A reporter recently asked me about my favorite new ways to save on groceries. Well, I’ll tell ya! It’s all about the apps. The trick is to download the right ones for you. There are literally dozens of grocery apps that can save you money by unlocking coupons and cash back and flagging sales. Some are better than others and they're always changing, but the trick is to find apps that you’ll actually use. Here are the ones I swear by for making my grocery dollar go further:
Supermarket apps. My local supermarket, Stop & Shop, has a very decent app that makes it a no-brainer to save. I love its simplicity! So many apps are confusing—at least for newbies. With this one, you simply click on the coupons you want that week and put those items on your list. The discounts are automatically downloaded to my card and applied at checkout. You can get a $10 gift card just for the download.
Big-box store apps. The Target app’s Cartwheel feature and the Walmart app’s SavingsCatcher are savings essentials. Cartwheel can easily double your savings with extra discounts and SavingsCatcher is just a no brainer—after shopping at Walmart scan your receipt and it will rebate you money if any of the items you bought are cheaper at other stores it tracks.
Flipp. This is the Swiss Army Knife of grocery apps. Full disclosure: I used to be the national spokesperson for this app—the reason: it really is one of the best! You can use it to scan the weekly flyers of dozens of stores, create a shopping list, use that list to check for coupons on items at dozens of stores via the app, download coupons directly onto your loyalty cards, and download your cards so they’re scannable at the cash register. You can also get cash back on featured items, and more. What I really like about the app is you can do a search for a particular grocery item and it will turn up all the sales and coupons on that item, making it easy to find the best deals, which may be at the dollar store or even a drug store chain. It will even show you “matchups”—opportunities to "stack" coupons on top of sales, which of course is the holy grail of grocery savers.
Dollar-store apps. Speaking about switching up your shopping routine, if you’re not already shopping at dollar stores for your weekly groceries, you should! And dollar-store apps can supercharge your savings with downloadable coupons and other deals. Download the Dollar General and Family Dollar apps now!
Basket. This app, and another one called Favado, can help you compare prices and search for the best deals on your shopping list items. That makes it easy to come up with a game plan for where you’re going to shop each week. For example, I need to restock a lot of products for a spring cleaning bonanza I’ve got planned for this week. Using Basket, I found that Tide, Comet, and Ivory are cheapest and Target.
Checkout 51. If you spend a lot of money on groceries, this is another app worth having in your money-saving arsenal. Simply scan your receipt and you get rebates on featured grocery items. Ibotta is another cash-back app people love. I also love cash-back browser apps like eBates, Piggy, Honey, and Retailmenot Genie for when I'm shopping online; some of them also automatically download coupon codes for you at checkout. You can download them onto Google Chrome and other browsers and they will pop up automatically and rain down coupons and cash-back deals, which you can snag with a click!