Cash-back app combines savings and social media

Grocery shopping can be a tedious, expensive task but there's an app that can relieve some of that pain.
Grocery shopping can be a tedious, expensive task but there's an app that can relieve some of that pain. It could save families money and offer a bit of entertainment as well.

7 On Your Side went shopping at Whole Foods with San Francisco resident Elizabeth Meyerdirk, who uses an app called Ibotta to scope out deals and get rebates.

"If I buy a 14.5-ounce can or larger of Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes, which is something I already buy, I can save 50 cents. So, that's great. So what I do is I will come and grab a jar and I will actually turn it over, hold, verify the product's bar code. It's very fast," Meyerdirk said.

She continued shopping, found additional items, went through check out, left the store, reopened the app and then took out the receipt.

She tapped a few buttons on the app and, with that, the money was on her account as a rebate, over and above any discounts offered at the store.

Meyerdirk had $23.75 that could be redeemed in several different ways, including PayPal or gift cards from major retailers.

"It is awesome because it's kind of a fun game that I play at home, you know, before I get to the store. When I get to the store it takes me just a few minutes and I save a bunch of money. It is like finding a $5 bill in my pocket," she said.

"You get cash, it's not points. It's actual money that's paid directly to you right as you walk out of the store," Ibotta CEO Bryan Leach said.

Ibotta is a cash-back app, but Leach said it is a social media tool as well. "Users will push the heart button to tell others what they recommend and they form teams within our application, too. So if you sign up and I sign up and we're both friends on Facebook, for example, we are automatically on each other's Ibotta team. And as the team earns money, all of us on the team get extra cash rewards," he said.
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