It used to be if you wanted to save money on groceries, you had two options:
- Use coupons
- Buy items only in season/on sale/discounted
Here in the 21st century, with our
smartphones personal computers in our pockets, our options are not so limited.
Of course, the first two options still apply, and maybe moreso than the tips and tricks listed below. You can’t go wrong buying items when they’re on sale, and coupons are still king. But if you want to get a little more out of your grocery trips, I think I have something for you.
Getting Paid To Shop
I’ve listed these methods in order from least amount of time/effort to most time/effort.
Get paid to walk with the Achievement App
Achievement is simple – download the app and during signup, link your Health data to the app. You’ll then get paid in points based on the number of steps you take. 1000 points = $10. While you won’t make a ton of money (a grocery trip would probably get you 10 points), you literally just download the app and earn points. Check it in a year and you’ll have a nice little bonus!
Shop With Drop
With Drop (use code 66typ and get $1 for signing up), you get points by linking your credit cards and using those cards at particular stores. Points can be redeemed for gift cards (including Amazon!) and are easy to acquire – when you sign up, select 5 of your favorite stores and you’ll get points for using your card at those stores. Right now you can earn points at stores like Walmart, Target, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and Costco, and through services like Instacart. You also get bonus offers and extra rewards. The app “officially” launched in October 2017, so expect more stores to be added in the future.
Use a rewards credit card that gives you cash back/miles on groceries.
You can get anywhere from 1.5-6% cash back just by using a particular credit card instead of cash or a debit card. My favorites are 1 2 3, but if you’re unsure, read more about using credit cards to maximize grocery rewards here. (link)
Use your grocery store’s app/Become a member.
I personally do most of my shopping at Kroger – I’m a member, which automatically gives me discounts and access to coupons online. The app makes it easy to load coupons on my card. You also get fuel points – 100 points equals 10 cents off/gallon when you buy gas from Kroger. For reference, I spend about $225 a month on groceries and $40 a month on gas and save $15-30 depending on the month.
Also, Kroger sells gift cards and typically runs promotions for 2x or 4x fuel points on gift card purchases, if you typically buy gift cards for people as gifts then you can get a little something for yourself!
The majority of grocery stores have their own apps/membership programs. Using an app to coupon takes maybe 5 minutes a week and the rest is effortless.
If you buy groceries online, check Ebates first.
I love ebates (get $10 for signing up). Most of what I buy is online, and ebates is the most effortless way to earn some extra money. There are always discounts and cash back for Walmart and Target, which both have online grocery options. The icing on the cake is that your ebates account isn’t tied to any one card – you get cash back through ebates AND cash back on your credit card.
Use Ibotta and Checkout 51 to get MORE cash back.
Ibotta (use code sxutund and get $10 for signing up) and Checkout 51 are apps that give you cash back on certain brands and products. After you buy something, select the product on the app and take a picture of the receipt with your phone. Most of the products are name brands (and there is a lot of junk food/wine/beer on there), but usually there’s at least one or two offers you can use if you usually stick to store brands and avoid the processed foods/alcohol. You can also earn bonuses for redeeming more offers throughout the month and partner up with friends to earn even more.
Do Extra Tasks While You Shop
Finally, there are several apps out there that allow you to earn extra money by performing tasks while you’re out and about. These tasks require some time and effort but give you the chance to snag some easy money if the opportunity arises.
There are tons of ways to save money AND make money while you’re doing your grocery shopping. And while this post is on a blog about grocery shopping, all the apps listed here can be used while you’re running ANY errand.
Personally, I recommend becoming a member/downloading your favorite grocery store’s app, signing up for Drop, Ebates, and Achievement, and looking into rewards credit cards.
These are the most passive ways to make money while grocery shopping. If you’re feeling ambitious, the rest of the apps can be lucrative, but they will require extra effort.