With two daughters, 2 stepchildren, a husband and a taste for entertaining, it can get pretty difficult to keep the grocery bills at a decent level. I just cannot bring myself to get –fully- on the whole “couponing” thing, even though I hear it’s amazing the savings you can get. I am already proud of myself for making pretty detailed lists (which I used to never do!) and planning my week meals in advance so the extreme couponing is a step I am not –yet- ready to make….but there is a fantastic app for first-step couponing which I will be sharing with you below.
So, good meal planning and list-making are definite effective first steps into cutting your grocery costs since you much less likely to buy impulsively or to have waste OR to find yourself doing constant back and forth to the grocery store many times a week (which can lead to more impulsive buys…). Oh! And not doing your groceries when you’re hungry (Duh!!).
Of course for your big household items like toilet paper, paper towels and toothpaste, it’s been shown that Costco has the best prices, so if you’re a member, you’re going to save but only if you go often enough to cover the cost of your membership fees.
But what’s the next if you want to have the best bang for your buck?
I started using a few (free) apps on my phone which claimed to help save money on groceries and various staples. Some worked great and were very user friendly and I decided to share them with you because I think that they are definitely worth a try!
So I AM starting off with the couponing thing! But this is not your mother’s clipped coupons. You don’t ever spend hours of your precious time finding good coupons in various flyers, clipping them and making sure you don’t forget them when it’s actually time to go shopping. I mean, in my mind, only the EXTREMELY organized people can do this. Judos to you if you are but…I personally had to be realist and accept that I will never be that person.
Checkout 51 gives you money back on certain products after you purchase them. Sometime you will get only 0.25$ back, while you could get a few dollars on other occasions. On the app, you will see on which products you can get money back on when it’s time for you to go shopping. Once your shopping is done, you simply take a picture of your receipt and upload it via the app (it’s easy to do). Once your receipt is approved, which can take a few hours, the money you are entitled to is added to your account. At the $20 mark, a cheque will be mailed to you. Not bad for taking and uploading a picture huh? (IOS, Android)
Snap by Groupon and Zweet
These apps have the same concept and you can use them simultaneously with Checkout 51 and save even more with the same receipt. If you do it with one, you can do it with two (or three) no? (IOS, Android)
I mean the cost of gas is really out of this world now isn’t it? And it’s not an expense that is much “fun” to make (yes, there is such a thing as a fun expense, just think SHOES!!). At least, with this app, you can find the gas station closest to you with the lowest price per litre, according to the GPS on your phone anywhere in North America! So this is even good on road trips and such.
The app also features a trip cost calculator based on your trip distance and the mark and model of your vehicle.
Interesting perk (which I did not do): GasBuddy has an ongoing contest if you sign up for it which can make you win free gas. (IOS, Android, Blackberry)
This app features the deals available throughout Canada, via select offers showcased on the app but more importantly, through the forums of users.
This app can really help you save on a large selection of items from apparel, to computers, groceries, entertainment, beauty products, travel, etc. If you are shopping for something, look on this app first to see if there is a deal to be had. If it’s not on the forums, then, there is probably no deal on this particular item in Canada at the moment. This app is really that extensive.
If you are a Costco member, you can also use this site to see the latest deals since users are posting about it.
You can also use the desktop version, but I think the app is great for when you are out and about and you need to check on a deal immediately. (IOS, Android)
Simply by scanning bar codes on any product, you can compare prices. Easy to use and helps you find the best deals by comparing without having to search in a databank or typing the name of the product. Just scan it and get your results. Particularly useful with big ticket items. (IOS, Android)
Anyone who doesn’t comprehend that in this day and age we still receive printed weekly flyers in our mailboxes or on our doorstep raise your hand please! Seriously, do we really need all this paper (not to mention the plastic bag it comes in)? Of course not! And with Flipp, there is further reason to get rid of that completely.
Flipp puts all the weekly circulars and puts them on the app. It allows you to search for a specific product and see where it’s available and at what price. So, when you’re actually store, wondering if the item you are looking at is at the best possible price at this time (hello big ticket items!), check out on Flipp and you will have your answer. (IOS, Android)
This app allows you to collect PC Points even though you don’t own a PC card. This app becomes you PC points card and it’s interesting to know that a thousand points is equal to a $1 in groceries. So, if in a 100$ grocery trip you get a total of 30,000 points, this translates into 30$ worth of points. It can go pretty fast!
The app also shows the special offers of the week, your points balance and participating stores. You can also use it to create a shopping list.
Plus, it’s so easy to use. If you are a PC shopper, you need this app.(IOS, Android)
A good friend of mine works at Yellow Pages and she very rightly mentioned that I forgot to insert the link for this very useful app that is also free. This app provides for an extensive selection of grocery flyers and built-in loyalty cards to ensure that you can shop and save money easily and quickly.
Good savings everyone!