Ever wish you had the time for extreme grocery couponing? Me neither. It seems exhausting and like I’d have to quit my full-time job!
But you can eat healthy on a budget without scouring the mail and web for grocery coupons. Saving money on groceries is a great way to lessen your overall spending, especially since it’s a big chunk of a monthly budget.
Of course, it takes a little thought and work, but not near as much as you might think. There’s plenty of grocery coupon apps that do the leg work for you and make it easy to save money by buying specific food items.
I still firmly believe that the best way to save money grocery shopping is to go as few times as possible and plan your meals out for the week. Up the ante by using some of these grocery apps below to save even more.
The Gist: Instead of a coupon, Ibotta works more like a rebate or cash back program.
How it Works: Browse the site or app before you go shopping and add the rewards to your account. You have to “earn” the discount by taking a quiz, learning a fact, watching a video, or making a purchase. It’s really quick to do and are no-brainer ways to get your discount. After making your purchases, scan the items with the app. Your cash back will be deposited in to Paypal or Venmo account.
Selling Point: The great part is that you can use this in conjunction with store offers. If there’s a $0.25 cash back on bread of any type as well as a $2.00 off in-store offer, you’ll save $2.25 in total. With an item like bread, that’s almost free!
Bonus: You can use this app for restaurants, home improvements, apparel, electronics or even pets. Brands like Sephora, Loft, Nordstrom, and Forever 21 have rebates with Ibotta.
Limitations: It takes time to unlock offers in the beginning.
The Gist: It’s like a coupon and store savings conglomerator, Favado takes your shopping list and shows you which store has the most deals.
How it Works: Type in what you need to buy and the app will show you if and where there are any deals or coupons for the item. Add it to a shopping list and then see your deals across different stores. The app will email you your coupons for you to print out.
Selling Point: Instead of searching for deals, the app caters to you and your shopping needs, showing you where the best deals are.
Bonus: The app has in-store deals that don’t need coupons, like buy 1 get 1 free, or mix and match 2 items for $2.99 etc.
Limitations: You can only add 5 stores for adding coupons. It’s also cumbersome to add coupons, then print them out and remember to bring them to the store.
The Gist: Savingstar is a cash back program for groceries.
How it Works: Add offers from the app to your account before shopping. Scan your receipt to earn your cash back. Some stores with loyalty programs will automatically send your purchases to the app, no receipt scan required. It can take up to 22 days for the cash back to post. Once you save $5, you can cash out to your bank, Paypal, Amazon gift card, or charitable donation.
Selling Point: The deals are manufacturer based, which means better discounts.
Bonus: You can shop online with this program and earn a percentage back from stores like Macy’s, Kohls, Travelocity, or even Apple.
Limitations: The app doesn’t have as many offers as Ibotta
Cartwheel by Target
The Gist: Cartwheel gives you an instant discount when you check out of Target stores.
How it Works: You get 10 offers for downloading the app, and one for each time you unlock a badge or use Cartwheel in store. Add the offer to your account and ask the clerk to scan your barcode when you checkout. You get an instant discount on your purchases. There’s discounts for all kinds of items at Target and a huge selection of discounts on their Target brand grocery items, Market Pantry and Simply Balanced.
Selling Point: Who doesn’t love Target? Go grocery shopping AND buy cute clothes (at a discount) in the same place!
Bonus: There’s a lot more grocery items on discount since Target integrates manufacturer discounts as well as their own brands.
Limitations: If you’re trying to save money, Target doesn’t always have the best prices. The tempting clothing aisle doesn’t help either.
The Gist: Checkout 51 is a cash back program that mails you a check.
How it Works: Scan your receipt that includes deal items and accumulate money in your account. There’s new deals released each week. After you get $20, they’ll mail you a check.
Selling Point: You can use the discounts for almost any store, there’s rarely limitations unless the coupon specifically states it.
Bonus: There’s a lot of deals on fresh food, like strawberries or bananas.
Limitations: It can take a long time to accumulate $20 since the deals are limited and doesn’t have the same instant reward as cash in your bank account.
So there we go! Useful apps that’ll help you and your grocery budget. Try using all of these to maximize the money savings for you and your family.
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