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Feb 21

The Best Apps To Save Money on Groceries

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Best Apps To Save Money on Groceries

The Best Apps To Save Money on Groceries

What are the best apps that save you money on groceries? There are a lot of apps out there, but which ones are actually worth downloading.  Here are some apps that can actually make your life easier and save you money at the same time.

Saving money on groceries is one area that we can all benefit from.  Groceries comprise one of the largest expense categories for most families.  These expenses are also somewhat variable depending on the sales and coupons that are available from week to week.  As a frugal shopper and a new iPhone user, finding apps that could actually save me money on groceries became a high priority.

There are essentially two types of apps that you can use together to help you save money on groceries:  flyer apps and coupon apps.  Using these two types of apps together offers significant saving synergies (so much so, that I have been able to pay for approximately half of my smartphone data plan charges each month simply by using them).  Here are the grocery shopping apps that I enjoy using the most:

Finding the Best Deals

Reading the weekly flyers with my daughter on Saturday mornings used to be something that I really looked forward to.  We would comb through them, make shopping lists, and circle the best deals in order to take advantage of price matching policies at various stores.  Unfortunately they stopped delivering flyers to my neighbourhood a few months ago.  Fortunately, there are apps that actually collect all the most recent flyers for your area and allow you to search them and save items to a shopping list.  These apps are also free!  Here are two of them.

Flipp 

This is simply the best flyer search app that I have used.

The interface is easy to navigate and very functional.  In addition to allowing you to browse all the flyers in your area it allows you create your own favourite flyers list.  It has a wonderful search feature that scours all the of flyers to find you the best deals on the items that you need (it also includes non-grocery flyers as well).

My favourite features of Flipp, however, are the abilities to create a shopping list that automatically finds you the best prices on the items that you need in your area and the ‘clippings’ feature.  The ‘clippings feature allows you to ‘clip’ out specials on specific products that you can then show to the cashier at stores that have a price matching policy. In this manner, I can get all the best deals at one store without having to drive all around town.  This saves me both money and time.  Flipp is my ‘go to’ app for finding the best deals on groceries.

The Flipp app is FREE!

Saving Even More With Coupons

So you’ve found the best prices on the items to need using the a flyers search app like Flipp.  Now you can turn to a coupons app to take your savings to the next level.  Coupon apps credit you once you upload a copy of your receipt.  You exchange the shopping information on your receipt for the dollar values of the coupon(s).  Uploading is very easy and most apps have a fast turnaround time for processing your receipts (from minutes to 48 hours generally).  Payment methods vary (some use Paypal, others issue a physical cheque).  Some have a minimum payout threshold, other do not.

My experience is that it is best to use several couponing apps.  The reason for this is that the quantity and variety of coupons varies from app to app each week.  Using several simply gives you more coupons to choose from.

Checkout 51

The coupon app that I use most frequently is Checkout 51.  It has the widest selection of coupons each week which include everything from groceries to toiletries to alcohol.  This wide assortment of coupons makes this my ‘go to’ coupons app.  It is also a very intuitive app to use and has a shopping list feature that allows you to easily keep all of the coupons you want to use together in one place.   Payouts have been both timely and reliable.

There are really only a couple of minor limitations that I can think of with Checkout 51.

First, the selection of fresh produce is often very limited and you might find just two or three fruits and vegetables listed each week.

Second, you must submit an itemized receipt (though this is true for the other coupon apps I mention here as well and is not specific to Checkout 51).  Your receipt must a the store name at the top and it must itemize each of your purchases (i.e. your bananas must be listed as ‘bananas’ and not simply ‘produce’).

Finally, you require a minimum balance of $20.00 to pay out and payment of mailed to you in the form of a cheque.

These are relatively minor limitations, however, and they do not prevent me from using this app on a regular basis.

The Checkout 51 app is FREE!

Snap by Groupon

The primary strength of the Snap by Groupon coupon app is that, unlike Checkout 51,  it generally has a good selection of coupons available for fresh produce and sometimes even meat.  As such, Checkout 51 and Snap are quite powerful when they are used together.

Like Checkout 51, the Snap app is easy to use.  You submit receipts in the same manner as Checkout 51 and the processing times are also fast.  Snap also has a Shopping List feature just like Checkout 51 that allows you to keep track of the coupons that you want to use.

The minimum payout amount is also $20.00 and it is issued to you in the form of a cheque.

The Snap by Groupon app is FREE!

Cartsmart

I include the Cartsmart app here as a third consideration for your coupon app collection.

While the coupon selection is very limited (just around a dozen or so offers per week), the coupons tend to be quite valuable.  The other very nice thing about Cartsmart is that they offer payouts by cheque ($20.00 minimum) or via Paypal (with no minimum).  The Paypal payout option is quick and convenient.

Like all of the other grocery apps I have featured here, the Cartsmart app is also FREE!

Summary

There are a number of great grocery apps that can save you a lot of money.

Using a flyer app like Flipp can help you find the best deals on the groceries (and other stuff) that you need.  It can also be very convenient when price matching at your favourite grocery store.

The coupon apps add another opportunity for savings by offering you coupons.  Each of these coupon apps has inherent strengths and weaknesses.  For this reason, it makes sense to a variety of these apps installed so that you can maximize your savings opportunities.  All of these savings apps are also free so you have nothing to lose by giving them a try.

Which apps do you use to save money on groceries?  Are there any other good money saving apps that you know of?  Any apps that are not good?  

Please share your ideas and join the discussion below.

Author: Jason Milburn Google

Frugal dad – focusing my money and energy towards happiness and the things that matter most since around 1985.

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2 comments

  1. Jodi

    Glad I found your blog! I have never heard of Cartsmart and Flipp before.( If you would like to give your referral code, I will use it, as I just got the Cartsmart app and they asked if I had one.)

    My favorite app for couponing is Savingstar. They even offer a free item each weekend, usually with a $1 value. Sometimes candy, but sometimes something useful. The best thing about Savingstar is that they can be used with manufacturer coupons and even with Cellfire, another great app you didn’t mention. I often get many General Mills items for FREE by combining coupons, a Savingstar rebate (they put money into an account for you, and will even direct deposit it into your bank account!), using a Cellfire e-coupon at Shoprite and a good sale price. Savingstar usually works with store rewards cards so you automatically get the rebate posted within a few days.

    Here is an example of a good deal:
    Trix cereal on sale at Shoprite for 1.88. Use a .50 IP coupon, which doubles. Cellfire might also have an e-q for .50, which deducts at the register. You pay .38 for a box of cereal at the register, and within a few days you get a .50 or .75 rebate posted to your account. Even if my kids don’t like the cereal, I will donate to a local food pantry.

    Hope this helps you!

  2. Jason

    Good afternoon, Jodi.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to share your wonderful suggestions. I can’t wait to get home this evening and to check them out.

    Savingstar sound like it’s pretty terrific. I love the free item aspect and the ability to combine it with manufacturer coupons. That’s a powerful and unique combination. Cellfire also sounds like a great app (despite its rather ominous-sounding name).

    I think that it makes a lot of sense to have a variety of shopping apps available on your phone as each app seems to have its own unique strengths and weaknesses (as well as a focus on particular types of products). I appreciate you sharing these wonderful new suggestions with me and our community.

    I would also be more than pleased to use your referral code for these apps as well if I download them. Just let me know if you’re interested. I am always glad to help out when I can 🙂

    Thank you so much, once again, for taking the time to share these great ideas with us.

    Do you know of any other shopping apps that are not worth trying out? I am fairly new to smartphone use and am on the lookout for ways that I can use it to save (and make) money.

    Cheers, Jason

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