Sunday, May 22, 2016

Is the Ibotta App worth your time?

I have been looking at different ways to cut costs and boost our household income. Especially during the summer months, when I need to bridge that income gap until school starts again. Financially, I have gotten us to a much more secure place, but I'm on a ten month contract and I have to make up the difference for those remaining months. This year I was able to save up enough for month eleven, and with enough creativity, the twelfth month will be covered too, but it's a stretch. 

I've been using the Ibotta app for about three months now. It's not a big money maker, but it is worth my time. I've been averaging about $20 a month in rebates. That's $240 extra in my pocket after a year. I spend on average about $80 per week. That refund equals three weeks worth of groceries. 

Here's the catch. It can be tempting to make purchases you wouldn't normally buy, so you have to be disciplined and stick to your normal buying habits. Now, I have purchased a different brand than I normally would because it was cheaper in the long run, but it was a product I normally buy anyway. For example, recently they had a Zico coconut water rebate. I buy coconut water regularly, but usually another brand. HEB, my local grocery store, had a buy two, get one free coupon for the Zico coconut water at the same time. It was a no brainer to temporarily switch brands to get the better deal.

One thing I like about the Ibotta app is the balance of healthy products they include. Now, not all of the rebates are on healthy foods or environmentally friendly products, but there are enough of them to keep me using the app, unlike most newspaper coupon inserts, which I generally find a waste of my time. Ibotta usually includes rebates on fresh fruits and vegetables. Since I have been using the app, I've also seen almond milk and dairy products. 

I use the app for it's grocery rebates, but they also offer rebates at select stores, such as Jo-Ann Fabric and Best Buy, and restaurants. I find the restaurant rebates sadly lacking, but since I rarely eat out it doesn't really apply to me anyway.

Another thing they offer is fun little bonuses. You can have team members to help you earn the bonuses quicker, but I rarely make the bonuses, so again, it's nothing I really focus on.

The rebate money you earn can be directly deposited into a Paypal account or used to earn various gift cards. I use the Paypal option. Once you request a payment, it is usually deposited fairly quickly.

If you are interested in trying the Ibotta app out for yourself, follow this link to register: Ibotta

**Disclaimer** This is an unsolicited review. I am just sharing my experiences with the app, though the link is a referral link. We will both get a bonus to our Ibotta account once you register :-)

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