A Busy Mom’s Friend: Two Shopping Apps I Love!

This post recommends two apps I’ve been using that have been saving me money this year. Referral links are included, so you’ll get a little bonus for signing up through these links!

Ibotta – get cash for groceries!

First up: I’ve been using the Ibotta app casually. Ibotta rounds up rebates on everyday items (note: rebates, not coupons, so you pay full price at checkout and then get reimbursed by Ibotta for the rebate amount). Any given week you might find paper towels, lunch meat, frozen fish sticks — the variety and selection will vary. You’ll receive anywhere from $0.25 to a few dollars depending on the item (the higher items tend to be one-time purchases like cookware).

Your rebates add up in your Ibotta account, and once you reach a threshold (usually about $20) you can cash out your balance in a variety of ways: PayPal, or giftcards like Amazon or Starbucks.

How it works: select your rebates from the app (most are quick surveys or info screens, a few will be 15- or 30-second ads), then shop at the specific store you selected (some rebates don’t transfer to other grocery stores), scan your receipt and the app will automatically load money into your account.
I have mixed feelings about it; most of the brands are name-brand, it takes a few minutes to scroll and select my rebates, but recent app updates have streamlined some of this and I particularly like the option to add previous rebates back into my list. Long story short: for budget purposes, I stick to my list and see what’s in the app that I’m already buying; I’ll buy generic brands . But if you’re willing to adjust your menu, you could really stack up some savings (especially since you can use coupons alongside the app). I don’t use the app every week, and it obviously won’t work at places like a farmer’s market. But for only sporadically using the app, and sticking with my meal plan at that, I’ve earned about $250 in rebates.

Want to try it out? You can get a $10 credit using my referral link — just click here to try Ibotta.

ThredUp

ThredUp has been really fun for my wardrobe. It’s a giant online thrift store with really great brands, but its easily searchable categories makes it really easy to find exactly what I’m looking for, and I can save search settings to pull up my personal favorite brands in my size (or my kids sizes!).

I found a few maternity gems (without having to go try things on at the store!), and I’ve  had luck finding like-new leather flats or cute, new-with-tags name brand sweaters on ThredUp. I‘ve saved a few searches, like my size in my favorite style shoes or dresses, in certain brands that I love or in cuts that I know tend to work for me (they have everything from LOFT to Anthropologie!). I love the saved searches because I don’t have to waste time sorting through the wrong size.

Because they have a range of brands, some of the designer brands are still expensive even at a discount, but it’s worth browsing their sales or popping in to see what’s new. Their app is so well-designed and easy to use, you can score something fun while you’re waiting in the carpool lane.

A note about selling to ThredUp: I’ve tried this feature a few times. The pros: They make it really seamless: they send you a bag with a preprinted shipping label, and you fill it up and drop it off. They’ll sort through things and issue an account credit for whatever they think they can sell (and they recycle the rest!). The cons: I’ll be honest, I’ve never gotten a lot of credit, even for like-new brand name items. I can make more money selling it on our local Facebook page. But, that’s more work and there’s no guarantee it will sell there, either, so it’s nice to have an option like ThredUp that’s simple and quick.

If you want $10 to shop for something fun this fall, you can use my ThredUp referral link – just click here.

Neither Ibotta nor ThredUp know who I am and these are genuine reviews based on my own experience using each company. However, this post does contain referral links and I’ll receive account credit for anyone who signs up for either program via links in this post. Beyond that possible credit, I have not been compensated for these reviews.

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