This tip is for the moms out there.  My wife, Gretchen wrote it.  She gave me the week off.  Heh.  Here she is:

How grateful I am that we no longer have to watch every dime spent and be painfully rigid with our spending, especially in the area of groceries. This may be the situation you find yourself in.  I know the challenge and exhaustion it can create. May I encourage you to trust that it is for a season and God is faithful to bless His children?

I still use many habits I learned during our most difficult financial times.  Ibotta is one that I use regularly for three reasons:

First, I hate spending more on an item than I have to, especially when I can get it on sale or with cash back.

Second, using Ibotta creates a mini “savings” account I can use toward bigger purchases I may not otherwise make.

Third, I want to be a good steward of everything God has given us and I want to set an example for our daughters.  I want to show them how to spend smart.  I know they need this skill as they become independent.

Ibotta is a cash-back free app for buying groceries and other household items with (almost) any retailer.

Here is how I use Ibotta.

Before shopping, choose the offers you want to take advantage of. Ibotta also offers online savings.

After shopping, submit a picture of your receipt.  Qualifying offers will go into your Ibotta account.  You can attach a bank account for transfers or you can let the savings accumulate. I let mine accumulate since I like to watch it grow (slowly). I joined in November of 2018 and recently crossed the $1,000 lifetime earnings mark.

Before diving into Ibotta, here are some good things to know.

FirstIbotta will add some time to your grocery planning and shopping.  At first, I used Ibotta sporadically. I had not found a time to work it into my weekly habits.  I ended up checking every item at the store.  It was time-consuming.

These days, I plan ahead.  I find Monday morning a good time for planning, comparing sales and deals, adding Ibotta offers, and printing out shopping lists.  Drug store advertisements usually run through Saturday.  Planning on Monday gives me the rest of the week to stop in and pick up, on sale, whatever we need.

The grocery stores I prefer change their advertisements on Wednesday, When I plan on Monday, I can take advantage of the current ad and look ahead to the next week (sometimes) to compare deals.

Second, If you are an impulse buyer, Ibotta may not be a good fit for you. While trying to save money, I have found I sometimes buy things we do not need just because it is a good deal.

ThirdIbotta offers “bonus” deals that can drive you crazy if you are a perfectionist.  You are not a failure if you do not take advantage of every offer or do not save every penny.  If you redeem a set number of offers Ibotta offers “midweek” or “Weekend Warrior” deals.  I confess I have wasted a lot of time and have gotten caught up in NET (Needless Emotional Turmoil) more than once because “I just need 2 more offers to qualify”.

Recognizing ahead of time that this does not serve me (or my family) well, I ignore these offers more easily and prioritize how I want to feel when I return home to my family. Pleasant, at peace, cheerful and kind or stressed, worn out, mentally drained, and snappy… I get to choose.

If you are interested in using the Ibotta app, just click the link to join.  (Just so you know, it is an affiliate link). You and I will both get a bonus after your first submission.

Happy shopping…happy saving!