Receipts—who knew they could make you money? These days though, if you have a smart phone or tablet with a rear facing camera, they can. Well, pictures of them can. As a mom of four, I’m always on the look-out to save money, and in couponing apps I found winning combination to reduce my grocery bill. If you shop online a lot, you might also enjoy these tips for saving money when shopping online.
What is it?
Ibotta offers cash rebates on every day purchases. You shop, check the app for rebates on your purchases, watch a short video or view an ad to “unlock” the rebate, scan the items you bought with your phone, then just take a picture of your receipt. What I love about Ibotta is they offer “any brand” rebates. Often ranging from 20 to 50 cents, these rebates are for things most people buy often, such as milk, eggs, bread, and common vegetables like lettuce. You don’t have to buy certain brands to earn, though they do also offer more specific rebates with higher values. For instance, the rebate may be $3.00 for Similac so many ounce containers or $5.00 back on a 24-pack of Heineken (Yes! Ibotta has alcohol rebates). They also offer monthly bonuses for redeeming so many offers, and those bonuses increase as you redeem more. You can withdraw your earnings as soon as they reach $20 via Paypal.
What is it?
ReciptPal offers points which then can be exchanged for gift cards or cash for pictures of your receipts. Essentially, they are gathering shopping-habit data for marketers (information you already share if you have say, a loyalty card). Every four receipts earns you 100 points. All you do is take a picture of your receipt.
ReceiptPal offers a stepped redemption system. How much your receipts are worth will vary on how many points you save before redeeming. The lowest value is 7 cents per receipt, the highest 15 cents as follows:
350 points for $1: 14 receipts/7 cents each
1,550 points for $5: 62 receipts/8 cents each
7,000 points for $25: 280 receipts/9 cents each
11,000 points for $50: 440 receipts/11 cents each
17,000 points for $100: 560 receipts/15 cents each
There is no limit on how many receipts you can submit, though there is a maximum of 3 receipts from the same retailer on the same day. Naturally, saving up 560 receipts will take awhile, but it only takes a second to snap a picture.
ReceiptHog is just like ReceiptPal in function, though the rewards are slightly different. At ReceiptHog, you get a point value for the value of the receipt. Any receipt $10 or less is 5 points, $10-50 is 10 points, $50-100 is 15 points, and $100 or more is 20 points. You also get spins each week that you upload receipts to earn additional points. This point value system does make it harder to give a value per receipt, but too give an idea here are the lowest and highest cash out values by receipt value.
$5 cash out requires 1,000 points. This would require either 50 receipts at 20 points each for 10 cents each receipt, 66 at 15 points for 7 cents, 100 at 10 points for 5 cents, or 200 at 5 points for 2 cents.
$30 cash out requires 4,500 points. This would require 225 receipts at 20 points each for 13 cents each, 300 at 15 points each for 10 cents each, 450 at 10 points each for 6 cents each, and 900 at 5 points each for 3 cents each.
Note, there is also a $10 cash out (1,800 points) and a $20 cash out (3,200 points).
Obviously most people are going to have a mix of point value receipts, and with slots you’ll gain some bonus points here and there, so you can figure anywhere from 2 cents to 13 per receipt. Again, you are just snapping a quick picture.
What’s nice is you can use one receipt on Ibotta, RecieptPal, and ReceiptHog. While these earnings are slow (minus Ibotta I cash out around $10-20 a month there) they do add up. To maximize your savings, be sure to check online and in your local ad for coupons. By combining coupons, sales, and app savings, you can often even end up receiving items for free or at a significant discount.
A hypothetical (well, not really, it’s off my shopping from this week) say your store has cake mixes on sale $1.10 a piece. Now you find a coupon in the ad where you buy 3 and save $1. Ibotta has a 50 cent off rebate. You get 3 cake mixes for $3.30, you save the $1, you get the 50 cent rebate, you take a picture of your receipt for both apps. In the end, you got those cake mixes for 60 cents each. This does not count the eventual payout on ReceiptPal/Hog for 9 to 28 cents on the receipt. As a bonus, you can pay with a cash back credit card, then pay the balance before the due date to receive an additional 1-3% back without paying interest.
This is just an example, of course you won’t find deals like that on everything you buy. Once you get in the habit of couponing and using the apps, it really doesn’t take long at all. I don’t spend hours and hours finding coupons. I just check online and in the paper about once a week. I almost always save at least 15%.