchase the items and submit your receipt within this time-frame.

Cashing-out: Like I said above, there is no minimum requirement before you can cash-out. You connect your PayPal account to your MobiSave account and all earnings are immediately deposited into your PayPal account. Pretty cool!

Here’s the link to sign up for MobiSave.

Checkout51-Logo

3. Checkout-51

In my opinon, Checkout-51 is just okay. I really liked it when I started using it a few years ago, but then they made some negative changes that really limited the rebates you can earn. Now it is starting to get better again. So I still have hope for it.

One con to Checkout-51 is that you can’t cash-out until you reach $20. I also don’t like that you can choose only one of the fruits and veggies they offer each week for a rebate.

However, recently they have brought in some new brand-name products eligible for rebates, including Kellogg’s products. I’m a big fan of Kellogg’s, so this is a definite win in my eyes. I’m hoping that Checkout-51 will continue to make improvements such as that!

How to get the rebate: Upload a picture of your receipt and select which rebates you are claiming. That’s all!

Time-frame for purchases: Checkout-51 runs from Thursday-Wednesday. New offers go live on Thursdays at 12:00am and expire Wednesday at 11:59pm. So you must purchase the items and submit your receipt within that time-frame.

Cashing-out: You can cash out once you have $20 in your account. They send you a check in the mail.

You can sign up for Checkout-51 here!

Snap-Groupon-logo-400x175

4. Snap by Groupon

Snap definitely comes in last for me. Most of their rebates are for products I do not purchase. Lately they have had “generic” product offers, but it seems as if once you claim one, you can never claim a rebate for that product again?! If you are looking to get started doing rebates, this is the last site I’d recommend.

How to get the rebate: Upload a picture of your receipt, select which offers you are claiming, and submit it.

Time-frame for purchases: Offers do not expire until the maximum number of redemptions have been reached or the product program has concluded. There are no set dates or deadlines. You must simply purchase the product while the deal is available.

Cashing-out: Once you reach $20 in your account, you can request a check.

Even though this isn’t my favorite site, you are still definitely welcome to sign up here!

SavingStar Logo 300dpi-510c5a59fd31ec63a322cbbaf3a94404

5. SavingStar

I put SavingStar as number five not because I think it is the worst, but because to be honest, I’ve never really used it before! I recently created an account to check it out, so I haven’t formed an opinion of it yet.

From my first impression, I see some products that I do purchase and others that I’ve never bought before. I like the fact that you can cash out once you reach $5, so you’re not waiting forever to see your money back. Overall, I think it has potential. If I become a huge SavingStar fan, I’ll let you know!

How to get the rebate: Select the products you would like to purchase before you go shopping. Then either scan your loyalty card at check-out or submit a picture of your receipt. You can also get rebates on online purchases by going through the SavingStar website.

Time-frame for purchases: Each product has its own specific expiration date. Purchase the product and submit your receipt before this expiration date.

Cashing-out: You can cash out once you have $5 in your account. Money is deposited into a bank account or your PayPal account, or you can also choose to donate the money to charity.

Click here to join Saving Star.

So, which one are you going to try today?

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