There’s plenty of coupons that are always available for our favorite grocery stores such as Safeway, Fred Meyer, Albertson’s, etc. The only problem is that we have to go through the trouble of finding the coupons and not forgetting to bring them to the store with us.
On Frugal For Less we highly value getting the most amount of cash back in the least amount of time. A program that reflects this mantra is SavingStar, a way to get extra savings by using your grocery store rewards card.
What is SavingStar?
SavingStar is a website or a mobile app that you can download to your smartphone. They offer manufactured ecoupons that you can use in most stores nationwide. The beauty of these ecoupons is that you don’t have to print them, as they are automatically linked to your grocery store rewards card.
The only thing that’s required of you is to go online each week (since deals are refreshed every Wednesday night) and click which coupon offers you’d like to redeem. Once you go to the grocery store and use your rewards card affiliated with that card, not only are you going to get rewards points, but the cash back from your activated will be placed into your online SavingStar account.
The money that you save will be deposited into your SavingStar account online. Once you reach a minimum of $5, you can cash out directly to PayPal or your bank account without any fees.
For the health-conscious shopper, there are usually a few healthy offers as well. Each week I usually find that I can get at least a 20% discount on bananas at multiple stores.
How Does It Work?
Here we’ve put together a four-step process of how you can log-in and start using SavingStar today to get extra cash back from grocery shopping.
1. Sign-up For a SavingStar Account
First we need to signup for account. Go to www.savingstar.com and click on the sign-up button. The only thing that will be required is for you to create an account with email activation and a password.
2. Enter Your Rewards Information
After signing-up you’ll be instructed to link all of the stores that you shop at and have rewards accounts with. If you currently are not signed-up for a rewards program, you can always go back and add it later.
There will be two ways to link your rewards programs with SavingStar.
The first way is to enter your loyalty card number. If you forgot this number, you can find it by examining your grocery store receipt or calling up the store to find out. This can be done for KMart, Rite-Aid or Albertsons. Go ahead and click ‘Add Card’ and you’ll be eligible to claim rebates on your next purchase.
The second way requires that you first make at least one purchase with your loyalty card and then scan the receipt to the SavingStar website or mobile app. This step is required for all stores not mentioned above.
Take note that uploading a receipt only has to be done once to verify your information.
3. Select Offers
Now that your account is setup you can log-in to your SavingStar account and select offers from the front page. Click the ‘I Want This’ button to claim the rebate.
When you activate an offer, it applies to all rewards cards that are registered in your account. However, you can only claim the offer once until it reactivates the following week. You cannot use the same ecoupon at multiple stores.
4. Cash Out
Make sure to enter and verify your PayPal information in your SavingStar account or you won’t receive your money back. Once your account reaches a minimum of $5, all of your savings will automatically be deposited into your PayPal or bank account without any fees. You can also redeem for gift cards as well.
Cash back can take a maximum of 22 days to reflect in your SavingStar account, so be patient.
You’re most likely not going to face any problems when it comes to filing taxes. SavingStar is only required to send you a tax form if you earn $600 dollars or more per calendar year. While the IRS does require you to report all earnings, they aren’t going to receive any notice from SavingStar unless you save a large amount.
Every Friday you have the chance to claim buy one get one free offers. Make sure to use these offers quick because they have to be used that same day in order to qualify for cash back.
What I usually do is log-on to the SavingStar website once a week on Friday morning. I select all possible offers that are currently available, which only takes about 30 seconds. This way I’m qualifying for Freebie Friday as well as not having to worry about remembering about offers I activated since I can just select them all.
SavingStar Credit Card – Is It Worth It?
There is another option on how to increase your cash back with every purchase. You can apply for the SavingStar credit card and receive an extra 10% back on all eligible SavingStar purchases.
However, since this 10% only counts toward offers that you claim on the SavingStar website and not your total purchase, we highly recommend you finding another cash back credit card.
You could always make two separate purchases, sorting out which groceries qualify for cash back through SavingStar and sorting out those which don’t, but I personally don’t want to go through the extra hassle of trying to remember which offers I claimed. Time is also an important factor when it comes to shopping.
Remember That These Are Manufactured Coupons
For those of you who do like to use coupons, we need to address the issue of stacking coupons. The SavingStar ecoupons are actually manufactured coupons. While they can be stacked with another store coupon, they cannot be stacked with another manufactured coupon. and try not to do this.
The SavingStar website states that if you accidentally happen to scan a manufactured coupon in addition to the SavingStar coupon, you will still get both discounts. However, this is highly frowned upon. Please follow the fine print and only use one manufactured coupon per purchase. We want to keep our account in good standing and not make our accounts susceptible to being banned.
You will find a few offers that will state that you can spend $15.00 and receive $5.00 back. These are called One Or Many Offers, and they are not counted as manufactured coupons.
A great way to quickly recognize if you are using two manufactured coupons is checking if the same amount if being discounted on each coupon. If you activate an offer that saves you 50 cents and cut a coupon from your local newspaper for the same product that saves you another 50 cents, you’re most likely using two manufactured coupons and violating terms.
You do not have to spend the entire amount to claim a one or many offer. Each time you buy that item will be counted toward the spending requirement and automatically remembered by SavingStar.
SavingStar requires very little work once you are all setup and ready to go. Simply log-in once a week and select all offers available to maximize your savings on grocery shopping. I usually log-in on Friday morning so that I can also select the Freebie Friday deals.
How much you save will depend on what groceries you buy. Using SavingStar alone I’m usually able to save an extra $5 per month on groceries from only spending 2 minutes per month activating offers.
I’d love to hear how much you’ve been able to save from SavingStar in the comments below. If you’d like to support Frugal For Less, please sign-up for SavingStar using this link. Thanks for reading!