Nancy Frost loves saving money at the grocery store. It’s not a chore for her; rather, it’s a challenge she meets with enthusiasm.

“I’ve always been interested in saving money but never really was able to make that happen,” said Frost, a library services supervisor with a large family in Cumberland, Maryland. “We have six kids between us and several grandchildren. Also, my husband and I enjoy our four Jack Russell terriers.”

With a sizeable family, including those four-legged mischief-makers, every dollar counts. So what does Frost do? She started using a cash-back app to earn money when she shops — and she saved $432 in one year.

An App That Pays You for Shopping

Frost uses Ibotta for her grocery purchases in Cumberland, Md., Tuesday Aug 7, 2018. Matt Roth for The Penny Hoarder

Frost uses Ibotta to earn cash back for stuff she would have bought anyway — by taking pictures of her receipts.

In the app, specific items are listed at various stores. When you buy those items, you simply select the deal in Ibotta and take a picture of your receipt, and you’ll get cash back in your Ibotta account. Once you’ve reached $20, you can swing that money into your bank account.

Frost uses the app when she makes grocery runs and trips to Walmart.

“I use it at home before I go to the store, almost like a grocery list,” she said. “I find the offers that the vendors have available.”

By looking at Ibotta’s offers before she sets foot outside her door, she can plan her shopping trip. She knows ahead of time which brand of yogurt or cottage cheese will save her money. She might try new things she sees on the app, but she usually sticks to items she had already planned on buying.

It Beats Clipping Coupons

“It’s probably no more time consuming than clipping coupons,” she said. “To me, the difference with Ibotta is that a manufacturer’s coupon comes off your overall order and you don’t really think about it. But Ibotta, to me, I look at that as earnings.”

Frost enjoys photography as a hobby, so it’s only natural that taking pictures of receipts now could help her prepare for a comfortable retirement. Then, she’ll be able to take pictures of whatever catches her eye.

But for now, she has no plans on stopping. In fact, she plans on ramping up her efforts and recommends that others take advantage of Ibotta and other savings tools, as well.

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