The birth of the smartphone didn’t fundamentally change the traditional way of grocery shopping yet, but the device definitely altered the way some people browse and find deals. Many grocers adapted their rewards program to accommodate the new technology. and third party apps are coming onto the scene to help the consumer save a couple of extra nickels. After shopping with a number of shopping apps over the last couple of years, I’ve nailed down my top three that really help give the extra save at the cash register.
Shopkick: The app allows you to “check in” when entering certain stores. Currently supporting the likes of JC Penney, Crate & Barrel, Macy’s and Target, all you have to do is simply open the app while entering the store and points are earned. Averaging 30-100 points per store check-in, you will get a $5 gift card to the store of your choosing when you get up to 500 points. It’s become second nature to open the app while grabbing my shopping cart, and after a few weeks of shopping, I’ll have $5 to shave off my grocery bill at Target.
Cartwheel: Speaking of Target, they’ve developed a coupon app called Cartwheel. For extra savings, I’ll open up Cartwheel while in Target and search through one of four categories. “Newest” contains the newest coupons released by Target. “Trending” has the most popular coupons that people are using. 5% off everyday items like milk and cheese seem to be the most popular. “Expiring” speaks for itself – you have 1-5 days left to use those coupons. Last but not least is my favorite category, “Discount”. This category shows you the highest discount offered in the store. For instance, Cheez-itz has a new product called Cheez-it Crunch’d and Cartwheel is offering 50% off because it’s a new item offered by Cheez-itz. Often times, new products are being offered at greater discounts because they want the consumer to try their products. After filling up my cart with groceries, I’ll scan the items with my phone and I’ll receive a barcode for the cashier to scan.
Checkout51: This highly rated app is changing the money back game in my grocery store trips. Each Thursday, the app uploads eligible everyday products to it’s “reward list”. You can then buy these products at any grocery store. Next, take a photo of your receipt, upload it to the app and enjoy seeing your docket go up with each grocery trip. I currently have $18.32 saved. I love that the offers are for common items that you would normally buy anyway.
These apps have changed the way I shop and save at the grocery store. Here’s an example on how I’ve stacked them while shopping:
I’ll go to Target and purchase a gallon of milk for $2.79 (in Southern California). As I enter the store, I’ll check in with Shopkick. When I get to the milk section, I’ll scan the label to my Cartwheel and get 5% off. I’ll then buy the milk with my Target RedCard for another 5% off. After enjoying a glass of milk (or chocolate milk if I’m feeling edgy), I’ll upload my receipt to Checkout51 and receive 50 cents toward my docket. That $2.79 turns into $2.09 after all is said and done. I admit that the savings sounds miniscule but everything adds up and there’s not really any added effort once I used to the process.
But what do you think? Do you think it’s a hassle to use these apps? What grocery store app(s) do you enjoy using?
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