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Using Technology To Save Time & Money At The Grocery Store

Save on Groceries

Saving significant money on groceries, used to mean hours spent perusing newspaper ad circulars, clipping coupons, and writing out detailed shopping lists! Fortunately, there are some great alternatives to this time-consuming approach for frugal shoppers, and you can find almost all of them on your smartphone or computer. If you’re looking for an easier (and more fun!) way to cut costs at the grocery store, here are 9 new tools and online resources (for free or little cost) to help!

One we have recently started using at One Good Thing By Jillee is Ziplist.

Save on Groceries

Organize Your Shopping List

Ziplist is a great way to organize recipes, plan meals, and create grocery shopping lists based on recipes you save.

Once you create a free account you can start saving recipes immediately from your favorite web sites.

Save on Groceries

On OGT, for example, if you like a recipe you can click on the “recipe card” at the end of the post, save it to your Ziplist account, and then you will automatically have all the ingredients saved in a convenient shopping list for your next grocery trip!

They even offer a web clipper that you can drag into the tool bar on your browser to make it even more convenient to save recipes to your ZipList recipe box.

There is a ZipList app for all of your devices so that you can access your recipe box easily and conveniently. You can even sync up with the lists of friends or family members who have the same app.

Save on Groceries

“Clicking” Coupons

Mobile coupons are fast becoming the popular option to find bargains. Simply download an app like Coupons.com and it will detect your location and display the best coupons around you. Most coupons are scannable straight off your phone at the register.

Printable coupons are also available online and can be found on coupon sites like Coupons.com by searching a type of product, like “toothpaste,” or by searching for your preferred brand. This is an easy way to find coupons for exactly what is on your shopping list – just hit “print” and you’re ready to go.

Most grocery stores even have their own free mobile apps now that give you instant access to weekly sales. Search for your preferred grocer in the app store and you might be surprised by what you find.

Save on Groceries

Loyalty Pays

It’s likely that you will need a loyalty or rewards card in order to make the most of a grocery store’s mobile app. If you’re like me and carry 20 different loyalty cards in your wallet (or on your keychain) for all your favorite retailers…there is a better way! Now you can keep all your loyalty/rewards cards virtually on your phone using apps such as KeyRing and CardStar. Just download the app, take a photo of the barcode on each card and you’re good to go.

Save on Groceries

Online Meal Planning

You no longer need to wait until you’re at the store to see what’s on sale each week. Whether it’s on a store’s app, website, or a coupon site, there are plenty of places to look at a grocery store’s weekly circulars before you get to the store itself. Once you know what’s on sale you can make up your meal plan for the week which can save you SOOOOOOO much money! See this previous post: What’s For Dinner: Meal Planning 101.

Save on Groceries

Become “Friends”

Connecting with your favorite grocery store on social media can also save you time and money. Stores often post recipes in conjunction with what is available in the store or on special, making it easier to come up with meal ideas and ensuring you don’t waste perishable items when you just can’t think of what to make. Other benefits include giveaways, contests and access to exclusive deals.

Save on Groceries

Another “social” way to save is to become a follower of @CheapTweet on Twitter and get instant deals tweeted to you. Cheaptweet collects all the latest coupons that people are buzzing about on Twitter.

Save on Groceries

The Blogger Connection

There TONS of blogs with tips on making the most of coupons, finding the best sales, making food last longer and so on, as well as blogs that are explicit about where they shop, like I Heart Kroger (iheartkroger.com) etc. Blogs are an excellent resource for finding new ways to save money. Don’t you agree???  :-)

Save on Groceries

Check What’s on Sale…All In One Place

Websites like My Grocery Deals collect all the current sales and specials from your neighborhood grocery stores and make them searchable. For example, a quick search for ‘eggs’ found that Target near me is having a 2 for $3 sale on Market Pantry eggs through Saturday. You can also get additional coupons and special alerts when your favorite foods go on sale.

Save on Groceries

Comparison Shopping

With the PriceCruncher app (Android), you can compare the prices of two products to see which one gives you the most for your money. It allows you to compare two similar items, such as a 12 oz. bottle of pasta sauce offered for $2.50 vs. a 16 oz. bottle of pasta sauce offered for $3.50, to quickly determine which option is the better deal.

Save on Groceries

Buy Local

You’ll save money by buying locally and shopping in season. Some farmers have year-round greenhouses so they can offer out-of-season produce, but you’ll pay a premium for it. In-season produce is the cheapest during peak harvesting times when everyone is competing with the same stock. Locavore, is a free app that helps you find local, in-season food.

Using technology has GREATLY improved my overall grocery shopping experience! It has actually turned what used to be a chore into a more efficient, effective, and enjoyable experience.

What kind of “technology” have you tried to help save money on groceries (or anything else for that matter?)

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • […] on our phones. Jillee explains how to use phone and web apps to save money on groceries.   Click on many Good Things. […]

  • I’m always looking for good grocery store apps so I’ll try some of these out.

    FWIW, I had subscribed to a service one time that collated all the sales from the different stores so that you knew what was one sale where and when. Turns out it was more of a hassle than anything.

    I spent more time driving to the different stores and searching for the exact item that was on sale that I ended up spending more time shopping than I had before. Time is money too, and it ended up just being better to shop at the local Wal-Mart (I’ve got three supercenters in my area!). They’re not always the lowest price, but day in and day out they’re more likely than not the best deal in town.

  • Excellent post! Thank you for pulling it all together for us.
    I always read the comments too because they are a good source of tidbits too.
    I have been meaning to install an APP for my loyalty cards–now I have no excuses.

  • My favorite website for grocery shopping is ‘Our Groceries.” It also has a section for recipes, but the thing I like best is that you can enter your shopping list from your PC or your smart phone. Unless you tell it otherwise, it retains everything you’ve ever put on the list; therefore, I usually just scroll down the list of items I have already bought at one time or another and click on the ones I need the next time I go shopping. The program is free.

  • Checkout51 is free and pays you back when you save up to $20.00 Check it out. Love your post but I do not like the “commercials” that always pop up. Makes me want to skip your post which I do more often now.

  • If you shop at Wal-Mart, check out the free SavingsCatcher (check the bottom of your receipt for details on how to sign up). You can use a smartphone OR a computer to enter your receipts and they will check local competitors ads for the items on that receipt to see if anything is being sold cheaper somewhere else. I just uploaded my first receipt and didn’t expect to get anything back. They found $0.72 for me. I know that’s not a lot BUT what they found was at Harp’s and the closest one to me is 24 miles away! I never dreamed they’d check that far away (I figured when they said “local” it meant only in my town which only has Wal-Mart and one other store so I didn’t have much hope of ever getting anything). So definitely check it out. It’s free and doesn’t hurt to try, right? Every little bit helps these days :-)

  • I use Keycard for my loyalty cards and retailer apps, including amazon.com to scan and compare. I have to check out Apples2Oranges. I also use “Retail Me Not” for all retailer coupons. I downloaded a separate recipe box/meal planner app but it was too much work, so I’m doing that more manually.

  • I downloaded the shopsavvy app. When I am in the store and want to compare prices before I make a purchase I can scan the UPC on the item in question and it searches nearby stores and what they are selling it for. This works great when I’m shopping for Birthday or Christmas gifts.

  • If you have a Meijer near you, check out their mperks program. You log in and become a member, clip coupons and rewards online. While checking out, you enter your phone number and a pin code. It automatically applies everything for you! I have saved bundles.

    They also have an area to create a shopping list.

  • Smart phones are amazing.Working for a grocery store we see all sorts of great ways to use them. With coupons we need to have the actual coupon in hand.
    Also, be careful when using coupons from the internet. Our store has, a strict policy,the internet one’s can’t be for more than $5 .00 off or buy one get one. This to protect the store from counterfeit coupons.

    • Hi, in reply to this comment WalMart also will NOT take internet coupons. They say they do if they scan. If the coupon does not scan they do not take them. My experience the last time I was there with 7 coupons, none of them scanned. So, I went to Cub Foods and used them there. Technically, WalMart says they do take Internet coupons IF they scan, but my last 3 trips none of the coupons scanned.

  • I love the shopping app Ibotta. They have lists of grocery stores and coupons for each. You click what you buy, scan the bar code, take a picture of the receipt and the money from the coupons goes into an account. You can cash out your earnings at any time. Definitely worth checking out!


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