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Need to lower the grocery budget? I hear you. Our family uses apps to save money on groceries. Let me share with you my step-by-step process for cutting the grocery bill by using apps.
As my time has become more and more crunched over the years, I have had less time for clipping coupons. And, honestly, I was finding fewer coupons that related to our lifestyle. But we still need to save money on groceries!
So… how do I stick to my grocery budget without using coupons (at least, not a ton of them)?
Using Apps to Save on Groceries
Apps on my smartphone have become an easy way for me to save money on groceries without taking a tremendous amount of my time.
My process is simple:
1) I know what we have in the stockpile by glancing at my pantry management apps.
These pantry apps keep me from buying too much of something – or worse – skipping a deal on something we need.
2) Before checking the deals of the week, I check my grocery list app to see what we must buy.
These are the items that are empty or almost empty. By keeping track of what we need, I don’t forget to pick up those essentials during my trip to the store.
3) Next, I start looking for bargains using my favorite coupon-matching apps.
If I need to clip a coupon, the app tells me where to find it so I am not wasting time clipping coupons unnecessarily. Then, I add to my stockpile based on what I find.
4) Knowing what is on sale, I turn to Pinterest and make my menu.
On Pinterest, I have created a board for each week’s menu. (I’ve only published a few. Most are secret… if you want to snoop.) If a main ingredient like beef or chicken is on sale SUPER cheap, I will buy enough to cook twice the amount I need. The extra meal goes in the freezer.
5) As I unpack my groceries after shopping, I am checking grocery rebate apps to get cash back on groceries.
Yes! Many of the apps will actually give you rebates based on your purchases. You can convert those rebates into gift cards, Paypal deposits, or a check (depending on the app).
Here are some of my favorites as well as some additional options you might find useful for saving money on groceries.
Apps to Use Before You Shop
Anylist – Keep a running grocery list.
While you might not get coupons or rebates through AnyList, you will save tons of time making your grocery list. You can even sync the list so multiple people can have AnyList on their phones and see what you are adding to the list almost as quickly as you add it.
We have several lists saved like a monthly stock-up list that never gets deleted and a “quick run” list where I place items that I want my husband to pick up on the way home.
But AnyList is not just for groceries. You can also create a categorized list, an uncategorized list where you choose the topic, or a custom list where you can tweak how the list is organized as well as how much the list remembers.
Favado – Find the best deals.
I have been actively using Favado since they first launched because I needed an app that would match coupons to deals and help me find the best price for adding our favorite products to my stockpile.
Using Favado is simple, select your favorite store and view the best deals for the week. Offers are listed by popularity based on the community of Favado users adding the deals to their shopping lists. You can see any coupons available based on their symbol system:
- Newspaper – Newspaper insert coupons are available.
- Printer – Printable coupons can be matched with the sale.
- Coin – Additional promotions are available. For instance, if you purchase more than one of the product, you receive extra savings.
- Credit Card – Digital coupons can be used in conjunction with the sale.
- Smart Phone – Check your cash back apps to receive rebates after the purchase.
Cartwheel by Target – If you love Target 😉
If you are a Target-loving shopper, you need to get Cartwheel to increase your savings at Target. You can find special offers, coupons, and more on the app. Activate the offers in your account and save at the checkout.
You can also find special codes as you walk through the store to get even more savings. You enter a text code and it sends you a coupon. Then, the cashier will just scan your phone. Easy!
Walmart Grocery – To track your budget closely
Many people think using the grocery pickup service at Walmart is lazy. For me, it’s not just a timesaver but a way I can keep our budget on track. Being able to drive up and have my groceries loaded is just a bonus.
Browse the Walmart Grocery app and add items to your shopping cart. You must reach a $30 minimum order to use grocery pickup.
As you are shopping, you can even compare the value on items since the price per unit is displayed.
The more you use the grocery app, the easier it is to use because they keep a running list of your favorites.
Coupons.com – Use digital coupons to save.
Coupons have come into the technology age by becoming digital.
If you don’t have time to sit in front of the computer looking for the best coupons, this app will be your best friend. Now, you can browse for coupons in the car line.
Your favorite store app – Save more wherever you shop.
I love shopping for deals at Winn Dixie. The staff is supportive and friendly. And they have done a ton of work to improve the store app.
Using the app for your favorite grocery store can eliminate a lot of stress and give you access to additional perks. For instance, with the Winn Dixie app, I can activate coupons and track my Plenti points.
So, when it comes to saving money on groceries, do not forget to look for the app your favorite store manages.
Save More with Grocery Rebate Apps
iBotta was the first grocery rebate app I tried. I can really cash in with iBotta when they have rebate offers on the products my family uses, but they also have generic offers too where you can receive a $0.20 rebate when you purchase milk.
In order to receive the rebates, you have a couple of steps to follow but it takes very little time:
- Click to view the offer details and follow the instructions to activate the offer. You might need to watch a video, leave a product testimonial, answer a survey question, or just learn a new fact.
- Once the offer is activated, purchase the product before the offer expires and from the correct store if there is a specific store connected to the deal.
- Redeem the offer by either scanning or submitting a picture of your receipt through the app (depending on the store.)
- Once your product purchase is verified, they put the rebate in your account. You can choose to have the money deposited by Paypal or cash out with a gift card.
Keeping up with iBotta takes me very little time. I often scroll through while waiting in the car line or before bed at night to stay up to date.
You can also earn cash by referring friends and by achieving monthly bonuses.
Very similar to iBotta, you can use Checkout 51 to receive rebates on purchases.
Browse the offers and activate the ones you like. Make your purchase. Upload your receipt and cash out.
Some of the things that set Checkout 51 apart from iBotta include:
- Make your purchase at (almost) ANY store. There are store specific offers but Checkout 51 tries to make offers available regardless of location.
- Offers go live on Thursday and expire the following Wednesday.
- Offers are available in limited quantities so check your app on Thursday to score the best deals.
- Get a special discount when you join. I chose $0.50 off bread but was also offered $0.50 off milk and $0.50 off strawberries.
- Receive push notification (optional) when there are special “today only” offers. For instance, a recent offer was to save $2 off granola bars.
- Some offers can be redeemed more than once. The claim limit can be seen when you tap the item to see details.
Now, can you use Checkout 51 in conjunction with iBotta? I do not know. I have not tried. I’m not that brave. But I promise to try soon and let you know.
Through SavingStar, you can activate various coupons to use at your favorite stores. New deals are uploaded each week and may include a “healthy offer” and/or a “100% freebie.” Healthy offers I have seen include discounts on produce.
Unlike other apps, SavingStar offers are loaded to your store loyalty cards to save automatically at checkout. However, if your store does not have a loyalty card or if you forget, you can scan your receipt to receive the offer in your Saving Star account.
You can cash out your Saving Star account for a little as $5 and may choose to deposit the money to your bank, send to Paypal, or get a gift card.
Saving on natural items and healthier groceries is easy with MobiSave. While other grocery rebate apps include produce and organic groceries, MobiSave seems to be more selective with their partners.
Just check off the savings you want and add those items to your shopping list. Then, submit the receipt when you get home.
MobiSave works regardless of the store you shop.
Walmart Savings Catcher
If you shop at Walmart, you need Savings Catcher (which is actually inside the main Walmart app).
With Savings Catcher, you save the step of comparison shopping since the app compares eligible items on your receipt to items found in the print and digital weekly ads by top retailers in your area.
After a trip to Walmart, scan your receipt with the app. If a competitor’s price is lower than what you paid, the difference will be applied to your account and usable via Walmart gift card.
Savings Catcher will match competitor BOGO deals in all 50 states and Puerto Rico as long as a price is listed. In addition, in the state of FLORIDA ONLY for Publix and Winn Dixie stores, the Buy One Get One free (BOGO) ad can state “Save up to” with a clearly defined item size to be eligible.
One of my favorite features is that Savings Catcher does the math on BOGO items and gives you any difference as long as the amount of savings are clearly defined in the competitor’s advertisement. One of the features I dislike… the app does not match drugstores.
Scan your receipts from Safeway, Costco, Kroger, Walmart, CVS, Dollar General, Petco, GNC and Sephora and turn them into coins. Receipts from stores like Sears, Old Navy, Best Buy, Staple’s, Kohl’s, The Home Depot or Macy’s turn into “slot spins.” (Makes me feel a little icky but that’s just a personal preference.)
Coins can be redeemed for cash or gift cards.
>>There is currently a wait list for Receipt Hog<<
Do you save on groceries with apps?
Are you using grocery shopping apps to lower your grocery bill? Which are your favorites? Leave a comment and let me know.
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