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How To Save The Most Money When Grocery Shopping

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Grocery shopping is a regular activity we need to do every week or more. For some people it’s a cumbersome task and something we rather avoid, for others it’s a welcome reprieve from home – especially if you’re a parent that can go without the kids in tow.

What if I showed you a few ways to make the most of your shopping trip? Things to do while you’re at the grocery store, at the mall, driving the kids around, and on the way there and back? Learn different ways to save money and make money while you’re out?

I’ll show you 10 ways to make the most of your shopping trip:

1. Use Apps

You probably already use a few grocery cash-back apps and planned your grocery trip with them. Apps like Ibotta, TopCashBackBeFrugal, and BerryCart.

But what about those moments while you’re walking around the mall, waiting for someone in a parking lot, and other spare moments? Take advantage of those moments and use these apps to earn free money:

  • SurveySites – Use survey sites to earn money in a few spare minutes
  • Check-in –Some sites such as Perk award points for checking into locations on a map
  • WatchVideos Watch videos and earn money
  • PlayGames – Sites such as SwagBucks, InboxDollars, and others award points for playing online games

It’s easy to make a little money while waiting, walking, and driving around.

2. Use Shopkick

Shopkick is another great app to use while you’re shopping.

Besides the cash-back offers on your groceries and shopping purchases, you can earn in a number of other ways, such as:

  • Complete special offers
  • Walking into a store
  • Scanning product barcodes
  • Linking your credit and debit cards
  • Finding and using coupons and deals
  • Referring friends

So, if you’re walking around a large mall, keep an eye on your Shopkick app and see if any offers pop up for a particular store and grab thosekicks (points). You then turn in all your kicks for any number of gift cards.

3. Make Deliveries

While you’re running all over town doing your own errands, throw in a few deliveries and make money while you’re in that part of town.

Some delivery ideas include:

  • UberEATS – Pickup and delivery restaurant orders and make about $8 to $12 an hour
  • PostMates – Pickup and deliver food, groceries, and other items and make about $11 an hour
  • Instacart – Personal grocery shopping service – drivers make about $13 an hour
  • Saucey – Deliver alcoholic beverages and make $5 per delivery plus 50¢ per item (and tips)
  • GrubHub– Make your own schedule and make about $11 an hour

Many of these services allow you to make your own schedule, or choose a “block” of time to work. This would be a great side hustle for a parent or caregiver driving the kids around to all their extra-curricular activities in the evenings and on weekends.

4. Run Errands

Similar to making deliveries, you can run errands for different people along your route.

Some errand jobs include:

  • TaskRabbit – Short gig listing app, bid on a gig, complete the errand and get paid. It’s possible tomake anywhere from $7 to $37 an hour
  • BuddyTruk– Pickup and delivery of cargo and large items. You can make up to $40 an hour.
  • GigWalk – Another short gig listing app. Depending on the gig the pay varies but you can get up to $20 a gig
  • Handy –Geared more for the handy person to help around the house or yard. Make about $22 an hour or per job
  • Thumbtack– Find local “professional” jobs in your area (housework, repairs, odd jobs, etc). Earnings depend on the job offered but the average is $70 an hour

5. Offer Rides

Again, while you’re out and about, use your car to get paid to drive passengers to designations near to where you are needing to go shopping.

Rideshare ideas include:

  • Uber – Set your own schedule and earnings are anywhere from $15 – $17an hour
  • SideCar– Set your own schedule and fees for passengers
  • iCarPool –Set your pickup and designation and accept riders on the way
  • Via – A fairly new app for rideshares but it’s possible to make $15 – $20 an hour
  • HopSkipDrive – Great carpooling app for parents to drive children. Make up to $32 an hour

As you can see by the dollar amounts this side hustle pays pretty well – you can work just enough to pay for your own shopping trip.

6. Use Trunow

Trunow is a gasoline savings app that will help you save money on gas as well as other cash-back opportunities.

Trunow offers features such as:

  • Rebates and cash-back for gas
  • Cheapest Gas locator
  • Cash-back offer on in-store purchases at gas stations
  • Refer friends rewards

It’s possible to save about $15 a month or more on gas.

7. Mystery Shop

While you’re shopping around for your own enjoyment, why not work as a mystery shopper and get paid for it too?

Some mystery shopping sites include:

  • EasyShift– Earn about $2 to $12 per task
  • FieldAgent – Earn up to $12 per task
  • Mobee – Earn anywhere from $6 to $12 an hour
  • Jobs2Shop– Mystery Shop, product reviews and surveys can be completed on this site. Mystery shopping pay varies on the store and type, but product evaluations pay upto $85, and surveys up to $2 each

8. Car Advertising

Companies such as Carvertise will pay you to put advertising on your car.

The requirements for this opportunity are to have a newer (2008 and newer) well-working car and commute at least 30 miles every day. You can choose what brand to allow on your car too. Once you accept a “campaign”, professionals will apply the wrapped advertising on your car and you drive your car every day for the duration of the campaign – usually 30 days, and then they will take the ad off for you.

A “standard” campaign pays $100 a month, and specialized campaigns can pay up to $200 a month. Not bad money for just doing your regular driving.

9. Make Lists

One good way to save money and make the most of your shopping trip is to make lists and stick to them!

Having lists will help you stick to your budget and not overspend anywhere. Ideas for lists are:

  • Grocery lists – every item you need for recipes or for your home
  • Clothes – types, sizes and budget amount
  • Supply lists – School, work, garage, etc. Specific size, quantity, and budget amounts
  • Gifts – Set budget amount per person or family

This reduces impulse buys, overspending and stress.

10. Money Saving Apps

This is different from the cash-back apps I mentioned earlier. These work with all of your purchases no matter where you spent money.

These apps will set money aside in a savings account automatically for you and builds up a savings account. They include: 

  • Digit– Tracks your income and expenses when you link your bank accounts. It will recommend a savings rate for you and adjusts to your spending habits.
  • Acorns– Rounds up your expenditures to the nearest dollar and saves it into a savings account.
  • Drop– Link your credit and debit cards and earn free points from purchases.

Let these apps work in the background and you’ll soon have a decent savings account to access.

Final Thoughts

A shopping trip can be a fun outing or a dreaded chore, depends on your outlook, but you can do so much while you’re out – make money, save money, meet people, and help people.

Let’s make up a hypothetical shopping trip for a Saturday outing for a parent:

  • Drops kid off for practice & waits in parking lot – uses survey apps for an hour – $8 made
  • Drops kid off at home, picks up a passenger and goes across town – $7.10 made
  • Does the grocery shopping – Saved $32 on cash-back apps, made 175 kicks on Shopkick (70¢), and Acorns set aside 53¢ to their savings account.
  • Bought a tank of gas and used Trunow – saved 80¢
  • Picks up a passenger for the trip home – $5.50 made

So, during the morning routine they made $21.30 and saved $33.33! Not bad for about 3 – 4 hours of their morning.

Imagine if they dedicated the whole day to different errands – paying bills, shopping trips, visiting, etc,  and did deliveries, rideshares, tasks, and everything else in between? It can turn into a profitable day.

Get Paid To Shop: The Ibotta app is a FREE mobile app that pays you to take pictures of your receipts and shop online. Cash out in the form of gift cards or to PayPal or Venmo. The best part? We've partnered with Ibotta to give you a $10 bonus when you sign-up using our link and claim your first offer.

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