Last year Brad and I had $243.17 sent to our PayPal accounts in one lump sum from grocery shopping apps. Accumulating that much was a surprisingly low effort endeavor, so I’m currently imagining what the haul would be if we tried harder. Initially I was not a fan because I hate downloading stuff to my phone. Now, however, I’m screaming about the benefits to strangers on the streets. Since they tend to look away and walk faster, I thought this might be a better place for my enthusiasm. Let’s start with the basics.
What’s a Grocery Shopping App?
There are a lot of grocery shopping apps to choose from. From list makers to flier scanners there’s probably something for every aspect of grocery shopping. I don’t use those. The only ones I use (and will focus on here) have a definitive and direct cha-ching affect my wallet.
These apps save money by acting as in-phone coupons where you select the product discount and either save immediately when scanning the app’s barcode, or get a cash rebate once you verify your purchase and reach the savings threshold. Each one works a little differently so I’ll detail the specifics in the write up of each of those apps. I feel like I came to the grocery shopping app party thing so late. If you feel the same and maybe need some convincing, then here are:
4 Reasons You Should Use Grocery Shopping Apps
Grocery Shopping Apps Save Money
The number one reason to download any grocery shopping app and let it take up precious space on your mobile device is because it will save you money. The shopping apps in this guide either provide instant savings, or a cash back rebate that is redeemed when the savings threshold is met (i.e. you can cash out once you’ve accumulated $10 in savings). Personally I prefer the latter because it feels good to cash out a larger lump sum than to instantly save $0.50 here and there.
Grocery Shopping Apps Save MORE Money
The beauty of the grocery shopping apps in this guide is that their savings can be stacked with retailer promotions AND manufacturers coupons. For instance, say your grocery store has a product you want, and it’s on sale for $1 off regular price and you have a manufacturer coupon for $1 off. That’s $2 savings. If your grocery shopping app also has a $1.00 off offer, you can stack it with the sale and coupon for a total of $3 off. Sweet!
Grocery Shopping Apps Save You EVEN MORE Money
There are two big ways this happens:
1. Not only can you stack sales and coupons with the apps, you can also stack apps with other apps! Sometimes multiple shopping apps will offer a cash back rebate on the same item. When that happens you can score multiple rebates from a single item! This trick often leads to drastic discounts that amount to paying mere pennies for your items or getting freebies. At the very least it’s a great way to bring the cost of a normally expensive item down to a price you’re comfortable paying.
2. Having two or more accounts leads to literally double (or more) the savings. I’m not suggesting anything illegal here. Reading the TOS indicates that the apps I’m showcasing allow more than one person in the same household to have an account.
Brad and I each have the same shopping apps on our phones. When we shop we make sure to pay for the items separately because you can’t use the same receipt (it shows up as a duplicate), even if you’ve clearly purchased more than one item. The other requirement is for each person to have their own PayPal account (the typical way payments are sent). It’s one method the apps use to prevent fraud. This single trick has literally helped us double our savings.
Earn Extra Cash with Grocery Shopping Apps
It’s awesome enough that stacking sales, coupons, and app discounts can lead to freebies and groceries for pennies. It’s a whole new level of fun when you can actually earn some extra cash, right? Well, you can and there are three ways:
1. When your savings is more than the price of the item: This typically happens when you find an item on sale and stack it with a coupon and savings from the app. For instance, an item goes on sale for $0.99. You have a manufacturer coupon for $0.75 off and the shopping app has a $1.00 cash back rebate. Not only will you get the grocery item for free, but you earn $0.76. Do that twice (more than one person in the house with the app) and make $1.52. Heck, in this case it’s worth buying the product even if you don’t want it! Give it away or donate it or something.
2. Cash Bonus: This really only happens with ibotta, and I LOVE it!! Since it is specific to ibotta I won’t take up space in this post. All will be explained with the Ibotta post.
3. Referral Programs: A few of the apps have referral programs that give cash bonuses when someone joins using your code. The cool thing is the person who joins also receives a bonus.
Now for the Shopping Apps
Each week for the next few weeks links to six grocery shopping apps will be added below. Each link will take you to a post about the app and everything you need to know to maximize your savings (and earn a bit too). Once the series is completed an option to download the whole thing as a PDF will be available so everything is in one place. Okay! On to the apps!
2. Checkout 51