Welcome to part three of my series devoted to the best grocery shopping apps. Over the next few weeks I’ll be highlighting six apps that will definitely save you money (and in some cases earn you some extra cash). Checkout 51 is the second app in the queue. If you’re unfamiliar with how these apps work or want to start from the beginning read this first:
Checkout 51 has an interesting model. They offer a sizable number and variety of rebates from different categories including snacks and sweets, bakery, pantry, babies and kids, home, personal care, meat and seafood, medicine and health, vegan and vegetarian, beer, wine and spirits, dairy and eggs, automotive, beverages, frozen, and “pick your own” fresh produce.
Many products can be purchased from any store that itemizes receipts, however, some items must be purchased from specific retailers like Walmart, Krogers, or CVS. When browsing the rebates I noticed that often there is “brand clustering.” By that I mean that there may be a cluster of different products from the same brand (i.e. soap, shampoo, and conditioner from the same company). It’s great if you like that brand or it doesn’t much matter.
Important Things to Know about Checkout 51
1. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: According to the Checkout 51 website, offers get updated weekly. “Offers go live on Thursdays at 12:00 AM in each time zone. They expire the following Wednesday at 11:59 PM in each time zone.” Receipts must be uploaded when the offer is live.
2. Limited Number of Rebates Available: You might need to act fast to claim some rebates as they are limited in number and the popular ones go fast. Once they are gone, you’ll still see them within the app with a “no longer available” notation designed (in my opinion) to make you feel bad about missing out and motivating you to act faster next time.
3. Online Redemption Available: Items purchased from online retailers are eligible for cash back with itemized packing slips.
4. Redeem Rebates Multiple Times: One cool thing about Checkout 51 is that pretty often you can redeem rebates multiple times on the same receipt. For instance, if you purchase five of the same item, you can redeem the rebate five times if that option is available. How do you know if it’s available? Each rebate tells you how many times it can be redeemed, and you simply select the number of rebates you want up to the maximum allowed.
Getting Started and Saving Money with Checkout 51
Getting started with Checkout 51 and using its features is simple and easy to master. There is a tutorial available if needed, but I found that once you learn how one app works, it’s easy to figure out the rest on your own.
1. Create an account with an email address or by connecting Checkout 51 with Facebook.
2. Review the available rebates and select the ones you want from the store(s) you intend to purchase from. Rebates can be viewed from the Checkout 51 mobile app or laptop/desktop.
3. Verify your purchases and claim your rebate(s). This is done by taking a picture of the receipt that includes the item purchased and uploading it to the site. The receipt upload can be done through the app or computer.
That’s it! Once approved the rebate will be deposited into your Checkout 51 account and you’ll receive a notice.
Checkout 51, like all of the grocery apps in this series holds your redeemed rebates until you hit their cash out threshold. Once you hit $20 in rebate redemptions you can cash out by requesting to have a check mailed to you. At this time a check is the only method available.
More Ways to Save
1. Join a Brand Program: The Checkout 51 Brand program is like a reward program within the rebate program. When you join specific brand programs you’re eligible to receive extra rebates and offers from that particular brand. Look for a rebate that has a “join” button inside. Click it and voila, you’ve joined the program.
2. Product Specific Bonuses: Sometimes you can score a double rebate with product specific bonuses. For instance, there may be a $0.75 rebate when you purchase a specific brand of cereal. Checkout 51 may offer their own $0.50 bonus on top of that. Be sure to read the rebate carefully because sometimes the bonus requires that an additional item be purchased.
3. Occasional Freebies and Money Makers: The freebies and money maker opportunities are nowhere near as robust as with ibotta, but they’re still possible. Combine Checkout 51 rebates with sales, coupons, and app stacking (when more than one grocery shopping app has a rebate for the same item).
Referrals and Sign Up Bonuses
As of this writing Checkout 51 does not offer a referral or sign up bonus program. They have been offered in the past. I will update this post if something changes.
I think that’s about it for now. Let me know if you have any questions or additional points to add. The next app on the list is BerryCart for folks who like to save on “all natural” foods.