How to Get Paid for Buying Groceries with Grocery Apps


How to Get Paid for Buying Groceries with Grocery Apps

Major grocery confession: I don’t do coupons. I don’t look for them, I don’t cut them out, and I certainly don’t remember to take them to the store. I also don’t buy in bulk but that’s mainly for storage reasons. I use coupons if and only if they are attached to the item I’m purchasing. Sad, I know – especially given my food budget woes. To make up for my lack of couponing & help stick to my 2017 financial goals, I’ve decided to start using two grocery apps, Ibotta and Checkout 51.


The first of the rebate apps, which covers all kinds of products, not just groceries, is like fish in a barrel. Scroll through and select rebates for your stores in the app, then go shopping and buy the products. You get the rebates within a day after scanning the bar codes or your receipt with Ibotta. If you’ve linked your loyalty card in the app, you’ll get money back that way.

grocery apps

First, you download Ibotta in the App Store or Google Play. Once you’ve done that, you’ll sign up with your email address.

Here you’ll see a list of options. So far, I’ve only gotten rebates on grocery purchases, but there are a limited number of additional stores and restaurants to choose from. When you click on grocery, you’re going to see a list of products. Just click on the products you’d like to buy and complete short tasks in order to earn the savings. When I say short, I mean it. Videos, polls and trivia take just seconds to complete.

Now, it’s time to shop as normal. Once you get home, the work begins. The app lets you verify the purchases using your smartphone’s camera. Somehow it recognizes the bar code. I like to do this before putting my groceries away.

After you’ve scanned the bar codes for all of the participating items that you bought, you’ll need to take a picture of your receipt, so don’t throw it away! More often than not, I’ve had to take multiple pictures because my receipt is so long. That’s not a problem with the Ibotta app.

Once you’ve completed those steps, you hit finish and wait for your rebates to be verified. This takes anywhere from a few minutes to maybe a few hours, and you get an alert on your smartphone. Rebates can be redeemed for cash or gift cards. You can redeem when you hit $20.

***Below is my referral link for trying Ibotta. I get money from it, and you get an extra money bonus from it too.***

Get $10 for trying the Ibotta app! Use my referral code (kdodtcw) to get started.

Checkout 51

This is a newer rebate, very similar to Ibotta. It’s free and super easy! Basically you browse the offers, upload your receipt to show you’ve satisfied one or more of them, and then you get that cash in the offer! You can redeem your cash back after accruing $20. The main difference here is that the items are not store-specific.

grocery apps

It’s easy and completely free to sign up as a member of Checkout 51. Once signed up, members are able to view the offers.  Offers go live on Thursdays at 12:00 AM in each time zone. They expire the following Wednesday at 11:59 PM in each time zone when a new set of offers become available. You can satisfy these offers by making purchases at any store or even online.

The actual process for using the app is nearly identical to Ibotta, except there are no “tasks” AND no bar code scanning. Easy!

  • Sign up simply by entering your name, email address, and password. In addition, you can download the app to your smartphone but it is not mandatory.
  • Browse the offers and buy products at any store or online.
  • Upload your full receipt using Checkout 51.
  • Watch your Checkout 51 balance increase. Once they confirm your purchase (up to 48 hours but usually quicker) they will credit your account with the offer amount.
  • Request your check! When your Checkout 51 account reaches $20, you will have the ability to cash out. It will then prompt your for your mailing address and they will mail a check. Of course, you can let it add up as long as you like.

As of right now, I’ve already earned $6.25 combined from each app. I started using them mid-January, so that’s pretty exciting, and it’s definitely nice since I started my slow cooking challenge because a lot of those types of items are on the app (think canned and boxed goods). Think of it this way: you were already going to spend that money…why not get a little cash back on it too?


Do you use any grocery apps or have experience with Ibotta/Checkout 51? Share below!


  1. I’ve used Ibotta before, but wasn’t super happy with it. :/

    Eggs were the only grocery item we regularly buy that tended to have regular rebates – and it took such a long time to find the rebate and take a picture of the receipt.

    It sounds like lots of other people have found it useful and worthwhile, so it just depends on the individual. 😃

    1. Author

      Yeah, I’m not being super competitive with it, just using it when I already planned to buy a qualifying item. I figure it’ll be a nice little check when I cash in.

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