- Hayley Bennett runs @that_coupon_chick, an Instagram page focused on coupons and deals, and recommends Ibotta as her favorite app.
- She started couponing to save on diapers and it turned into her full-time job.
- This is her story, as told to Mary Beth Gahan.
I spend my days helping people learn how to coupon, find clearance deals, and save money.
I started my Instagram account in early 2020 because I was always telling people about the deals I was getting. My boyfriend at the time said, "Why don't you just put it online so the people interested in it will see it?" It just kind of grew from there.
My desire to find coupons came from a real need: In 2016, I was a broke college student and a new mom.
Everything was expensive and I was trying to find a way to save as much money as I could. I didn't really think I was going to get into couponing like I did. I thought I was just going to use coupons here and there, save a little bit of money. Then I realized just how much this could really impact people and how much money you really could save.
Saving money this way gave me financial independence to be my own boss
I started in 2021 with about 2,000 followers. At the beginning of this year, I had 10,000. Now, I'm at 23,000. It used to be a side gig thing, but with the referrals, brand deals and sponsorships, this is my main job. It's great. Growing up, I always wanted to do something for myself on my own and not worry about being bossed around by people.
Coupons are out there, you just have to know where to look
When I wake up, I'll check different apps and see if any rebates have been posted. If they have, then I kind of cross-check with the sales going on with Target, Publix, CVS, wherever. Then, I search for coupons online. Really all you have to do is Google the brand and the coupon you're trying to find. Google does a pretty good job of pulling up anything relevant.
Then I go to the store, find the deals, and take pictures and videos. After that, I post the deals for people on my page.
Newspapers are no longer the place to look for coupons
Over the past couple of years and especially since Covid started, more companies are starting to pull coupons out of the Sunday paper insert. The Smart Source inserts also harder to find. But you can get the coupons digitally, like through the Kroger app or the Target app.
A lot of stores are now changing their coupon policies; they're not wanting to accept printable coupons or paper coupons anymore because of people using them illegally or printing multiple coupons. I think a lot of stores and a lot of brands are going digital, so they want people to do more of the apps and the rebate apps.
You shouldn't be paying for things you use every day
There are ways to save pretty much across the board. I never pay for toilet paper, skincare products or makeup – even diapers and wipes. You can get those extremely cheap. I think the main things that people for sure can get for free, or even make money getting through rebate apps, are toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner. The things people use every day, there is no need to ever pay for those because there's always a sale, a coupon or a rebate app that you can use to get them for free.
There's one app I recommend getting right away
I use a multitude of apps, but if anyone was going to get just one app, get Ibotta. It has the most rebates on it and it's super user-friendly. All you have to is upload your receipt, click the items you got, then you get reimbursed through an account.