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The 5 best shopping apps to save money on groceries

The 5 best shopping apps to save money on groceries

I’ll never forget the day I discovered that I could save money on groceries by using an app. At the time, I was completely annoyed with spending so much money on groceries but it wasn’t like I could just stop buying them—trust me, my kids wouldn’t allow me to do that! I needed a quick and easy way to save that didn’t also require a lot of effort on my end. I’d looked into couponing but I knew I didn’t have the time to spend on searching through newspaper circulars to clip coupons. 

After sharing my frustration with my friends, one of them suggested I check out shopping apps; I had no clue where to begin. I did a quick Google search for the best shopping apps to save money on groceries and I came across a grand list of apps from which to choose. I knew all of them wouldn’t fit my lifestyle and needs so I decided to choose five and try one out each day while the kids were in school. I was surprised to learn that while many of these apps were designed differently, they all pretty much helped me accomplish the same goal of saving money on groceries.

If you’ve been looking for the best shopping apps to save money on groceries, you’re in luck. I decided to write down the five apps I chose to save the next person a little time. I hope you find them as helpful as I have.

5 Shopping Apps to Save Money on Groceries

1. Coupons.com

If you’re new to money-saving apps for groceries, Coupons.com is a great gateway app because it revolves around a familiar concept: coupons. If you’re ever used coupons, I’m sure you remember searching through newspapers for the best deals of the week, cutting them out with scissors, and carrying them along with you to the store. Or, perhaps you remember walking down the aisles and pulling the strips out of the coupon machines. Either way, this app features a familiar way to save.

Before Coupons.com was an app, it was a website for printing coupons. Now, it has evolved into an app that makes using coupons a bit easier. You can definitely still use the website to print out coupons if that’s your thing, but now you can also scan deals with the app and have the coupons applied at the register—paper-free!

Who Should Use This App:

Anyone who is new to shopping apps and wants a familiar system—like clipping coupons—as an entry point

2. Target Circle

You might remember the Target Cartwheel app, well now it’s called Circle. Basically the way this app works is that it rewards you for purchases made at Target. The more you purchase, the more rewards you receive. For me, shopping at Target isn’t a problem at all. The unfortunate part, for my budget, is that I end up spending way too much on other items; it kind of defeats the purpose of saving on groceries when I’m just going to use it as an excuse to spend the savings on something else.

But, if you have self-control and only shop for the items on your list, this app is great for you because you can redeem your earned rewards points on future grocery purchases. There’s one thing to note with store-branded apps like this one, they can obviously only be used at the store offering the program.

Who Should Use This App:

Loyal Target shoppers

3. Rakuten

The next app on my list is called Rakuten, but until recently, it was a site called eBates. For a long time, it was a great site to use for online shopping. It would basically give you cash back for online shopping from a variety of online stores—that’s now changed.

Under its new name, Rakuten has worked hard to offer its users cashback on purchases made in stores as well, and this includes groceries. You can’t use Rakuten at all grocery stores, but some places like Safeway, Walmart, and Sam’s Club offer deals through Rakuten. If you ask me, it’s still best for online shopping, which is how I primarily use it.

Who Should Use This App:

Online shoppers

4. Shopkick

When I came across this app, I knew it was special. Not only can you use the app when making purchases online, but it can also be used at almost every store. The way that Shopkick works is that it gives you rewards points—which it calls kicks—for doing things you do when you shop for groceries already, things like ordering groceries online, walking into stores, and making purchases. Once you’ve earned enough kicks, you can trade them in for gift cards that can be used on future purchases. 

Shopkick is so easy and simple to use; I don’t even have to think twice about opening the app to see where I can earn the most kicks. Even when I forget to open the app, I can still earn kicks for the purchases I’ve made with my linked Visa or MasterCard. And, whenever I need a bit of meal inspiration, I can count on Shopkick to provide me with recipes right through the app. The best part, though, is that Shopkick makes shopping so much more fun, turning basically any trip out to the store into a super fun scavenger hunt for points. Fun and savings—it doesn’t get much better than that!

Who Should Use This App:

Anyone who wants to save money on groceries both online and in the store.

5. SavingStar

SavingStar is another cashback shopping app worth adding to the list but it is a bit more complicated to use than the others. Because SavingStar is a rebate app, you’re only rewarded cashback on purchases that have an active rebate. This can be helpful if you find that most of the items on your list offer rebates but it’s likely to change on a regular basis.

To take advantage of SavingStar, you have either link a store loyalty card or submit receipts after you make purchases, similar to Checkout 51. Also like Checkout 51, you have to have earned at least $20 in rebates to cash out.

Who Should Use This App:

Shoppers looking to earn cashback on grocery purchases

Learning about shopping apps to save money on groceries has really changed my life—primarily by helping me stretch my budget but also because some of these apps have made shopping something I look forward to. For example, I look forward to discovering new recipes with Shopkick and searching for ways to earn kicks. It’s great fun and I can hardly remember how I used to go to the store without it.

I hope my list today is helpful for you. I recommend giving all of these apps a chance, but I especially recommend using Shopkick! It’s just the best of the shopping apps to save money on groceries.

It’s time to get your kicks! Shopkick makes shopping for groceries a rewarding experience by saving you money. Download the app today and start to get your kicks instantly!