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Food & Drink

Best supermarket cashback apps

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 to do it with supermarket cashback apps.

Tesco and Shopmium

Credit: jax10289 – Shutterstock

According to our National Student Money Survey, the average student spends £116 a month on groceries. And, unlike other costs, it's not something you can afford to scrimp on too much – everyone's got to eat!

Luckily, there are loads of ways to save on your supermarket shopping. Using cashback apps is one of our favourites. These apps essentially pay you to shop.

If you follow our tips, it's possible to claim back hundreds of pounds every year and bag a whole load of freebies in the process.

Think cashback on groceries is too good to be true? Prepare to lose your mind at all these ways to get food for free.

Best supermarket cashback apps

In no particular order, here are the best supermarket cashback apps in the UK:

  1. Shopmium

    shopmium logo

    • Best for: Freebies and referral bonuses
    • Minimum cashout: None.

    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 it.

    What's more, you can get 100% cashback on a bag of Malteasers when you sign up using the link below.

    But our favourite thing about Shopmium is that you can refer friends to build up credit. Each time a friend joins and uses the app, you'll receive £3 as a bonus.

    You can't withdraw this credit, but it can be used to boost your cashback on items that aren't 100% free. 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. This means that you'll get a full refund.

    Essentially, more referrals equals more free stuff!

    Download Shopmium »

     

  2. CheckoutSmart

    Checkoutsmart logo

    • Best for: Frequent updates and alcohol
    • Minimum cashout: £20 (5% charge if £19.99 or less).

    CheckoutSmart is regularly updated with new offers. At any given time, there are usually at least 40 on the app.

    But if a really strong offer pops up, it's normally valid for no more than two days. If you want it, you'll need to get down to the supermarket ASAP.

    CheckoutSmart is also the best app for getting cashback on alcohol. There's almost always an offer running on some kind of beer or spirit. If you're planning on pre-drinking with your friends anytime soon, this could be a great way to stock up.

    Download CheckoutSmart »

     

  3. Quidco ClickSnap

    • Best for: Surprise offers
    • Minimum cashout: £1.

    A couple of times a year, Quidco offers a really big freebie like a box of ice creams or a pumpkin. It's definitely worth checking the site for these.

    As they're owned by the same company, Quidco ClickSnap and CheckoutSmart often have the same offers as each other. Sadly, this also means that you 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 CheckoutSmart.

    See ClickSnap offers »

     

  4. GreenJinn

    Greenjinn logo

    • Best for: Fresh fruit and veg
    • Minimum cashout: £1.50.

    GreenJinn is available at most major supermarkets (plus some other retailers, including Wilko and Boots). However, not all offers work at all shops, and Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose tend to have the most deals on the app.

    That said, there is often a lot of fresh produce offers on GreenJinn (as well as plenty of unhealthy treats too). This is perfect if you're trying to get more vitamins into your diet.

    While you won't be able to use the same receipt to claim cashback on CheckoutSmart and Quidco ClickSnap, you may occasionally be able to claim on one of the two, plus GreenJinn. Every now and again the same product will be listed on both (or all three). And as GreenJinn isn't owned by the same parent company, you can claim cashback on multiple services.

    Download GreenJinn »

     

Supermarket cashback apps are just one of the dozens (yeah, we said it: DOZENS) of ways to save money on food.

How do supermarket cashback apps work?

If you're familiar with online cashback, you'll roughly know how the process works. You head to a cashback website, use their link to buy a product and they'll track the purchase. Afterwards, they'll reimburse you a percentage of the sale to your account. Simple, right?

Supermarket cashback apps work in a similar way. However, they have one major perk: in some cases, you can be reimbursed 100% of the cost of your purchase. So, you can essentially get something for free.

How to use supermarket cashback apps

This is how to use supermarket cashback apps to get cheap and free food:

  1. Download and open up one of the apps to see what items are eligible for cashback (and which shops are taking part)
  2. Head to the nearest participating store and purchase the items (making sure to keep the receipt)
  3. Scan the receipt and, if necessary, the barcodes using the cashback app
  4. Wait for your cashback to track (this can take up to a week)
  5. Withdraw the money to your bank account or PayPal account.

It really is that simple! And it doesn't matter if you're buying other things at the same time. As long as your receipt shows the cashback items, you'll be eligible for a refund.

If you're hoping to earn some extra cashback, you might be able to buy things for your friends and family via cashback apps. We explain this in more detail in our guide to making money from helping your parents.

How to get free food on cashback apps

grocery items

Free food claimed by STS users

We've found deals on a huge array of different foods. However, the offers are mainly on products from brands that 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:

  • Nutella
  • Soup
  • Cheese
  • Peanut butter
  • Yorkshire Tea
  • Walkers crisps
  • Pesto
  • Coca Cola
  • Beer
  • Ready meals
  • Easter eggs
  • So much more...

We've also seen cashback available for non-food items, like shampoo and pet food. While there's no point in buying something you don't want for a partial refund, you may as well make the most of a full refund. Never turn down a few freebies, we say!

Plus, if it's something you don't like or won't use, you can donate your freebies to a food bank.

Don't forget to keep up to date with the freebies on offer via our student deals section, too.

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). 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 the nearest eligible stores. This way, you know exactly where to go.

Also, you sometimes have to buy the product from a specific supermarket chain 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 don't want to end up spending more on transport.

And don't worry if you do your food shopping online. Most supermarket cashback apps accept online shopping receipts as well as the in-store equivalent (although there are occasionally some exceptions).

To be on the safe side, we'd recommend always checking the T&Cs to see which shops are excluded for every offer you try out, as well as if you're allowed to buy the products online.

If the cashback is available from a few stores, use the supermarkets' websites to find out where it's cheapest (unless the offer is for 100% cashback, in which case it doesn't matter!).

Are supermarket cashback apps reliable?

four easter eggs and receipt

Yes, supermarket cashback apps are reliable, but you have to pay attention when shopping to make sure you buy the right products. Most apps allow you to check the eligibility of an item in-store by scanning the barcode there and then. We'd always recommend that you do this to avoid buying an ineligible product.

For example, in a lot of cases the size of the item is important. You don't want to accidentally buy a 500g box 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 needed.

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.

We're always posting the latest and greatest cashback deals on our Facebook group.

How to maximise cashback earnings

Here are a few hacks and tips that will help you get even more out of using these apps:

Looking to get EVEN more out of your phone? Check out our list of the best apps for students.

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