Using your smartphone can make saving money on groceries a simple and hassle-free process. One great aspect is that the best grocery saving apps can be downloaded for free. Knowing this, I can give in to my natural impulse to try them all.
According to the USDA, food expenditures chew up roughly 10% of the typical American household budget. Wow! I think most of us would like to slash those expenses. Wouldn’t you agree?
And, I don’t know about you, but I find it especially satisfying if I can save money without having to invest a lot of time. For example, coupons are wonderful, but my use tends to be hit or miss because clipping and organizing require a commitment that I’m not always willing to make.
So, let me share my experiences with some of my favorite money-saving apps.
5 Of The Best Grocery Saving Apps
The list of apps that follows is certainly not exhaustive. But these are all legitimate programs that I use every week. I’ve received multiple payments from each either in the form of cash deposits to my PayPal account or as Amazon gift cards.
No, I don’t earn life-changing amounts of income. But I have to admit that vanilla lattes from Starbucks are my downfall and my grocery rebates support that habit pretty well. Furthermore, the Amazon delivery truck is at my door 2 to 3 times per month, and I invariably have gift cards to defray that cost.
For me, the minimal effort required to earn from grocery rebate apps makes them worthwhile. I also get a kick out of the fact that I can often save money on the same item from 2 or more of these programs. As a result, I’ve been known to score free stuff.
Oh, and you should know that all of these apps are available for both IOS and Android devices.
Shopkick is a mobile app dedicated to reinventing the shopping experience. Earn reward points (called kicks) on every grocery shopping excursion. All of the major grocers in my area participate.
The Shopkick app has earned its number one position on my list by providing consistent savings over time and by being a fun and engaging program to use. In general, I find shopping a necessary but not very pleasant chore, so I appreciate getting paid a bit to do it.
I like earning rebates on items I intend to purchase anyway. But, what’s especially nice is the ability to earn kicks in several ways that don’t involve buying anything. Moreover, the Shopkick payout threshold is unusually low. Hence, I can indulge in special treats using my payouts that much quicker.
And, who doesn’t enjoy a treat?
Finally, Shopkick lets me redeem my kicks as either gift cards or as cash using Paypal. When I first joined Shopkicks back in 2017, cash was not an option. But the program has expanded, and Paypal is now available.
Drop is an app that lets you automatically earn points on purchases you were going to make anyway simply by linking your debit and credit cards within the app. The convenience is amazing because once you’ve installed Drop, selected your 5 favorite vendors, and linked your cards; there is no need to do anything at all to rack up reward points.
You can save on more than groceries with Drop. But, you’ll certainly want to choose one or more grocery stores as your standing offers. Points are earned based on your entire purchase. There’s no need to open the app, select specific items, or scan receipts.
How easy is that?
Now, you can earn even more points by selecting special offers within the app. But you’ll always save on recurring grocery expenditures in a completely effortless fashion.
Once you’ve earned 5,000 points or the equivalent of %5 (which doesn’t take long), you can redeem your Drop points for desirable gift cards. Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Starbucks, and Applebees are just a few of the numerous choices available.
One of the best aspects of using Drop is that you can easily stack the savings from this app with any of the other apps on this list or with coupons. Drop points are also in addition to any rebate points you already earn with your credit card. It feels like you’re supercharging your savings!
Fetch is a mobile shopping app that rewards you for scanning and uploading all of your grocery receipts. The program works with major grocery brands and generally awards points based on brand name purchases rather than specific products. For example, the purchase of any Campbell’s soup will do.
You’ll earn 10 points for each $! of allowable brand purchases and Fetch has partnered with more than 250 well-known brands. There are also special promotions each week that let you earn bonus points on specific products. It’s helpful to review the promotions to maximize your points, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
Receipts can be uploaded within the Fetch Rewards app in seconds. Your receipt is quickly scanned, and points are instantly awarded for any partner brands contained on the receipt. You can upload receipts from grocery stores, convenience stores, and bulk-purchase stores like Costco.
I like the simplicity of the Fetch app and the minimal investment of time that is necessary to earn points. The minimum payout threshold is also only $3 (3,000 points), so it doesn’t take long to qualify for a gift card. And, your gift card choices are astonishing.
With 137 retail stores and 172 restaurants on the rewards list (among other available selections), there is something for every taste imaginable.
Ibotta is a mobile shopping app that allows you to earn rebates on select grocery products on a weekly basis. The Ibotta app is a smart way to save on your favorite brands and can be used at hundreds of participating retailers. Your earnings can be withdrawn in cash using Paypal or with gift cards.
I’ve enjoyed some nice savings with ibotta over the years, and I definitely recommend you download the app and give it a try.
I will admit to you that my use of ibotta is a bit more hit or miss than the first three apps on this list. The app is not at all difficult to use, but it does require a little more organization than the others. If you’re someone who takes time to prepare a detailed list before each shopping trip, you’ll probably do well with ibotta.
To earn rebates with the ibotta app, you must open the app and select the products you want to buy. You may then be required to complete a micro-task like answering polling questions or viewing a short video.
Be sure to save your receipt and upload the receipt through the app. You’ll also be asked to scan the product bar code to ensure you’ve purchased the specific product.
One thing I find restrictive with ibotta is that the minimum payout threshold is higher than my top 3 apps above. You need to accumulate $20 before you can cash out with ibotta. Depending on your spending habits, this could happen quickly or take several weeks.
5. CheckOut 51
CheckOut 51 is a sweet little app that helps you save money on every grocery trip without having to scour the weekly circulars or clip any coupons, Offers are posted every Thursday in the app, and you have until the following Wednesday at 11:59 pm to make your purchases and upload the receipt.
Similar to ibotta, you must open the app and select the specific items you wish to buy. Then you snap a picture of your receipt within the app and submit it for processing and credit.
One feature I particularly like is that Checkout 51 frequently offers savings on generic products like eggs, milk or produce in addition to brand name selections.
As with ibotta, the minimum threshold for cashing out by check or through Paypal is $20.
Bonus App – CoinOut
The CoinOut App is a cool way to effortlessly turn any receipt into cash. My complete review of the CoinOut mobile app is overdue. But I include it here as a bonus because I’ve been using it for weeks now on top of the other apps above.
If you’re already scanning and submitting grocery receipts, why not take a few extra seconds to upload the same receipt in the CoinOut App also? In my experience, each uploaded receipt is awarded a random cash reward from 1 cent to 11 cents. I’ve read claims of higher rewards ( as much as 71 cents), but I haven’t yet received more than 11 cents.
Still, it’s free money, and it adds up over time. Interestingly, CoinOut does not have a minimum payout amount. I’m not sure why you would want to request a Paypal distribution of 1 cent but you can.
If you own a smartphone, you have a powerful tool for taking a bite out of those recurring grocery store expenditures. The best grocery saving apps are convenient, free to use, and put greenery back in your wallet. Why pay full price when we don’t have to?
Savvy shoppers will want to download all of these smartphone apps. Using any of the above apps individually will save you money on your grocery bill. But I challenge you to multiply your savings by using them all.
Over to You
Have you used anything in this list of the best grocery saving apps? If so, I hope you’ll jump in below and tell me how you liked it. But what I’d really like to know is if there’s another app that you’ve used that you’d like to recommend, I look forward to your feedback!