Believe it or not there’s a way to get money back every time you shop at the supermarket. We’re here to show you how with supermarket cashback apps.
According to our National Student Money Survey, the average student spends over £100 a month on food. And, unlike other costs, it’s not something you can afford to scrimp too much on – everyone’s got to eat!
Luckily there are loads of ways to save on your supermarket shopping, and using cashback apps is one of our favourites. These apps give you the buzz of being paid to shop!
If you follow our tips it’s possible to claim back hundreds of pounds per year – and bag a whole load of freebies in the process.
How do supermarket cashback apps work?
If you’re familiar with online cashback you’ll know roughly how the process works. To claim cash back online, you head to a cashback website and use their link to buy a product. The cashback site tracks the sale and then reimburses you a percentage of that sale back to your bank account. Simple, right?
Using supermarket cashback apps works in pretty much the same way, but with one major perk – in some cases you can be reimbursed 100% of the cost of your purchase, so you essentially get something for free.
Step-by-step guide to supermarket cashback apps
- Download and open up one of the apps to see what items are eligible for cashback
- Head to the nearest participating store and purchase the items (keep the receipt)
- Scan the receipt and the items using the cashback app
- Wait for your cashback to track (this can take up to a week)
- Withdraw the money to your bank account or Paypal account.
What types of free food can you get?
We’ve found deals on a huge array of different foods, but the offers are mainly on products from brands which are new to the market, or new products from well-established brands.
Here’s a list of just some of the totally free items we’ve claimed in the past:
We’ve also seen cashback available for non-food items, too. While there’s no point in buying something you don’t want for a partial refund, if it’s a full refund you might as well make the most of it – never turn down a freebie, we say!
Plus, if it’s something you don’t like or won’t use, you can donate your freebies to a food bank.
Where can you use cashback apps?
Usually these apps only work with receipts from big supermarkets (Tesco, ASDA, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and the Co-op) but most of the time the app will let you know where you can shop in order to be eligible for the cashback. In some cases they even have a map pinpointing your nearest eligible stores, so you know exactly where to go.
It’s also worth noting that in some instances you have to buy the product from a specific supermarket in order to get the cashback. If it’s not your local store, think about whether it’s worth trekking further afield just to nab the freebies – you might end up spending more on transport!
To be on the safe side, we’d recommend always checking the Ts&Cs to see which shops are excluded for every offer you try out.
Are supermarket cashback apps reliable?
Most of the apps allow you to check the eligibility of an item in store by simply scanning the barcode there and then. We’d always recommended that you do this so you’re not in danger of buying an incorrect item
For example, in a lot of cases the size of the item is important. You don’t want to accidentally buy a 500g pack of biscuits, when only the 200g pack is eligible.
Once you’ve bought the item and applied for your cashback, the apps themselves recommend keeping hold of your receipts until you receive your payout. This is just in case there are any problems, like if the picture you’ve taken doesn’t include all of the info they need.
The best way to avoid having to rescan your receipt and items is to make sure the photographs you submit are clear and legible. Try placing the receipt on a dark surface to make it stand out, and ensure there’s plenty of light.
Top supermarket cashback apps
If you want to get the most cashback from your shopping, we’d recommend downloading all of the apps available. This is because each app will have different offers at any one time.
Before you go to do your weekly shop, have a quick flick through them all to see what’s available, and make a note of any deals you want to take advantage of.
Best for: Freebies
Minimum cashout: None
Things you need to know: Shopmium is the only app where you also need to scan in your barcodes, so don’t eat your freebie before you have a chance to claim on it.
You can get 100% cashback on a jar of Nutella when you sign up for the first time using the referral code KFGMHKGK.
As an added bonus on Shopmium, you can refer friends to build up credit. Each time a friend joins and uses the app you will receive £4 as a bonus.
You cannot withdraw this credit but it can be used to boost your earnings on items that don’t offer 100% cashback. For example, if Shopmium is offering £3 cashback on a £6 item, it will use your credit (if you have it) to boost this up to £6 – meaning you get a full refund!
Essentially, more referrals = more free stuff!
Best for: Frequent updates
Minimum cashout: £20 (5% charge if under £19.99)
Things you need to know: CheckoutSmart refreshes almost every day with new offers, and often they’re totally free!
But if a really strong offer pops up it’s usually only valid for no more than two days – so you’ll need to get down to the supermarket ASAP.
Best for: Surprise offers
Minimum cashout: None
Things you need to know: A couple of times a year, Quidco offers a really big freebie like a box of ice creams or a pumpkin – so it’s definitely worth checking the site for these.
As they’re owned by the same company, Quidco Clicksnap and Checkout Smart often have the same offers as each other. Sadly this also means that you also can’t use the same receipt on each app.
However, if you get a separate receipt you should be able to use the offer twice – once on Quidco Clicksnap, and once on Checkout Smart.
TopCashback Snap & Save
Best for: Everyday staples
Minimum cashout: None
Things you need to know: TopCashback update their Snap & Save page once a week on a Thursday, and there usually aren’t as many deals as some of the other apps on this list.
Most of the time, though, you can redeem the offers at any supermarket. Plus, they’ll be on more general products like own-brand foods, which is helpful.
Best for: Fresh fruit and veg
Minimum cashout: £1.50
Things you need to know: At the moment GreenJinn only works at Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.
Tesco is a new addition, so hopefully other supermarkets are coming soon! There’s always a lot of fresh produce offers on GreenJinn – ideal if you’re trying to get more vitamins into your diet.
How to maximise cashback earnings
It’s great to save a little bit of money, but here at Save the Student we love to supercharge the savings. Here are a few hacks and tips that will help you get even more out of using these apps:
Are you a fan of supermarket cashback apps? What’s the biggest free shop you’ve ever managed to get?