Grocery shopping is one of the great inevitabilities of life—everyone has to eat, right? But, with prices escalating each year, along with your family growing up, so too will your food bill.
It’s time to put your phone to good use! New apps are popping up all the time for you to download, even for grocery shopping. There are a whole host of apps available designed to save you money when grocery shopping by:
- Offering coupons and special deals.
- Letting you scan your receipt after purchase for additional cash back rewards.
- Providing list planning capabilities before you hit the store, to help you avoid impulse purchases.
Rebates and cash back? Just for shopping? Who wouldn’t like a little extra savings off their grocery bill? Here are just a few of the more popular apps to check out:
- Coupons.com—Don’t you wish there was one app to get groceries and retail coupons? There is! The Coupons.com app is a virtual clearinghouse for coupons. Sign up, sign in and shop away for discounts on grocery coupons, cash-back rewards, retail coupon codes and more.
- Ibotta—This convenient tool is a pretty big deal in the app-world when it comes to saving money. Ibotta allows you to get cash back in-store and online when you shop for groceries, clothing, home, travel and more. Just submit pictures of your grocery receipt for cash back at hundreds of retailers, including Aldi. There are two ways to save: Earn cash from adding offers, shopping and uploading a photo of your receipt; or, you can link to your royalty account and earn money without a receipt picture. You can withdraw cash when your account reaches $20 or just get your cash within 24 hours of your receipt upload. Ibotta mostly features products from national brands, but if you shop at Aldi (which mostly sells off-brand items), you can get rebates for about 25 cents per receipt you upload.
- Rakuten (formerly Ebates)—You might think of this as an app for all things NOT groceries, but they also focus on in-store offers for Safeway, Sam’s Club and Walmart. With Rakuten, you must have a minimum of $5 in your account to cash out, or payments will be sent quarterly via PayPal or personal check.
- Grocery Store Apps—Even individual retailers are getting in on the app action, offering exclusive deals at their stores only. Here are just a few:
- Target—If you have a REDcard from Target, then you’ve got some app-only coupons waiting for you! Billed as their shopping and savings sidekick, the app enables you to scan barcodes and add offers as you shop, PLUS you get access to Cartwheel offers. Cartwheel is a free app that helps you save anywhere from 5-50% on products without paper coupons. Choose percent-off offers and cents-off digital manufacturer coupons in the app, then have a cashier scan your unique barcode at checkout. All the offers and coupons you selected will be applied to your total in one simple scan. PLUS, the built-in scanning tool lets you open up your Cartwheel app and choose “Scan Product” to find out if the product has an offer.
- Giant Food—In addition to clipless coupons and gas rewards, Giant’s app lets you access their weekly circular to plan your shopping trip, digital coupons to click and add to your card, the Savory Recipe Center to allow you to plan meals, a buildable Shopping List, and Track Rewards and Savings section including gas points. Makes good sense to have this app if you’re a Giant customer!
- Whole Foods—Even if you’re not a Whole Foods shopper, this app is pretty handy. You can pick from 3,700 recipes with great images to boot. With Whole Foods, you can be reasonably sure that the recipes are wholesome and healthy. Just check off which items on your grocery list you need to buy and you’re ready to hit the market.
- Out of Milk—Has this ever happened to you? You’re out of milk, and you, your spouse, your kids or roommate all pick up a gallon on the way home from work or school. What do you do with all that milk? You could make a ton of milkshakes, but what if you had an app to create and share your shopping list with others in your household? The Out of Milk app can save you money along with reducing the possibility that you end up with extra gallons of milk you’ll have to toss at expiration—or drink 4 gallons in a week.
- $5 Dinners—Claiming to put the “fun back into Sunday nights,” $5 Dinners‘ mission is to help as many people save time, money and stress through smart meal planning. Surprisingly, this app has some pretty nice looking recipes. The $5 Meal Plan is a weekly meal plan subscription service, where they do the meal planning for you. You can: (1) Use their pre-made weekly meal plan and shopping list; or (2) Use their drag and drop Meal Plan Builder. This app provides suggestions for breakfast, lunch, dinners AND snacks. They are broken down into the following categories: the 20-Minute Meal, Freezer Friendly, Slow Cooker meals, One-Dish Dinners, Chop Ahead, and Make Ahead. They offer a 2-week trial period; after that it’s only $5 a month.
- Supercook—How much food/money do you waste by overstocking your freezer or pantry? If you toss out a lot and want to be less wasteful, Supercook, sponsored by the Food Network, may be for you. This app also helps you create meals out of whatever ingredients you have on hand. Supercook can help you save hundreds on grocery bills by showing you how to fully use the ingredients you have at home.
Resources: MoneyTalksNews, Clark.com, FTC.gov, Yahoo.com, Giantfood.com; Target.com