Review of the rebate app Checkout 51

We have another review of a rebate app for you! This time we are reviewing the app Checkout 51. With this app, you can earn money by buying food, personal items, and cleaning products listed in the app. You upload a picture of your receipt and then money adds up in your account. Once you reach $20, you can “withdraw” the money. The app is free and is available for apple and android users.

1. Most offers are available at any store

Unlike the app Ibotta, most of the offers are available at any store. If the offer is only available in one store or a few stores, it will say above the item “Walmart” or “Multiple Stores.” If it doesn’t say anything like that above the item, you can buy it at any store to get the rebate.

2. Offers are only good for a week

The offers run from 12:01 am on Thursdays to midnight on Wednesdays. That means that you have to purchase the offers and upload your receipt to the app to claim the offers during that time period. After the week is up, new offers are added. Sometimes offers can be carried over to the next week, but don’t count on it! Offers also may run out before the week is up, so you want to upload your receipt as soon as you buy something that qualifies for a rebate.

3. This is not a quick way to make money

Just like the Ibotta app, you’re not going to make very much money on this app, and you’re not going to get it quickly, either. However, it can be a way to get some rewards for things that you already buy. Just make sure that you aren’t buying something just because it’s on the app. Look at the price and determine whether or not you want to purchase the item- any rebate you might get from the app is just a bonus!

6 Low or No Cost Gifts

As a college student, money often runs tight, and the thought of shelling out tons of money on holiday gifts can increase the stress of the already stressful end of the semester. Here’s a list of alternative gifts that will cost you little to nothing – but your loved ones will enjoy them just as much!

1. Do housework/yard work

This is a great gift for parents and grandparents who can be difficult to shop for! Offer to scoop their driveway this winter every time it snows or clean their house every couple of weeks until spring.

2. Babysit

If you have family or friends with young kids, offer to babysit once or twice a month free of charge. Every couple needs a date night once in awhile, but babysitters can be pricey – it’s a gift every family will love!

3. Make Dinner

Growing up, your parents or grandparents probably spent most of the holidays preparing food for you to eat. Now it’s your turn to prepare dinner for them! If you have siblings, have everyone chip in on food to make it even cheaper.

4. Download CD’s to Itunes

I’ve done this for my parents before and they absolutely loved it! It may take a bit of time, but this is something you can accomplish while doing homework or browsing the Internet. Then upload the songs to your loved one’s smart phone or Mp3 player.

5. Host a Game Night

Have each of your friends bring a board game and beverages to your place, and then you supply the snacks. Have each friend take a turn hosting – after all, food and time with friends is better than a gift!

6. Offer Your Skills

Are you handy with cars or a sewing machine? Offer to change your friend’s oil or fix your sister’s torn dress. Maybe you’re into fitness and can offer a couple free personal training sessions to a friend who wants to get in shape for the new year. Whatever you’re good at, try finding a way to help out a friend or family member in need!

Check out our Holiday Hub webpage for more money saving ideas!

Post written by Amanda Owens, SMMC Program Assistant

Review of the Rebate App Ibotta

If you enjoy earning cash back on purchases, Ibotta is an app you might consider downloading.  Ibotta is a rebate app that enables users to earn cash back on both in-store and online purchases.  Here’s some info you should know about the app before downloading.

1) There’s no coupons, just rebates
Unlike a coupon that discounts the price of an item at the time of purchase, you have to pay full price for the product and then redeem the rebate later.  To redeem cash, you must have at least $20 accumulated in your account, and the money is sent to you via Venmo, PayPal, or a store gift card. *Note: It can take weeks, if not months, to accumulate $20. This won’t be a way to make money quickly.

2)  Bonuses get you more cash
If you sign up and redeem a receipt within 10 days, you get a $10 bonus.  Ibotta also offers a referral program, so you get $5 for each friend you sign up as long as they redeem one purchase.  There are other ways to earn bonus cash available on the app (typically around $2) which is a great perk.

3)  Only certain stores participate
One of the downsides of the app is that there are limited stores to choose from.  Luckily popular stores such as Walmart, Walgreens, and Target are included on the list, in addition to many others.  Also make sure to keep an eye out for restaurants, as many popular eating establishments offer rebates on drinks.

4)  It can make you overspend
It might be tempting to want to rack up more dollars in your account by buying more things, but this just leads to overspending.  Ask yourself if you would buy the item if you didn’t have the app.  You should always make a shopping list before heading to the store – then check Ibotta to see if any of your items are listed. Think of it as a way to make a little extra money, not as a coupon, because you aren’t actually saving money at the time you make the purchase.

Overall, Ibotta is a great way to earn cash back, even if it’s just a couple bucks every time you go to the store.  Just make sure you aren’t making unnecessary purchases and you can make a little money in the long run!

Post written by Amanda Owens, SMMC Program Assistant