If you don’t use rebate apps like Ibotta and Checkout51, you’re missing out! They’re great money-saving tools that add another awesome level of savings to your grocery bill—however, they do require a couple of post-shopping-trip steps that many people forget or even dislike. And I get it—getting those receipts uploaded can be a chore. Stacks of receipts to scan and rejected receipts that require starting all over again can be discouraging, but it’s totally worth it once you get the hang of it. Here are some tips to make scanning those receipts as quick and painless as possible:

Tips for scanning receipts

1. Include all necessary info
The most common pieces of information which must be included in your receipt scan are the name of the store, the receipt date, the purchased items, and the bar code.

2. Split your receipt
Since most apps let you add additional pages for scans, don’t hesitate to split your receipt. Attempting to scan a very lengthy receipt with one photo will usually result in a rejection.

3. Try to limit lengthy receipts
If you are purchasing large amounts of one item (15 sodas, 10 yogurts, etc.), your receipt will be long. Purchase items you plan to submit to Ibotta separately. This will save you time and reduce the chance that your receipt is rejected.

4. Scan as quickly after purchase as possible
It can be easy to put off scanning your receipts, but the object is to make money. Scan the receipt before it’s misplaced, shredded, outdated, or you forget what item you need to be reimbursed for.

5. Keep the receipt handy until accepted by your app or rescan immediately
Your receipt can be rejected for several reasons (my most frequent reason for rejection is that the picture is too blurry), so keep it handy in case you need to rescan. If your receipt is rejected, rescan it immediately before you forget!

Related: 4 Rebate Apps and Tools That You Should Be Using for Online Purchases

8 Must-have rebate apps

  1. Ibotta is my favorite rebate app (and I’m sure I’m not alone)! Remember to use the scanner bar in the top right corner of the screen to make sure you have the correct item prior to your purchase. It’s not fun to get home, scan the receipt, and find your item doesn’t match!
  2. MobiSave is a user favorite because there’s no minimum to cash out and you can earn rebates at any store as long as they carry the offered item and you get an itemized receipt. You can also shop offline if there’s spotty service.
  3. Receipt Hog is the easiest to use because you can scan any receipt with a grocery item; however, I have found it to be the most difficult to get a clear picture. But the app has some great features—it provides useful details such as the date the receipt is loaded, the subtotal, tax amount, total submitted, and amount of coins received for that receipt.
  4. Jingit often has rebates for everyday items like bread, milk and butter, as well as seasonal items like football snacks. To score Jingit rebates you have to select the rebate before you buy the item and save it in your virtual shopping wallet, then you have 24 hours to redeem the rebate.
  5. Checkout51 offers rebates on specific and generic products but doesn’t care what store you shopped at as long as you have your receipt. The rebates reset each Wednesday at midnight, so make sure to get your receipt submitted in time!
  6. Shopmium (use code GHUUAEPE) gives you cash back when you buy their featured products. Again, you can buy the product at any major store chain as long as you have the receipt. They transfer your rebate directly into your PayPal account, so there’s no need to wait to cash out at a certain threshold. Read more about Shopmium here.
  7. BerryCart saves you cash on healthy and organic products just by snapping a picture of your receipt. It works at Walmart along with other large store chains like Target and Whole Foods. Read more about BerryCart here.
  8. SavingStar allows you to clip virtual coupons and get cash back for purchasing those items in stores. SavingStar tracks your purchases through your customer loyalty card, but you can also snap photos of your receipt to claim your virtual coupons and get cash back using their app.

This is a post by Tammy from St. Pauls, NC