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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)?
How I Started Using Apps to Save on Groceries
Back in 2016, apps on my smartphone became an easy way for me to save money on groceries without taking a tremendous amount of my time.
My process was simple:
1) I knew what we had in the stockpile by glancing at my pantry management apps.
These pantry apps kept me from buying too much of something – or worse – skipping a deal on something we needed. I track expiration dates and keep track of our household items so I can be on the lookout for a good deal when we begin to run low.
2) Before checking the new deals of the week, I checked my grocery list app to see what we MUST buy.
These were the food items that were empty or almost empty. By keeping track of what we needed using a mobile app, I didn’t forget to pick up those essentials during my trip to the store.
3) Next, I started looking for bargains using my favorite coupon-matching websites.
If I needed to clip a coupon, the website told me where to find it so I was not wasting time clipping coupons unnecessarily. Then, I added to my stockpile based on what I could find.
Shout out the my all-time favorite coupon-matching website, Southern Savers. She always helps me find the lowest price by marking when there is a great deal using a cute little acorn.
4) Knowing what was on sale, I turned to Pinterest to make my menu.
On Pinterest, I had created boards for each week’s menu. If a main ingredient like beef or chicken was on sale SUPER cheap, I would buy enough to cook twice the amount I needed. The extra meal went into the freezer.
5) As I unpacked my groceries after shopping, I was checking grocery rebate apps to get cash back on groceries.
It’s even better today!
Time might have changed but I have good news.
Many of my favorite apps will actually give you cash rebates based on your purchases. You can convert those rebates into free gift cards, deposits into your Paypal account, or a check (depending on the app).
How I currently use grocery apps to save money with online shopping as well as quick trips for grocery purchases at local stores is just below the list of coupon apps and grocery savings apps.
Best Grocery Apps to Use When Shopping
Swing by the app store to grab these grocery store apps and start saving on food prices and online purchases.
While you might not get coupons or rebates through AnyList, you will save tons of time by making your grocery list and meal planning.
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.
Speaking of asking your significant other to pick up grocery items, you can even save pictures to your list making it easier for others to identify what you need. AnyList is the best way to make sure your partner grabs the right item.
But AnyList is not just for creating a grocery shopping list. 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.
You can also import recipes and menu plan using AnyList.
AnyList is available for Apple and Android devices as an app but is also available for Mac and Windows .
Many people think using the grocery pickup or delivery services at Walmart is lazy.
For me, it’s not just a timesaver but one of the easiest ways I can keep our grocery budget on track. Being able to drive up and have my groceries loaded into my trunk 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.
I love the benefits of Walmart grocery pickup so much that I became a member of Walmart+.
By using Walmart+, our family also receives exclusive discounts on gasoline (at select gas stations,) free shipping with no minimum order amount, free grocery delivery from the store, mobile scan and go for shopping in the store, and early access to Black Friday deals.
If you are a Target-loving shopper, you need to get increase your savings at Target by using their app, formerly known as Cartwheel.
You can find special offers, sale items, 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!
Your favorite local grocery store app
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 loyalty program.
Using the app for your favorite grocery stores can eliminate a lot of stress, replace the use of store loyalty cards, and give you access to additional perks.
For instance, with the Winn Dixie app, I can activate coupons, create a grocery list, and view weekly ads. They also keep a copy of my grocery receipts inside my account. Often, when I checkout, I will get a reward (like an additional discount) off the next time I shop there.
So, when it comes to saving money on groceries, do not forget to look for the app your favorite store manages.
Go download the apps from your favorite stores.
Save More with Grocery Rebate Apps
iBotta was the first grocery rebate app I tried and is the best grocery savings app because it offers the best cash back program.
There is a reason this popular shopping app ranks so highly in the app store. You can even get free food at certain times during the year. No kidding!
I can really cash in with the iBotta app when they have rebate offers on the specific brands my family uses, but they also have offers on generic brands, fresh fruits, and whole foods. That might be the best part of using iBotta.
For example, these offers might include savings like a $0.20 rebate when you purchase milk or bread despite the name brand.
They even have a Chrome extension you can use, linking your ibotta account so that you are alerted of potential savings at online department stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, and more. (It works similarly to Rakuten but cannot be used simultaneously.)
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.
- 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.) If you are shopping online, this is automatically done for you.
- Once your product purchase is verified, they put the rebate in your account. You can choose to have the money deposited into your Paypal account (and then transferred to your bank account) 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.
Coupons have come into the technology age by becoming digital. And since the Coupons.com app is actually promoted as one of the best grocery apps by Consumer Reports, you know it is trustworthy.
If you don’t have time to sit in front of the computer looking for the best coupons, this free app will be your best friend. Now, you can browse for coupons in the car line.
Just activate the new offers and then take a photo of your receipt after you shop. Then, submit the receipt through the app. Link your paypal account and redeem the offers for real cash.
You can even link to your accounts at major retailers so coupons are applied automatically. That’s like getting free money without needing paper coupons.
Very similar to Coupons.com, 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.
But Checkout51 isn’t just for saving on grocery prices. Now, for residents in the United States, you can even use Checkout51 to save money on gasoline.
The Flipp app has some unique features to help you save money on groceries.
With Flipp, you can keep a running list of specific products as well as the target price you are willing to pay. When that item meets your best price, you receive a notification.
Flipp is probably one of the best apps for helping you to save money. If you create a shopping list, Flipp finds the best deals available that week for your specific items.
You can use Flipp to save money at Dollar General, Family Dollar, Best Buy, CVS, Target, Shoppers Drug Mart (Canada), Big Lots, Lowes, and many other retailers.
Scan your paper receipts from Safeway, Costco, Kroger, Walmart, CVS, Dollar General, Petco, GNC and Sephora and turn them into coins. You can even link accounts so this is done automatically.
Receipts from stores like Old Navy, Gamestop, Staple’s, Kohl’s, The Home Depot or Dick’s Sporting Goods 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.
Dosh is different from the previously mentioned grocery apps as it is more automatic.
There is no need to take a picture of your receipt or to activate digital coupons. Instead of scanning receipts, you link your debit card and/or credit card. When you shop online or in selected local stores (found by entering your zip code,) you receive cash-back rewards.
While you might not save a ton of money on your purchases a most grocery stores, Dosh does offer rebate awards at Sam’s Club, Costco, Instacart, Safeway, Tom Thumb, Albertons, Shipt, and Food Lion.
With Dosh, you can also save so much money by shopping from clothing, travel, pet supplies, beauty products, restaurants, etc. with offers in the app.
Before you transfer your balance, you need a minimum balance of $25. If you consider rebates disposable income, you can also donate your balance to charity.
Very similar to Dosh, BeFrugal gives you extra cash in your pocket through rebate offers.
BeFrugal also scans the internet to bring you the best deals currently available across a wide variety of product categories.
The Shop Savvy app has some shared characteristics with Flipp but (at the time of this post) is much harder to navigate.
However, two major perks of Shop Savvy are:
1) Shop Savvy tracks prices over time so you can learn when to spot the best deal and stock up on your favorite items at the best price possible.
2) They have browser extensions available for Chrome, Edge, and Safari.
The promise of Fetch Rewards is that you can earn money from ANY receipt at ANY store.
Upload your receipts to the Fetch Rewards app and earn 5 points for each receipt. Buy products from participating brands and earn even more points.
You can begin exchanging your points for gift cards from major retailers with as little as 3,000 points. Gift card amounts start at $3 and go up as high as $50.
To accumulate even more points, link your Amazon and email accounts. Fetch will scan the eReceipts in your inbox and award you for online purchases automatically.
For the record, I do not consider Shopkick to be a grocery savings app. However, it does involve shopping in stores and rewards points so you might want to give it a peak.
The way Shopkick works is like this:
1) Visit a store from the list of participating retailers. Open the app in the store and get “kicks” or points.
2) Walk around the store and scan specific products to get even more rewards points.
3) Purchase a specific product to get a ton of bonus points.
4) When you get enough points, trade those points for gift cards.
If you are going to be shopping in a participating store, why not? It’s kind of fun… like a scavenger hunt… looking for the specific items to scan.
Don’t shop in person? No biggie. You can even earn points by browsing online.
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.
More way to save on groceries
- 35+ Ways to Reduce Your Grocery Bill and Save Money on Groceries
- $100 Grocery List for a Week
- The Best Grocery List and Pantry Management Apps
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