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? The Apple App Store celebrated its 10th birthday this month, and the original launch with 500 apps help shift how we looked at using apps to help us save time and money – even in the grocery store. Instead of aimlessly wandering and impulsively filling your cart with unnecessary items, use these free grocery shopping apps to change your habits and keep more cash in your wallet.
Big Oven : This app isn’t just a grocery list – Big Oven gives you access to more than 350,000 recipes as well as a menu planner and list. It’s like carrying my grandmother’s cookbook collection with you to the grocery store.The free option is limited, or you can sign up for a broader application for $2.99. Compare the two here.
Grocery Pal : Grocery Pal works with iOS and Androids. It takes a look at your grocery list, and helps you find sales and specials at local groceries, allowing you to spend less and save money.
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.
Buy Me a Pie! : Unfortunately, this app only works with Apple platforms. But it is easy to use and navigate, and will sync to other iOS device. That means you can use your Apple watch to help you shop. You can update shopping lists, know when to stock up at the best price, and leave the paper behind. You can use multiple lists (keep one for that barbeque party you are planning) and group your items by aisle – a smart way to shop at your favorite store.
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.
Our Groceries : This app is a simple list-building application that is shareable and easy to edit. It is free, if you don’t mind the ads at the top of the screen – or you can opt into the fee-based application.
Favado : Favado claims that you could save up to 70% on your grocery bill. The app covers thousands of national stores, including Aldi, Costco, Whole Foods, and many more recognizable stores. By adding your favorite, Favado displays sales and your most used brands or items, and include coupons that are available for your purchases.
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.
Saving Star : Also free to download, Saving Star lets you earn cash back on your groceries while saving on groceries.
CartSmart : Get cash rebates for your grocery purchases from CartSmart while keeping your grocery lists organized. Buy the items listed in “SmartDeals,” and upload a photo of your receipt. There is a $20 minimum account requirement before you can collect your rebates via Paypal.
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.
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