Recently we’ve shown you how to make your money go further using technology, and there’s a lot to say about it. From planning your financial future to improving your credit score, there’s no better time to start taking control of your finances using these incredible tools.
One area where most people spend a lot of money but probably don’t think much about is the grocery store. Everyone needs the essentials like milk, produce, and paper products, but you could be spending too much without even knowing it. Let’s take a look at some big tips for tightening the bottom line on your supermarket receipt.
Use Coupon Apps
Coupons are one of your best friends when you’re trying to bring down your grocery bill. Paying a visit to the best coupon websites is a great place to start if you don’t know your way around couponing just yet. Not only will you see the best deals front and center, but they also include full guides on integrating coupon use into your life!
If those big three aren’t enough for you, in the past we’ve covered even more grocery coupon sites; find one that works for you and run with it!
Get an Electronic List
Coupons are fantastic, but if you’re buying a bunch of goodies you don’t need, it’s defeating the point of saving money. Before you go to the grocery store, it’s best to have a plan in mind, and a list is the perfect way to do that. Paper lists are okay, and there are always great general-purpose list apps, but a better choice are apps specifically designed to help you at the market.
For Android, Bertel has the definitive list of the best grocery companion apps; Bakari has iPhone users covered with awesome iOS grocery apps.
Earn Cash Back
Loyalty programs and rewards points are common at grocery stores, but sometimes they’re confusing or take a long time to redeem for cash. As a supplement, try checking out some websites and apps that allow you to get instant cash back on your everyday purchases, such as Ibotta in the US.
With this service, you can browse local stores for potential deals, then simply watch a quick video or answer a few survey questions to qualify for a discount. Once you buy the item and scan your receipt into the app, you’ll be credited with some cash! For items you’re going to buy anyway, this is basically free money.
Massive superstore Walmart also has a nice cashback program, and it’s quite simple. With Savings Catcher, all you have to do is scan your receipt with the app (Android or iOS) or enter its information online. Walmart will take a day or two to scan advertised prices from other stores in the area, and if you paid more at Walmart they’ll refund you the difference.
An easily redeemable e-Gift Card means you can fund that money right back into your grocery spending; if you centralize your shopping at Walmart, this saves you the time of having to compare prices! Those among the Target faithful will love Cartwheel, Target’s similar solution. If you don’t frequent either of these stores, check out Kayla’s list of cashback websites that give you similar benefits.
Know Where to Go
So we’ve seen how to spend less and even get some money back. But what about deciding which store to shop at? Thankfully, there’s a solution for that, too: Favado. Using this app, you can compare prices on items you need at the stores close to you. This helps you plan your trips and cuts down on unnecessary driving around, in turn saving you even more on gas!
Because prices and deals change each week, you likely won’t be buying the same things from the same stores every time you shop. If you’re not loyal to one store or have way too many places to choose from in your area, Favado might be the perfect solution.
Stick to the Recipes
There are a lot of frivolous items at the supermarket. While it might be tempting to try out new items or buy the premium option, when you’re trying to save money it’s important to stay focused and avoid wasting cash. Recipe apps (besides potentially helping you find delicious new meals to try) help you save money by keeping you from buying what you don’t need.
If you’re open to trying new things and don’t mind being told what to do, Meal Planning will send you personalized dinner plans and a grocery list for each night of the week, but it isn’t free. However, if you don’t like planning far ahead and are okay with the idea of sticking to someone else’s list, it might be worth the small cost.
Another awesome service that also has the side effect of healthier meals is Eat This Much. By giving it your desired number of daily calories and how many meals you want to eat, you’ll received an organized plan to help you hit your goal. It takes your budget into account, and once you’re all set up, you’ll get a grocery list with everything you need.
Taking a reverse approach, SuperCook allows you to view recipes based on what’s currently in your pantry and fridge. Wasting food is wasting money, so instead of spending more at the store, get creative with what you have around! If SuperCook isn’t enough for you, Saikat has shown plenty more sites for cooking with leftovers. You might even discover a new favorite dish and never look at leftovers the same way!
Let the Savings Begin!
Grocery stores don’t have to wear you out. With a little planning and some knowledge, you can save a substantial amount every time you go out to shop. Integrating these websites and apps into your routine will be relatively painless, and you’ll be better off for it!
What are your best tips to save at the grocery store? Have you found any awesome recipes from using these tools? Let us know below and we can save even more!
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