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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Summer, Shopping, and Savings

Here we are in the beginning stages of summer. This means a multitude of things.
People around here will stay up later, Then they will sleep all day. And when they finally do awake. they are going to be HUNGRY. AS. BEARS.

I kid you not, I am probably breaking some sort of commercially licensed restaurant code buy doing so much cooking. (which I hate to do). One of them pops out of bed, I'll make a couple of eggs, clean that up. And then wait. Because there will be another one in about an hour- except this one will want some of the left over chicken with peppers in a tortilla. And then last but not least comes the biggest bear monster of all - the girl bear. She makes me happy because she can cook whatever she likes- its the crime scene she leaves behind when she is done that bothers me.

I joke about it, but it is important to me that they all have meals- at least 3 of them. Because when they wake up and come down in snack mode, they stay in snack mode ALL DAY! And there are lots of reasons why that is bad for them- just shoving a snack in their hole because they are "Bungry" (That's Bored+Hungry) starts to add up- on their bodies- and in the meal budget,

For a family of 5 which includes mom, dad, teenage girl with a hollow leg and lightening fast metabolisom, teenage boy who loves mom's cooking, and a teenage boy who would snack his way right into adulthood, we spend on average about $250 a week on groceries.
(And remember, I don't do the willy nilly walking in and throw stuff in the cart- I have a whole plan for all the meals for at least an entire week! Thanks to MealBoard - read more about them here,)

SO when I can find something to save me a little money every week, I jump on it!

I used to use the coupons that came in the Sunday paper, But all it turned into were ads for OTC medications for me to try and obscure brands of things that we don't eat. And
I definitely didnt want to become like a few aunts who will make a special trip to the store because she has 3 Oil of Olay coupons that are going to expire TOMORROW, so she has to buy them. (She then takes them home and sets them next to the 14 other jars that she did the same thing with a couple of months ago)!

I do use Coupons.Com occassiaonlly- I am able to pick and choose the ones that I know I will use instead of printing off a ton that will make it straight to the trash.

But the one thing that I was turned on to by several friends was Ibotta.
Holy Buckets what a saver there. Initally, I was turned off because I didn't understand how it worked. I thought I was going to have to be in the store and have the app out and involve the cashiers and there would be lots of buttons to push and I wouldn't be able to keep up with all of it! WHEW!

Turns out it's NOT like that AT ALL.
I look through the food items on Ibotta while I am making my list- sometimes I add a certain meal to my meal plan because there is such a great deal on the meat! I click on the things that are on my list this week to "unlock" them. Sometimes I have to answer a question like "Do you like chocolate or vanilla bettter?" or "Watch this short 15 sec video to unlock your item"- easy peasy. Now I have a list of things that I know I am going to save money on.

Sometimes it isn't even a particular brand! Sometimes you just buy  ANY BRAND of milk, eggs, ice cream, oranges.....and save!

 Once I have gone shopping, I come home, click Verify Purchases and I can either click on the pics of what I bought or scan the UPC. Then with Step 2, I take a pic of my receipt and within 24 hours (more like 15 minutes) they send me an alert that says it has been verified and that savings has gone into my account.

We have been using Ibotta for about 6 weeks and and look at what we have earned!!!! Just buying groceries (and adult frothy beverages).
To get that money into my hands to spend it - I can choose for my money to be transferred to:
A digital shopping card:
Wal-Mart Card
Amazon Card
Startbucks Card
Regal Card
Best Buy Card
and there are a couple of others.

It is so easy to use and so easy to save money! We are both logged into the same one, so if he is out and is going to buy some adult beverages and snacks, he'll take a peek and the savings pop right up!
Another cool part of Ibotta is the TEAMWORK. No, we don't have to shop or plan together, but for instance, I sent my link to my sister, two neighbors, and a guy at his work. Everyone uses it at their own pace. But Ibotta offers Bonuses and incentives for us to save. So our collective savings (we can't see what each other purchased, only totals) add up and as a team we have all reached a bonus $5 level this month- we all just got $5 added to our own separate accounts!
How cool is that?!?!
So I share my link with you- you get $10 right off the bat and I get $5! And I can add you to my team= the bigger our team, the more bonuses we get!
EXTRA BONUS- you get your own separate link that you have people use to sign up with! - so you can be a part of two teams!!! That's double bonuses!!!
It is definitely a win win for sure.
It is so increcibly easy to use!! Just use THIS LINK.
That link puts you on my team!! Yeah- we can be teammates! Don't worry, you'll get your own referral link too that you can send to friends and family.

And play around with it, check out the different groceries, retail, stores, restaurants, and even gas stations that you can use Ibotta to get cash rebates back quickly that you can spend!

The one key thing that you have to remember is that you have to have "unlocked" the item BEFORE you purchase it. And with the power of digital time stamps, they know!

I hope you'll check it out - I mean who doesn't love to save money?!?! And after you are signed up, be sure to send your link out!

Happy Summer. Happy Shopping. Happy Savings!

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