It’s been almost four months since I tried out the SavingStar and ibotta apps on my iPhone. I stopped using ibotta — there were too many hoops to jump through for it to be worth it. I’ve continued to use SavingStar, though. I’ve accumulated only $3.75 in savings so far. There aren’t many foods that I buy that end up being on the app, but because it’s so easy to use, I always check the app right before I go to the grocery store.

Once I accumulate $5 in savings with SavingStar, I’ll be eligible for a $5 payout directly into my bank account, PayPal account, or my Amazon account. I also have the option to donate the money to American Forests.

SavingStar has added a new savings option that might get me to that first $5 mark, and I thought you might want to know about it. In addition to grocery coupon savings, the site now has a Cashback Mall. If you shop at one of hundreds of stores by clicking on the link through the SavingStar website, you’ll earn a percentage of your purchase.

It’s no different than many other sites that give you cash back on purchases by shopping through appropriate links, but if you’re already using SavingStar at the grocery store, it may make sense to check it out. If you do the bulk of your holiday shopping online like I do, you could earn a little cash back, maybe enough to buy yourself the bottle of wine you’re going to need once you see your bank account depleted from all your shopping!

I browsed through the hundreds of stores the site works with, and here are a few that caught my attention:

  • Apple – If you’re planning a major iSomething-or-other or Mac purchase this holiday season, you can earn 1.5 percent cash back.
  • Burpee – Next spring when it’s time to order garden seeds, Burpee has a large selection of organic seeds to choose from. You can earn 5 percent back on your purchase.
  • Beauty.com and Drugstore.com – Both offer 4 percent cash back on products and sell several natural and organic beauty and household products.
  • Gaiam – Earn 3.5 percent cash back on the company's natural and organic yoga, meditation, and other products.
  • Starbucks – Stuff everyone’s stockings with gift cards and get 3.5 percent cash back.
One huge caveat about shopping through SavingStar’s website: if you have a coupon code that you got from a website other than SavingStar, using the coupon code will nullify your SavingStar savings. There’s no double dipping. SavingStar does have it’s own Online Coupon Code section, and using those codes won’t nullify your SavingStar savings, but the coupons I saw there aren’t that great.

Do you use any cash-back shopping websites? Is there one you think gives you the best rewards?

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