If you're like me, you take a lot of trips to the grocery store. It's where they keep the food! 🙂
Seriously though, shopping for groceries was a lot easier when it was just two adults. Now that we have two kids, we tend to turn grocery store trips into group activities and go a lot more often. While we do a lot of shopping at Costco (which doesn't take coupons), we do our fair share of quick trips to our local supermarkets.
In recent years, there has been a proliferation of coupon and grocery store apps.
Today, I want to share a few that have caught my eye for one reason — they pay you to take photos of your receipts.
(the best part about these apps is that the payouts stack with any discounts you might have gotten from the store or with coupons)
Drop Rewards is a rewards program where you link up a credit or debit card to earn rewards for the spending you're already doing.
It's completely automatic – you spend as you normally would and earn points at the same time. If you get credit card reward points, you get those too. If you're at Starbucks and get Starbucks Stars, you get those too. Then redeem your Drop points for gift cards!
Here's how it works — you sign up for the app (you get a limited time $10 bonus offer with my link) and look through it for rebates. There are rebates for specific products and there are rebates for general ones. The specific ones are like $1 for Tazo tea. A general one is fifty cents for a carton of eggs.
To “activate” the rebate, you usually have to answer a 1-word survey, read a recipe, or some other task that takes less than a second.
After you make the purchase, you can cash in the rebate via receipt or loyalty card.
- For receipts: Download the app, then complete simple tasks in Ibotta to unlock cash rewards on products. Buy those items in a supported store (there are three hundred retail chains, movie theaters, restaurants, etc.), scan the barcodes, and submit a phot of your receipt. Cash deposits in 48 hours.
- For loyalty accounts: It's just like with receipts except you don't need to scan barcodes or submit a photo of the receipt, it's all reported on by your loyalty card.
There are a lot of different ways to earn “bonus” rebates. If you redeem 5 rebates within 30 days of registering, you get a $2 bonus. There are product specific ones too, two rebates of Francis Ford Coppola Diamond or Director's wines and you get an extra $1 on top of the rebates you already got for each purchase. You don't need to activate bonus categories, you just get them.
You get paid via Paypal or Venmo with a $20 minimum and the payout is instant. There's no waiting or processor, I got my first $20 deposit within a minute of requesting it. If you want, you can also convert them to gift cards to places like Amazon and Starbucks.
For a limited time, you can get $10 when you download the app with my referral and redeem a rebate within 7 days. (and then once you do that, you start unlocking other bonuses like $2 for redeeming 5 rebates)
National Consumer Panel
When you sign up, you answer a single survey to assess availability and then, when available, are issued a scanner. (or access to their mobile app). All you have to do is scan all of your purchases and you'll earn rewards.
In addition to scanning your purchases, you can also earn rewards answering surveys on your shopping habits, the meals you eat, etc.
Trim is a automated financial assistant (not technically an app) that links in with your credit card and automatically gives you rebates. Trim is a financial assistant that works through Facebook Messenger and they made a name for themselves as a super helpful financial assistant. Do you want them to cancel subscriptions for you? They'll do that. Hate calling Comcast? They'll call them for you. It's marvelous.
Their Trim Savings program is really cool because they find coupons and promos all the time. They'll message you on Facebook and you just reply with Activate to turn it on.
They recently partnered with Visa to give you cash back on a litany of purchases:
- Groceries: $1 on any purchase over $5 (you’ll receive 10 of these–a total of $10)
- Dining: $1 on any purchase over $5 (you’ll receive 10 of these–a total of $10)
- Movies: $10 on any purchase over $20 (you will receive only once)
You do not need to scan receipts, you just have to use a Visa card because it's tracked on the Visa transaction network. Oh, and Trim Saving is free.
And these promotions stack! You can do this plus any of the ones below for more savings.
When you reach $20 in rebates, you'll receive a check!
Receipt Pal, run by NPD Group, gives you points whenever you submit the photo of a receipt with the app. NPD Group is a market research company (they run VIP Voice) and they likely use that data for consumer research.
You can turn those points into rewards like gift cards.
Another company that is similar to Receipt Pal is Receipt Hog, run by InfoScout. I haven't used either though.
(And another yet! SavingStar does similar things and has been featured in the WSJ, Time, Boston Globe and Parents Magazine)
What's your favorite grocery store app?