5 Free Apps to Help You Save Money on Groceries

06/Apr/16 / 20:18

Whether you’re shopping for one or feeding the whole family, the cost of groceries can quickly add up. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, though, to stock your fridge or pantry with supplies for meals and snacks. Mobile apps are becoming a popular way for shoppers to save money on groceries with just a few finger taps.

If you’re looking for ways to save money on groceries, check out the following free apps:

1. Ibotta

Before you make your purchase, “unlock” specific deals by completing a short task, such as watching a brief video or answering a survey question. Then, use the app to scan each product’s barcode and snap a photo of your receipt. Your Ibotta account will be credited after Ibotta verifies your purchases. As your account balance grows, you can redeem your rewards for cash via PayPal or Venmo, or exchange them for gift cards.

Participating northern Illinois stores include Costco, Jewel-Osco, Mejier, Sam’s Club, Target, Walgreens, Walmart and Whole Foods Market.

2. Cartwheel

Cartwheel is Target’s app that provides instant savings at checkout. Browse through offers, search by product name or category, or use the app to scan product barcodes to find the latest Cartwheel deals. Add each deal to your account and ask the cashier to scan the barcode on your app at checkout. Cartwheel discounts can typically be used in addition to store and manufacturer coupons, sales and other promotions.

3. Grocery Pal

Wondering what’s on sale at your local stores? The Grocery Pal app showcases the latest sale prices at a number of area grocers. Use the app to find sale prices, make grocery lists and add digital coupons that you can redeem at the register.

Participating northern Illinois stores include Aldi, CVS/pharmacy, Costco, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Jewel-Osco, Kmart, Meijer, Sam’s Club, Target, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Walgreens and Whole Foods Market.

4. Checkout 51

Checkout 51 is a service that offers cash back on a variety of products. Use the app to select the items you’re going to buy — some offers may be for general items (strawberries, for example), while others may be for certain brands. While many offers may be valid at any store, others may be redeemable only at specified merchants. After you add offers to your account and make a purchase, upload a photo of your receipt and watch your account balance grow. Once you hit $20 in savings, Checkout 51 will send you a check.

5. Coupon Sherpa

If clipping coupons isn’t for you, this app may help you seize discounts without investing time in sorting through paper. Coupon Sherpa allows you to find digital coupons redeemable at specific stores or search by product to find a nearby store with a current coupon. Once you’ve added coupons to your mobile account, just present the barcode at the register and watch the savings add up.

Participating northern Illinois stores include Aldi, Jewel-Osco, Meijer and Whole Foods.

Many app discounts can be combined with sales, coupons, loyalty program deals and even other app discounts to help you maximize your savings. Brush up on the terms and conditions at your favorite stores and, with just a little planning, you’re on your way to reducing your grocery bills.

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