How time consuming depends on how many stores and apps you choose. You can start with one or two and gradually add more. Finding a great deal is exciting! It’s become an enjoyable pastime.
I second what @Be-Bop-A-Lula mentioned. I first dipped my toe into stacking with Walmart. I started by going through the Walmart gallery in Ibotta for any items that I can personally use or donate, and from there, check if those items also had manufacturer coupons or other rebates (there are a TON of rebate apps out there, but when I started, I only used Ibotta and Swagbucks).
My process now includes other stores and apps, but I’ll always start with making a preliminary list of items I want to buy during the week which includes the item price and out of pocket spend after factoring in all rebates and coupons, and before I go shopping on the weekend, I’ll double check the list to see if any offers have since expired or if there are additional stacks. Also keep in mind to check an offer’s terms and conditions when stacking. For example, sometimes you cannot stack a Swagbucks rebate if you’re already using a manufacturer coupon on the same product. All in all, I would say the planning, shopping, submitting, tracking and potential outreach if something goes wrong definitely takes some hours out of my week, but I think of it as a puzzle and it’s fun when the pieces fit together.
Stacking is really easy once you understand the concept. I will share with you two examples.
Stacking is accomplished by combining multiple discounts to reduce your out-of-pocket expense for goods and services. Read the forum often to see deals other app users or cashing in on and join.
It can be, and not always easy to put everything together while moving from store to store. New offers can appear daily, or for that matter disappear.
I don't check store circulars at all, so Mix & Match promos are always a surprise for me at KR. I then end up, while in store, putting a deal together on the fly.
The easiest ting to do is follow the deals posted in this forum by others.
If you are doing all the legwork yourself, it can be VERY time-consuming. I can easily spend 5 or 6 hors on a given day searching for deals. But then again, I am searching for deals on 6 or 7 rebate sites, CDC website, Sunday coupon, etc. And since there is no way to search SK, you have to look through each store to see the offers.
So if you are considering just 30 offers, you are doing over 200 searches. And then you have to check all the deals you found before you checkout to see if any have expired., And there is the time opening and maintaining tickets.
I have been a computer consultant for over 35 years, and multitasking is my strong suit, so I effortlessly switch between different searches. And in spite of it being a strength, it still just takes a lot of time.
I am not retired, so I have the time to do this. For those who don't, find that sweet spot of amount time spent and money saved. But definitely check the deals posted by others. Those are typically the crème de la crème
From personal experience, I think starting out can be tedious and time consuming. Once you get used to how it works, it becomes easier and more streamlined. Like @Rickibotta suggested, it's easier to follow the popular deals posted by others. I made the mistake of trying to figure it out on my own searching and matching. It took forever and I end up near the end of the week trying to get deals in. By then it may already be gone. Start earlier in the week. Now I try to see what everyone else crowd into for the easy deals before I branch off onto personal ones.