5 Ways To Kick Start Your Budget!

Check out 5 ways to kick start your budget this spring. I am partnering with Ibotta to help all of you save a little extra money and even earn some cash back to buy some of those purchases that don’t make it on the necessity list (yes, like that gorgeous purse you’ve been eyeing since last year). Ibotta is by far my favorite money saving app that I have used and it is so helpful when starting a budget. By following these 5 simple tasks, you can help kickstart your budget so that your wallet and significant other (we’re looking at you, frugal husbands) will be happier!

What Is Ibotta?

Ibotta is an easy tool to help you get started on your budget by saving time and money on those purchases you are already making like groceries, online shopping and more. Ibotta is a free app and super simple to use – just download the app and browse all the retailers that you can start earning cash back with. All your favorites are on there – such as Walmart, Kroger, Target, Gap, Express and about 1,500 more retailers! You can earn cash back by in store purchases, online purchases or by linking your store loyalty cards! I have been using Ibotta for a few years now and it’s always fun to see just how much you can earn off of the purchases you are already making!

Download the Ibotta app here!

Top 5 Ways to Help Kickstart That Budget

1. Meal Plan Around Sales

This first rule has saved me a ton of money in groceries. I used to plan out all my meals for the week and then check to see if there are any coupons, deals or offers on the items that I had on my list. If you check the weekly sales flyer and Ibotta first, you can choose meals based on what is on sale and save money. I also enjoy having some inspiration to plan those meals because let’s face it – planning a week’s worth of meals for an entire family is not fun. If pork chops happen to be on sale that week, I will add them to my grocery list and then research recipes online or in cookbooks that will work with my family.

Most stores rotate items that are on sale so this is also a good way to keep from getting in a meal rut and always cooking the same chicken dish every week (I can hear the grumbles and groans from my kids and husband from here). Every Sunday I sit down and scan through Ibotta first, saving all the offers that may make it on to my list and then I browse the weekly grocery ad next. Then I make my final meal plan for the week and make my grocery list. It does take a little extra time but it is worth it in the end to have a week’s worth of meal ideas and the amount of money you save by shopping the sales will pay off big time.

2. Use Ibotta Offers For All Beer & Wine Purchases

This is a place where you can really rack up the extra cash back at the grocery. As long as you are not particular to any certain brand of beer or wine, you will love seeing the savings on this trick. Every week or so, Ibotta will update the app with new beer brands and wine brands (and spirits too-but people tend to be pickier when it comes to hard alcohol) and they have awesome cash back opportunities. This week alone I saved almost $10 on just beer and wine. I used a rebate for Red Stripe beer and got $3 cash back. My husband usually stocks beer in our fridge for weekends or if we have guests over and instead of choosing a different beer I went with Red Stripe and everyone leaves happy! This also pertains to wine. There are tons of offers for wine in the Ibotta app and most have significant cash back amount. So as long as you are open to trying new wines or beer this is a great way to rack up that cash back.

3. Use the Ibotta app every time you make an online purchase or online travel reservtions

With over 1,500 retailers and brands on the Ibotta app, you are sure to find the one you are looking for. Just head to the app first and click on the retailer that you are shopping at and it will take you straight to their website. From there you would just shop and check out normally and Ibotta will automatically track your purchase and give you your cash back. Percentages differ from retailer to retailer but some have a hefty cash back percentage that you won’t want to miss out on. Cash back percentages also change from day to day so it’s a good idea to check the app first before you do any online shopping. You can also use the Ibotta app for travel too! is one of the retailers on Ibotta and you can earn a big percentage cash back by booking your hotel through the Ibotta app.

4. Link Your Store Loyalty/Savings Card Right To The Ibotta App

This might be the easiest way to earn cash back with Ibotta. Once you download the app check the retailers that you frequent the most and see if they offer to link your loyalty card. Target is one of the biggest retailers that offers this option. Once your card is linked you do not have to do any scanning of receipts or bar codes, Ibotta will automatically do this for you! This is super helpful for all those times that you forget to scan those receipts when you get home. We all know how crazy it gets once you enter that door with your arms full of groceries!

5. Purchase “Extras” With Your Cash Back

This is my favorite way to kick start your budget on the entire list. Once you hit $20 cash back on the Ibotta app (which doesn’t take too long as long as you are using the app frequently) you can elect to either transfer it to a paypal account or purchase gift cards to one of the many retailers they offer on their site. I use this money to purchase those “extras” that I want, but that didn’t make the cut of things that I “need”. That adorable top from Old Navy that you saw on your favorite blogger (hint hint, me) but didn’t have the extra cash to buy? No prob! Cash out your $20 for an Old Navy gift card and that top is all yours without having to tell your frugal husband! Cha-ching!

Here is a picture of my latest grocery shopping trip to Kroger. I bought only things that would normally be on our grocery list with the exception of certain brands that I may have switched to earn the cash back (beer & wine) and earned over $12 in cash back.

There you have it, my 5 ways to kick start your budget and earn a little extra cash for yourself. I am so honored to be working with Ibotta. I truly have been using the app for years and love the ease of earning cash back with their super simple app. It takes just a few extra minutes to use before those grocery trips or online shopping sprees but once you start earning you will see just how easy it is! As always, thanks for reading!


*This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with Ibotta. All opinions are my own! All offers were valid as of publish date. Don’t forget to check your app for details as offers change frequently and may not be available in all areas.

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