Comparing 14 money-saving grocery apps: Find which one is the best for you

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One of the questions I’m asked most often is “what’s the best app to use to save money on groceries?”  Luckily there are a number of apps out there that can help you save and even help you feel like you are making money in the process.  Here is a list off the best grocery saving apps on the market today.   The grocery industry is ripe for innovation and disruption – so expect to see more players in this market in the near future.

Colorado Grocery Retailer Apps

By far the quickest and easiest way to save money at the grocery store is by using manufacturer coupons available in your local grocery store apps.  These apps are connected to your loyalty card number and when you enter your phone number or scan your loyalty card at checkout, the discounts or “digital coupons” are taken off immediately.  These digital coupons are taken off at face value and do not double like printed and newspaper coupons, but it’s free money and great savings nonetheless.

 

The most sophisticated of the grocery store apps is the Safeway Just for You app.  Not only can you see the weekly ad and digital loyalty card coupons in the app, you can also browse and search for personalized deals and prices based on your purchase history and items you may be highly likely to purchase. The app gives you personalized prices based on your purchase history that are often cheaper than the advertised sale prices.  You can also scan product barcodes to see if the products are on sale or have a coupon available.  The Safeway app also tracks your gas rewards summary.

 

The King Soopers app allows you to browse or search the weekly ad as well as digital coupons that come off automatically at the register when you add the deal to your list.  The app also displays Exclusive Best Customer deals based on your purchase history, which is similar to the personalized prices through the Safeway app.  It also tracks your fuel points.  Every Friday there is a free offer available through the Kroger app.

 

The Walmart app allows you to search or scan prices at your local store, see the weekly ad and rollbacks, as well as use the Savings Catcher feature.  While there are no coupons or personalized prices available in the Walmart app, the Savings Catcher compares prices of your uploaded receipt across the advertised sales of local competitors and gives you the difference as a Walmart e-gift card.    You can also use Walmarttogo via a mobile browser to see grocery prices at your local store, add items to your cart, and place an order for delivery or store pickup.  Earn $15 on your first Walmarttogo order here.

 

Target has two apps that you can use to find savings at Target.  The Target app allows you to search for items, browse deals from the weekly ad, see online and store prices for items, and see which items have a Cartwheel offer available.  You can also add items to your cart for store pickup.  To get additional discounts, you need to download and register for the Target Cartwheel app.  The Cartwheel app is a mobile couponing app that allows you to browse deals and add discounts to your Cartwheel account.  You then show the mobile barcode at checkout and your discounts are automatically applied.  The more you use it, the more offers you are able to add to your account.  Target also has mobile coupons available via text message when you text OFFERS to 827438.  You will receive a text alert when new offers are available and you simply open the text, click the link and show the barcode at checkout for your offers to be redeemed.    

Grocery Cash Back Apps

Cash back or instant rebate apps have been all the rage in the last year in the couponing world.  The basic premise is you browse the grocery deals in the app, add to them to your account, purchase the item, submit a picture of your receipt and you get cash back for your purchase through your Paypal account.  These rebates often work on top of manufacturer coupons, although I’m sure not they’re designed to be used that way and they can also be used on top of sales across the stores.  Here are the most popular cash-back apps in the market today. 

 

ibotta, a Colorado company has created a rebate app for groceries, apparel, beer, wine and liquor, beauty products, restaurants, and more.  ibotta rewards you for engaging with a brand in the app, scanning the product you’ve purchased and uploading a picture of your receipt.  Brand engagement may include watching a commercial, learning a fact about the product, completing a survey or sharing on social media. Offers may vary by store and by person based on your purchase activity.  After your receipt is uploaded, you get cash for your purchases either to PayPal or Venmo, or you get can a gift card.  ibotta also rewards you for connecting your Facebook friends and participating in team rewards where you meet certain redemption goals each month to earn extra bonus cash.  ibotta recently introduced rebates on any brands like frozen pizza, milk, and even rebates for produce. 

 

Checkout 51 This rebate app is one of the easier apps to use.  New offers are available on Thursday each week and expire the following Wednesday.  Simply add the offers to your account, purchase the items and submit a picture of your receipt to get your rebate.  No need to engage with a brand or scan the product that you’ve purchased.  You can cash out once your account reaches $20.  Many checkout 51 offers can be redeemed more than once when you buy multiple items in the same transaction.  You can also get cash back on fresh produce and milk with this app.

 

Mobisave – The newest rebate app in the grocery space, Mobisave, is one of the easiest to use and most user-friendly.  You simply add the offers to your account, purchase the items, scan your receipt and get cash back instantly in your paypal account.  No minimums or product scanning or brand engagement required.  The redeemed offers get re-loaded within a few days to encourage brand loyalty and re-purchase.  It’s currently available for iOS phones, but an Andoid app is in development and will be available soon.

 

Saving Star – With the SavingStar app, you add an offer to your account, purchase the product, scan the product, submit a picture of your receipt and get cash back.    SavingStar offers higher value offers than the other apps to reward you for purchasing more products.  For example, save $5 when you purchase $25 in participating items. SavingStar also features a healthy rebate each week where you can save on fresh produce.  You can cash out once your account earns $5. 

 

Groupon Snap – Groupon also has a grocery cash-back app called Snap.  Just like the others, you add offers to your account, purchase the products and upload a photo of your receipt to earn cash back.  The offers can be used once at any retailer and new offers are loaded regularly.  You can cash out once your account earns $20. 

 

Shopmium – A grocery cash-back app that allows you to discover offers, purchase the products at any store and scan the product bar-code and the upload the receipt to get your rebate.    The offers can be used one time.  You can see ahead of time which retailers carry the products you are interested in purchasing.  New Shopmium users can get a free Lindt chocolate bar when you sign up for Shopmium with referral code KCFCMFYP. 

 

BerryCart – A cash back app focused exclusively on natural and organic products, Berry Cart offers can be redeemed at any store, however many of the products are only available at natural food retailers.  Berry cart requires brand engagement via a product rating or learning a fact about a product to load the offer to your account.  The app allows you to see where you can buy the products so you know before you shop if a product is available at a certain retailer.  You can cash out once your account earns $5. 

Price Comparison Grocery Savings Apps:

 

Favado– Created by the folks at Savings.com, this grocery sale and coupon discovery app shows you the top grocery deals at your local stores each week.   Primarily geared toward couponers, Favado allows you to search for a sale and compare sale prices across local stores.  If there is a matching coupon available for a product on sale, the app tells you where to get the coupon.  Top deals are determined by local savings bloggers based on the sale and coupon combinations and highest percent savings on sale items.

 

uGrocery– A Colorado based app, is the first grocery price comparison app available that tells you the best place to shop based on a real-time price comparison of your shopping list across local stores.  uGrocery allows users to search or scan products to compare prices, see if items are on sale and how good the sale price is relative to the competition.  uGrocery highlights the best  deals based on percent savings across local stores and based on your shopping list history.  It’s currently available in beta in the Colorado market and will be publicly available in June.

7NEWS – Of course, our 7NEWS app isn’t a grocery savings app but you can save money looking at the Shop Smart digital section in our app. You can find and compare advertised grocery sales across local stores sale flyers and then create a shopping list by digitally selecting which items you want to buy from the flyer.

Do you use any other apps for saving money on groceries?  Be sure to let me know if I missed any new apps in this overview.    

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