Aug 20, 2016

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Apps to Earn Cash Back on Groceries

Apps to Earn Cash Back on Groceries

Want to earn cash rewards for spending cash at your local grocery store? There’s an app for that.

The cost of living is going up and up, and it doesn’t look like it’s coming down soon. So, most average workers look for all means to stretch the dollar. Opting for certain perks offered by grocery stores stand at the top of the list for saving money. You can use coupons, gift cards, and credit card rewards to save money grocery shopping.

For the average shopper, keeping track of all the rewards points and coupon expiration dates can be exhausting. Also, who has time to browse online or ask around forever about a grocery store reward? Instead of burdening yourself in this manner, you can simply use an app to maximize your capacity to earn cash rewards for grocery shopping. Here’s a list of best apps that will help you earn cash back on groceries:

Ibotta is the most popular grocery shopping rewards app: Those who use the app get rebates for certain consumer items you commonly find at grocery stores. Once you stack up the points, you can earn cash rewards. Users who download the app get access to no-brainer tasks to unlock the rewards points. For example, Ibotta may ask you to complete a quiz, participate in a poll, or engage with a product to earn cashback points. You can save up to 75 cents at the grocery store per task you complete on Ibotta. If you play all month, you can save as much as $100 grocery shopping.

Be aware that you won’t get your rewards directly at the grocery stores. After you shop, you must upload your receipts to your profile to verify a purchase. Once approved, your rebates will be transferred to a PayPal account for your perusal.

Shopmium offers desirable rebates on certain brands like Naked Juice, Thomas’ Bagels, and Chobani Greek Yogurt. You can refer to the app for an updated list of brands that qualify for rebates. Once you have purchased the product, you can verify the products with the app by scanning the barcodes using your phone. You have to upload your receipt too. Then your rebate will be deposited to a Paypal account. Cash rebates on Shopmium range from 25 cents to a little more than a dollar. The more you shop, the more you will save. Shopmium is very convenient to use and can be used at basically any store where the approved products are available.

Checkout 51
Unlike with Ibotta, you don’t have to spend time completing tasks to get your cashback rewards: The app publishes a fresh list of 20 cashback offers every Thursday. You have a week to shop for these items and save money. Checkout 51 is unique in the sense that you can get cashback rewards for non-branded fresh produce like fruits as well. Like with Ibotta, you have to upload your receipt. The major difference is that you will receive your money as a mailed check. You must earn $20 in rebates to receive the check.

You can maximize your cashback potential by using all three apps mentioned above. Use the app that offers the most rebates for items you frequently buy. For example, if you buy fresh produce a lot, Checkout 51 will be more lucrative. And if you buy a lot of branded items at the grocery store, Ibotta might work better for you.

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Jun 24, 2015

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Low Income Families Face Higher Risk of Food Illness

Low Income Families Face Higher Risk of Food Illness

Low income families are at a higher risk of chronic illnesses, alcohol and drug abuse, diseases, and food illness. The main reasons why low income persons face a higher risk of food illness are poor nutrition and food insecurity. The latter are also associated with adverse health outcomes among adults and children and a higher risk for diseases such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure, and others.

Causes of Food Illness
Persons in low income households often cut portion size and even skip meals because of food insecurity. Inadequate nutrition often leads to mineral and vitamin deficiency and food-related illnesses because many low income individuals are unable to afford fresh, seasonal produce and balanced meals.

Foodborne Illnesses, Risks, and Symptoms
Food-insecure families face a higher risk of infections with bacteria such as E. Coli, Shigella, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and others. The elderly, children, and persons with compromised immune systems are more vulnerable and at a higher risk of viral, parasitic, and bacterial infections. This can be explained with inadequate access to health services, higher food safety risks, improper storage, and other factors. Symptoms of foodborne disease to watch for include dizziness, headache, nausea, and fever. Other symptoms are vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.

Persons living in poverty-stricken communities are at a higher risk for different foodborne illnesses, including viral hepatitis, intestinal roundworm infections, typhoid fever, salmonella infections, and others. The list of foodborne illnesses also includes Brainerd diarrhea, viral gastroenteritis, and various parasitic and fungal infections.

The Spiral of Debt and Food Illness
Low income families face food insecurity because of restricted access to markets, instability and scarcity, increasing food prices, low wages, and piling debt. Excessive debt is one of the main reasons for poor standard of living and inadequate nutrition. Many people resort to subprime loans with excessive interest rates, including bad credit loans and cash advances. And many fall into a spiral of debt and damaged credit rating and are forced to take on more debt to pay for basic necessities and emergencies.

High interest loans and credit card debt add up, and many low income families are unable to afford basic commodities, appliances, and even shelter. Households that lack appliances and necessities such as ovens, fridges, running water, and electricity are at a higher risk for various infections and even chronic diseases.

How to Prevent Foodborne Illnesses
Hygiene and proper food storage are very important and reduce the risk for serious illnesses. Always check for product cleanliness and keep products separated. Bacteria easily spread on food, countertops, utensils, cutting boards, and appliances. This means that there is a risk of cross contamination and associated infections. Products such as seafood, poultry, raw meat, and other types of food must be kept separate to prevent contamination. Cross contamination is responsible for various foodborne diseases and can occur in the kitchen, during defrosting, in the fridge, and when shopping. There are good food preservation practices, including shelf storage, cold storage, home canning, and others.

Unsafe sanitary conditions also contribute to the higher risk of foodborne diseases. It is important to use hot water and soap after handling pets, changing diapers, using the bathroom, and handling food. Use clean cloths, paper towels, soapy water, and cleaning solutions to disinfect all surfaces, including kitchen appliances, tiles, and other surfaces.

Finally, proper hygiene at stores in low income communities is also important, including better monitoring and enhanced food safety inspection practices.

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