Target. A common known frienemy among women young and old. You walk in with the intention of getting one thing for $5 and somehow leave with $50 less in your pocket. You have less money, more stuff and yet regret nothing. It’s funny how that works. Well, imagine my joy when I went to Target, bought what I came for and then made money by the time I got to the parking lot! This is no scam, no tricky play on words. I am being totally, 100% serious; and I’m going to share with you how I did it. ‘Cuz I love ya.
*This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures.
Scrolling one of my favorite blogs one day, Fitnancials, I noticed this app, IBotta that kept being mentioned. An app that claimed to save you money on your purchases, plus you get $10 just for signing up! Naturally, this instantly sounded too good to be true. You see the thing about me is, while I’m a dreamer at heart, I’m also a giant skeptic when things sound too good to be true. Kind of like the day I discovered gluten free donuts; you think nothing that good could happen to you.
I read that IBotta was a great app for common shopping places like Walmart and Walgreens. Well, I don’t shop at either of those places, so I used this as another excuse not to try. But then, I thought about you guys! For realizes. I thought, “Well, what if this app is really great. Don’t I owe it to them to share the info? I guess it wouldn’t kill me to shop at Walmart one time just to see what happens.”
So, I downloaded it.
IBotta is a completely free app you can download from the App Store. With every single touch of my screen I cringed; I waited for the fall out, for the big moment when I went, “Ahhh I knew this was a scam!” To my surprise, everything downloaded just fine. I signed up without losing my dignity, social security number or credit card info. Fair enough.
Then I started scrolling and was delighted to see that I could also use the app at my most frequent stores: Target, Costco and Whole Foods! SCORE! Now, I was getting into this! Not only that but I could save online with Amazon, eBay and Groupon! It’s not just groceries either, there are stores like Joanne Fabric, Kohls and even discounts on Uber rides!
I started browsing all the offers for anything I had already planned on purchasing. This is definitely a time where I could have gone totally crazy on “savings,” but I wanted to see if I could actually save money on things I had originally wanted. I was crazy excited to see that there were offers for things like bananas, eggs, cheese and bread. The best part was, the discount was for any brand. So if I wanted to get .50 cents back for an organic egg purchase I could. I could also use that same discount to buy .69 cent eggs and still get that .50 cents back!
One reason I am so hesitant to ever try any form of couponing is that I had this idea that the only things discounted were highly processed products that I wouldn’t use in my own home. This wasn’t the case for Ibotta; yes, there were processed foods, but they also had a great variety of discounts on healthier items that we normally purchase. Check out some of the stuff I am able to add to my list.
Silly me, I got so carried away with all the shopping, I forgot to mention that I actually made $10 just for signing up. Even if I decided to purchase one thing; after my first purchase, my account was credited $10. This was yet another thing I believed was too good to be true; but it wasn’t. Ibotta totally held up their end of the bargain!
Okay now, deep breath, because it still gets better. On top of getting $10 just for signing up and getting refunded on foods I had already planned on purchasing some of my savings also aligned with Target’s Carthwheel!
If you are a frequent Target shopper, you know all about Cartwheel. It’s now attached to the Target app and is basically used as additional coupons. As major coupon users know, you can use Cartwheel, plus Target coupons, plus manufacturer coupons and your Target card to save as much money as possible. Don’t forget about sites like BeFrugal that are always filled with great coupon deals. Well, now I’m telling you that Ibotta has one more way for you to earn some cash back on some of those same purchases!
I lucked out and had a few items that lined up with Cartwheel during my first time using Ibotta. Orgain’s organic, vegan protein shakes were one of the biggest items for me. Cartwheel had a 30% discount and then Ibotta gave me an additional $2 back after my purchase.
One purchase that I did make that I didn’t intend to was Bertolli organic pasta sauces. The sauces themselves were already on sale for $2.29 and Ibotta had a rebate of $3 back when you purchased 2. That meant I wound up paying $1.60 for 2 jars which was less than the original cost of just one jar. Plus, you don’t have to twist my arm to serve some alfredo! My family rarely gets alfredo (although I added broccoli), so I know they probably appreciate Ibotta more than me!
When i got to the alfredo sauce, I wasn’t sure if the sauce on the shelf would count because it was different from the sauce in the photo and was only labeled as 95% organic. Staring at the shelves with a blank look on my face, I wasn’t sure what to do until I realized that Ibotta has a barcode scanner. Of course they have a barcode scanner! Picking up the jar of alfredo, I scanned the barcode on the back and it confirmed that this was an official offer. All my stress melted away and I put my jars in my cart!
Don’t worry, you won’t be fiddling with your phone in line. Use your Cartwheel and any other coupons that you have. Get your 5% off with your Target debit card and be on your merry way.
If you’re like me and you can’t wait until you make it to the car, you can now get ready to cash in on your purchases. (Because fiddling with your phone in a parking lot is way smarter than doing it in the store! –sometimes I just don’t make any sense.) Open your Ibotta app and push the button that says “Redeem.” There will be a large rectangle for you to take a photo of your receipt. Just make sure you have the date and the total. That’s it! Ibotta has scanned all your eligible purchases and within 24 hours any money you made will be credited to your account.
As you can see, after my first purchase, I had earned over $19. Ten dollars of this was what I got for simply signing up and the rest was what I was credited after my purchases. (This total definitely could have been more had I had a larger purchase.)
You can cash out on your total after you reach $20. Ibotta also has a variety of ways for you to do this: multiple gift card options or through PayPal. Personally, I think I’ll be letting my spare change add up and cash out after I’ve really upped my total. (I’m currently sitting at over $50)
Update: I caved and cashed in for a $20 gift card so Tom and I could enjoy a little night out without the kids. After confirming my e-mail I was easily able to get a gift card sent directly to my phone and we saved $20 on our Applebees visit.
Not only do you get refunds on your favorite stuff, plus $10 for signing up, you can also earn $5 for any friend who signs up! After my great experience, I told my small group of girlfriends and gave them my code to use when they signed up. As soon as one of them used their app, I was credited $5!
I have been using Ibotta for a few weeks now and my total is up over $50! So far I have had no problems ensuring I get credit for my purchases and the app continues to be easy to use. The only information I have had to enter is my PayPal information in order to get money into my account.
There is also so much more that Ibotta has to offer me that I have yet to take advantage of! I really wanted to give you guys the run down and fill you in on how to get yourself started. Personally, I can’t wait to start saving more with Groupon and Amazon!
I have been tempted into buying more processed foods than I normally would. Really, it has only been chicken strips and some organic snack bars. Nothing too terrible, but still not something I would normally buy. Which is why they probably do these offers in the first place!
When you click to receive an offer, you will often be prompted with an easy to answer survey question. Some of the ones I have received have asked how many adults live in our home, how much our household earnings are or how many children are in our home. Nothing too informative and nothing that requires much time or effort. On top of brief survey questions, there will be the occasional video ad to view usually totaling 15 seconds.
Last major bummer: when there are double discounts on Ibotta and Cartwheel, you will find that the shelves clear our pretty quickly.
As you can probably tell, I am hugely thrilled with how this app has worked to date. To me all the positives greatly outweigh the negatives. After recommending it, I have only heard positive feedback from friends as well. They have tried other savings and coupon apps and said this one is by far the easiest. Don’t miss out. You literally only stand to gain from this app download.
$5 Meal Plan – The $5 meal plan was created by a busy mother of 4 for other busy mother’s out there. Get access to healthy meal plans that take all the guess work out of what to make for your family!
BeFrugal – Be Frugal is an online resources for the best coupons around. In stores, online or in restaurants.
Love and Money – Online courses to help couples and family get finances together in order to stay together!
Paperless Home – The paperless home guides you step by step through how to start creating a home where all of your most important information can always be in one place and always at your finger tips!
Simplify + Planner – Abby Lawson from Just a Girl and Her Blog has a great and inexpensive planner to help you get intentionally organized. Starting a blog can be very overwhelming and getting a little organized can go a long way.