Whether you love or loathe grocery store visits, they’re a necessity that can quickly bust your budget if you arrive unprepared. Even sales can be the cause of overspending. Do you really need six boxes of Wheat Thins just because they’re discounted? Instead of aimlessly wandering and impulsively filling your cart with unnecessary items, use these five free grocery shopping apps to change your habits and keep more cash in your wallet.
Out of Milk: Simplify your shopping with this intuitive grocery list builder that syncs lists between loved ones or roommates so all of you don’t replace the toilet paper when it runs out. In addition to preventing duplicate purchases, you can also use it to create lists to keep your grocery gathering on track. Out of Milk also tracks coupons and prices to help you stay within your budget. Free; Android, Apple.
Spree: New to the app world, Supermarket Spree is not designed specifically to save you money at the register, but it can be used to do just that. Spree focuses on helping you set and reach health goals with your shopping, like looking good, sleeping better, exercising more and improving brain function. It then recommends foods that contain essential nutrients to assist you in attaining these goals. So how does this save cash? Simple. Use Spree’s good-for-you grocery recommendations to create a healthy list in the app that you can stick to when shopping to prevent unhealthy impulse buys like cookies. After fine-tuning what products you need to support a healthy life, you can use another of the apps listed here to find those items on sale. Since this app is brand new, you’ll need to request an invite on its website to download it. Free; Android, Apple.
Cellfire: If you’re like me, you clip coupons with the intention of using them, but between forgetting them at home or missing the expiration date, I rarely save money by couponing. Cellfire is made for people like me. It sends coupons directly to your grocery store loyalty card so you can redeem them by scanning your card at the checkout. Plus, there’s an optional store alert function to remind you of deals you have when you walk into a store. This app works at 7,500 grocery stores across the nation. Free; Android, Apple, BlackBerry.
Ibotta: Answer quick questionnaires and watch videos to rack up cash (usually 25 or 50 cents per item) on products you already buy. To get your cash you must answer the required questions, buy the item, take a picture of the receipt, scan the bar code and submit the information. It seems like a lot of work for little reward at first, but the cash adds up fast, especially when you begin receiving frequent-use bonuses! Right now you’ll also get a $10 reward just for redeeming five offers within two weeks of registering. Free; Android, Apple.
Weekly ads and sales: Many of us no longer subscribe to a newspaper, meaning we miss the fun — and deals — found by flipping through weekly circular ads. But this great app brings the colorful weekly ads to your smartphone without the paper waste and clutter. Plus, it uses GPS-based location tracking to find sales at grocery stores and large retailers nearly you like Target, Best Buy and Old Navy. You’ll never miss a sale again. Free; Android, Apple.