Now is a great time to be a
penny-pincher frugal consumer. There are numerous sites and mobile apps offering consumers with plenty of opportunities to save money on all the things they buy. Perhaps you’ve heard about Wal-Mart’s Savings Catcher, which will match the items from your Wal-Mart purchase receipt (once it is scanned using their mobile app – Walmart has a Quick Response code, or QR code, on each printed receipt to make this painless) against recently advertised prices from competing stores. If the competitor’s price was lower on the same items during the last 7 days, Wal-Mart will give you back the difference in the form of electronic Wal-Mart gift card credit which can be applied to a future purchase using their Wal-Mart Pay option. It’s handy and the savings opportunities are high if you shop at Wal-Mart with any regularity. As of this writing, we’ve earned over $130 using it, which is about the equivalent of half of the weekly grocery spending for our family.
Or maybe you’ve heard about Checkout51, which presents electronic coupon savings in their app that you can accrue based upon item offers you select from the app, buy and then verify with a mobile phone upload of a photograph of your receipt. They’ll send you a check once your savings balance exceeds $20. Their offer mix is decent and the offers get refreshed each week, but we don’t find them to be very applicable to our purchase patterns. We’ve earned around $13 so far using the app and haven’t yet received a payout.
Of course, there’s also coupons.com which is more of the traditional print-at-home couponing site, though they are branching out into electronic savings and also “load to card” digital coupon offers for those stores with loyalty programs. They may one day become a more dominant player in the digital couponing space. Our savings using this service has been minimal since printing coupons at home isn’t a task we take the time to do.
All that said, our favorite couponing/savings app here at Home Educate in the Sunshine State is definitely Ibotta. The Ibotta app, available for iOS and Android, is robust, well designed and allows you to easily earn money back (paid out via PayPal, Venmo or in $20 increments on a variety of popular merchant gift cards) on all sorts of purchase categories like groceries, cosmetics, drugs, personal care items, adult beverages, paper products, restaurant foods and more. They have also begun featuring % back rebates for online purchases with Amazon, Target, iTunes, Groupon, Hollar and more. There’s a full list of participating stores here. It’s pretty impressive.
As you can imagine, we strive to use the Ibotta app nearly every time we shop. We’ve earned over $185 so far and we’ve done so in a relatively short time. Ibotta also has the concept of “teams” (basically your Facebook friends who also use the Ibotta app) and that can help you earn more, bonus savings if you and the team meet monthly rebate goals. This portion of their app makes the concept of saving money more fun and collaborative as it feels like a competition or a game when you and your friend jointly strive for more rebates. Ibotta is definitely our recommended option for those looking to save a few bucks each week.
Anyway, after that long lead-in (so sorry), we’ll now move on to address the objective stated in the article title. As an avid iBotta user and Walmart shopper, you may have run into a frustrating situation when trying to use Ibotta with Walmart Pay. You see, when you make a purchase and use Walmart Pay at a store, Walmart does not print a physical receipt from their cash register. This is their “save your receipt to your phone” feature, which probably saves them some money on receipt paper and prevents you having to keep hold of paper receipts. Both are valid reasons. However, not having the printed receipt prevents you from being able to scan the receipt QR code in Ibotta to verify your purchases for the savings you are eligble to receive. Ibotta has even stated in their FAQs that they don’t support Wal-Mart e-receipts at this time.
“We can only accept original in-store printed receipts. Walmart Pay ‘e-receipts’ and pick-up orders are not accepted as valid receipts at this time.” – iBotta
Even though you don’t have a physical receipt and Ibotta doesn’t officially support e-receipt usage, we’ve found a way that you can still submit your Wal-Mart e-receipt with a little extra work using the Wal-Mart mobile app.
Here’s How to Submit a Wal-Mart e-Receipt to Ibotta
1 – Go to the Savings Catcher section of the Walmart app (look for the piggy bank icon) and click it.
2- Find and tap the “Your Results” area.
3 – Review the transaction list to find and click on the transaction from the date and store location that you want to submit to Ibotta.
4 – In the upper right-hand corner of the next screen is a little icon that looks like a receipt tape (a rectangle with multiple horizontal lines).
5 – Click that icon and the app will display a graphic of the receipt you would normally have received the Wal-mart cash register.
6 – At the bottom of that graphic is the Wal-Mart QR code you need to scan for Ibotta to verify your eligible rebates against your actual purchases.
7- Scan the QR code in the Ibotta app to submit your Wal-Mart purchase receipt.
But wait, you say, how can I do this? Of course, scanning the QR code is tricky if your Ibotta app and Walmart app are on the same phone.
Here are some easy-to-complete suggestions for getting around this challenge.
2 – Find the resulting image created by that screenshot on your mobile device and take a picture of the image in the iBotta app.
You may need to get creative with how you get the image with the QR code to a place where it can be scanned by your mobile device.
Some suggestions include:
1 – Email the image to yourself and open it on a desktop Apple or Windows PC and scan the image from the screen of that computer.
2 – Text the image to a friend or family member and scan the QR code while it is displayed on their device screen.
3 – Upload the image to your Dropbox account or to iCloud drive from your phone and open the screenshot image on your PC or iPad for scanning in the iBotta app.
4 -If you phone is capable of printing to a local WiFi printer, print the image and then scan it from the printed page.
Once successful, your receipt will be submitted to iBotta and you should get all the savings you deserve. Enjoy!