Uhh, grocery shopping, a necessary evil I guess. Does anyone else feel like the grocery stores are out to take every bit of our money? What happened to the days where I could get two weeks of groceries for under $50? Granted that was ten years ago and I was single, but still. I hate nothing more than spending so much money every week on groceries.
I’m always looking for easy ways to save money because if I’m being honest, I’m not an extreme or even an average couponer at that. I’ll look at them if they are right in front of me but it seems too complicated to plan and search for coupons to use. While I admire people that really dive into them, it looks like a part time job to me. Can someone come do it for me? I’m joking, sort of. 🙂
Anyway, I have found a few ways to save some money using my phone! I have a few apps that I use every week when I go grocery shopping with my mom. Most of them are not immediate discounts like you would get from a coupon at the grocery store but they do give money back. Every little bit helps right? Here are the five apps I use regularly.
Walmart – Savings Catcher
Did you know that Walmart will offer a price match if you tell them at the register? Well, I am lazy and never look at other store flyers before I head into Walmart, so I always miss out on this. However, in comes the Walmart app. Inside this app is a section called Savings Catcher. This allows you to scan in your receipt and then Walmart will compare it to all the local stores (like Kroger, Aldi, etc) and give you the difference back. Isn’t that fantastic?
You have a week from the date of purchase to scan in your receipt. Then it takes a few days for them to compare it to all the stores in your area. You will get an email or notification letting you know how much you are getting back. The Savings Catcher can be cashed in at any time for either a Walmart gift card or to a bluebird account. I’m not sure what the bluebird account is, as I’ve only ever opted for the Walmart gift card. There is no specific amount that you have to reach before cashing out your reward dollars.
I think this is genius. I love that I don’t have to spend my time looking through all sorts of flyers to price compare. Walmart will do it for you. Now, there have been rumors of the savings catcher being discontinued but as of right now it is still working. Make sure to download the app and get started scanning your receipts as soon as possible. I’ve been doing it since August 2014 and I’ve redeemed $333.77 in reward dollars!
All the receipts scanned are saved within the Savings Catcher, which is a big perk! So if you ever need to return anything and you can’t find your receipt, you can use the app for the return. As a mom, I am always misplacing my receipts, so this is a lifesaver.
Now, this app does not give you instant gratification like the Walmart Savings Catcher. It functions more like a rebate app. Checkout 51 will run a new list of items every Thursday that you can get cash back on. So you have from Thursday to Thursday to shop for items and scan your receipt.
This app is not grocery store specific and it doesn’t matter how many receipts you use. For example, I go to Aldi, Kroger, and Walmart every week. I can scan in all three receipt and them for whatever items I purchase that are in the app.
One thing to keep your eye on is that sometimes the rebates are only available for a certain number of people. So if you see it Thursday and don’t go to the store until Monday, there is a chance the rebate may not be available. I haven’t had this happen much but some of the more popular items are handled this way.
The thing I have found hard with this app, is that the cash out isn’t possible until you reach $20. For me, this takes a while because there are a lot of brands and items we just don’t use.
I have been able to cash out and receive a $20 check from them once and I’ve been using the app for about 2 years. So, the rewards are not immediate or quick with this one unless you use a lot of the brands and items they offer. I will not buy something just to get the discount. I try to stick to things we use. So check it out, it may work great for you!
Next up is one that I just recently discovered, Ibotta. This app has a list of grocery stores it works with, like Walmart, Target, Kroger, and many more. Also, there are other categories, like pharmacy, clothing, dining, convenience, and mobile apps. I haven’t used much past the grocery section but if you do quite a bit of shopping or eating out, this may be a great app for you!
Ibotta takes a little more effort. When you go into the grocery category and click on your specific grocery store, there are all sorts of categories you can search through. You have to unlock the rebate in order to use it. So that may mean watching a short 20 second video about the item or reading a blurp or recipe about it. Once you do this, it is unlocked and added to a list for you to use after your shopping is complete.
Next step, chose a store and scan in the matching receipt. Now, this is where it might take a little longer. If the rebate is for a specific item, you have to scan the barcode on the actual item after you upload your receipt. (Tip: Make sure to look through the app before you put your groceries away. Otherwise you have to go on a grocery hunt for the items, which is time consuming.) A general rebate for milk or eggs, with no brand specified, usually doesn’t require a scan of the barcode.
You are done when all of the steps above are completed! When you reach $20 in rebates you can cash out to a Paypal or Venmo account. Or, if you don’t like either of those options, there is a list of gift cards for various stores that you can get instead. Either way it’s a win!
The fourth app is Receipt Hog. This one is specifically for market research. They take the data from your shopping habits and any questions they ask and send it in for market research and data. The makers of the app promise that it is completely anonymous and no personal information is collected.
That being said, you can scan ANY receipt into this app. Gas, groceries, resturants, etc. The list is endless. It can be used as long as it is a receipt. Once you scan them in, you earn points. The more you scan, the more points you receive. Easy peasy!
Next, they have all sorts of bonuses and different ways to earn more points or coins. There is a game feel to this app that makes it a little fun. Once you collect 1000 coins, which equals $5, you can start cashing in for either an Amazon gift card or put it into your PayPal account. The more coins you collect, the higher the cash out value. So it’s up to you on how long you’d like to wait before getting your reward.
One more Quick Tip, if you have an email and Amazon account, make sure to connect them to the app so that you can get more coins.
Coupons.com is the last app! It collects all sorts of coupons and deals from various stores and puts them into one place. This is the main place I look for coupons because it is so easy and convenient.
You open the app and go to the grocery tab on the bottom. This will take you to a whole list of coupons that are available. Some are specific to stores but for the most part it doesn’t matter where you shop. You just click on the “clip coupon” button for each item you want. Then it compiles a list of everything you chose. The best part of this is that you can print them from your phone. I love that! I’m all about convienence! You just print, cut, and go!
A lot of what I buy is fresh produce and meats so there usually are not a lot of coupons I can use. However, the toiletries are worth a look. I save the most with these coupons. There is a limit to how many of each coupon you can print. Other wise, this is a pretty easy app to navigate and use.
So, here are my 5 favorite grocery shopping apps. They help save me some money without taking up a lot of my time. I hope that you enjoy looking through the apps. If you have any tips on how you save money I’d love to hear about it!
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