4 Ways to Earn Money by Going to the Grocery

If there is one thing I hate doing, it is going to the grocery. My head spins at the 500 options of ketchup to buy, and my ENTJ personality hates the inefficiency that comes with things like having to walk to the BACK CORNER of the store just to pick up some milk!

I also am not a cook, so my brain doesn’t think in terms of recipes when it comes to making a grocery list. It thinks in terms of “what can I pop in the microwave that is decent and requires minimal time to prep?”. Horrible, I know. Thank God Taylor is a cook and enjoys it! Anyway, my goal for 2016 is to get my budget down to a science throughout the year. In an effort to do that I have been writing down every single thing I spend money on and to no surprise, food and grocery items have been a large chunk of my spending because of a lack of planning. 

Because of this, I began doing some research on how to get the best deals at the grocery without spending hours on some Extreme Couponing operation (but, yes, that show is awesome). Here are some things I found out about and how I am making money by just going to the grocery:

(1) Ibotta: I don’t know how I’ve shopped in my adult life without this app! You earn cash back every time you shop at the grocery, and at other stores. In about a month, I’ve earned about $50, just by doing the normal shopping I’m already doing!

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  • How To Join: It’s free to join and the app is free to download!
  • How It Works: You can earn money by linking your loyalty account for particular stores (Kroger, Walgreens, CVS, etc.) or by scanning your receipts. I usually scan my receipts. Before  you go shopping, unlock rebates on the app for products you are going to buy. Then, go shopping. When you get home, verify your purchases by scanning the product barcode and then scanning the receipt. The cash is deposited into your Ibotta account within 48 hours.
  • What You Get: CASH MONEY! The rebates you earn will be held in the app until you get to $20. At that point, you can cash out through PayPal or Venmo.
  • Bonus: If you join and then refer your friends you can earn $5 per person (and they earn $10!) when they earn their 1st rebate. All you need to give them is your referral code. (If you don’t know anyone on the app currently and want to use my referral code, you will get $10 when you claim your 1st rebate! Code: ylchjdn)

(2)Checkout 51: I have only recently discovered this app, but received money back on my 1st trip using it!

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  • How To Join: It’s free to join and the app is free to download!
  • How It Works:  As stated on the Checkout 51 website,Every Thursday morning, Checkout 51 updates with a new list of offers. All you have to do is pick the ones you like, purchase them at any store, and upload a photo of your receipt through our mobile app or website. When your account reaches $20, we send you a check.”
  • What You Get: CASH MONEY!
  • Bonus: Sometimes items from Ibotta are also on Checkout 51 (example: a gallon of milk) so you get rewarded for 1 item TWICE!


(3)Shopkick: This app enables you to earn points (kicks) by just walking in some stores, by purchasing certain items at stores, and by scanning certain items in the store. 

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  • How To Join: It’s free to join and the app is free to download. 
  • How It Works: Sign up and begin getting points (kicks) at stores. You can earn points through walk-ins, purchases, and by scanning certain items in stores. Those points (kicks) add up and you can redeem them for gift cards from places like Target, Starbucks, Best Buy, Sephora and more!
  • What You Get: Gift cards or an item of your choice! I could cash out my kicks for a gift card now but I’m saving mine up for something of a larger value 🙂 Shopkick also  features daily deals for stores near you (and a few times I’ve seen free items be featured!).
  • Bonus: When you invite your friends and they use your referral code, you can earn 50% of the kicks your friend earn for 2 weeks.

(4) SavingStar:

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  • How to Join: It’s free to join and the app is free to download.
  • How It Works: Before you go to the store, select the grocery items you’re going to buy on the app. When you get home, scan your receipt and the app will verify your purchases and you will get money credited to your account that you can cash out!
  • What You Get: CASH MONEY!
  • Bonus: You can also use SavingStar when you shop online at certain stores through the SavingStar site and earn cash back on things like clothes, airline tickets, makeup, etc. The offers change often.


If you have experience with any of these apps, or know of any others that can help others earn money at the grocery, please comment and let me know! I’d love to hear from you!

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Why I’m Writing

So here it goes…! I’m starting a blog. I think I know what you’re thinking, because I know what I thought when I first entertained the idea of starting a blog: “Um, why? There are like a million blogs. What do I have to share that is so world-changing that everyone must read?”

Well, nothing really. I’m definitely not starting this blog in an effort to change anyone’s worldview, but I am starting it to hopefully inspire people to continuously improve, and potentially even make others’ lives a little bit easier. 

You see, I’m a sharer. I’m an outgoing, but private person, so this won’t really be a platform where I’m talking about my daily life, but more sharing things along the way that I’ve found that are helpful to me, especially when it comes to all things related to teaching middle school kids. This blog will also be about saving money. Being  a 20-something with student loans, on a teacher’s salary (big bucks!) means that I’m consistently counting pennies with Taylor (my boyfriend) in an effort to save money so we can reach our financial goals more quickly.

I want this blog to be a platform where I share any tips, tricks, secrets (and even awesome Pinterest links!) that  I’ve picked up along the way in terms of making and saving money, as well as things that are helping me, and can maybe help others, continuously increase our effectiveness in the classroom.And since I’m a sharer, I want to hear from you too! Please follow and subscribe to my blog, and share with me anything you’d like. I encourage comments, or your own tips, tricks and suggestions that can potentially help me and others!

You can also email me at kelseynhayes@gmail.com, or connect with me on Twitter or Instagram!

Until next time,

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