The Best Apps to Save Money on Groceries
Food prices are skyrocketing. Smart shoppers are saving money with these shopping apps.
A trip to the grocery store has always been expensive if you gravitate towards specialty items, the wine aisle or pre-made meals. But lately, it can feel like breaking the bank just to purchase the basics.
Since the start of the pandemic, the cost of groceries has gone up significantly and Canadians are taking notice. These skyrocketing prices are due to several things: labour shortages, poor annual harvests, rising energy and transportation costs, and continuing supply chain issues worldwide. It’s not just a few items that have gotten pricier; cost inflation has impacted everything from meat and dairy to bread and canned goods. Researchers at Dalhousie University’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab predict a further 5 to 7 per cent increase in food prices for 2023, with the average Canadian family expected to spend $1,065 more on groceries than they did in 2022.
While the supply chain is outside your control, there are simple steps you can take—with coupons, sharing tips with other shoppers, and redeeming points—to reduce your grocery bill. Here are eight popular grocery apps that promise to help you save money at the supermarket.
The Best Grocery Apps to Save Money
How it works: This shopping app allows you to browse hundreds of flyers from a wide range of retailers in your area. You clip your coupons virtually and present them to cashiers using your smartphone. The app also allows you to make a shopping list and store loyalty points. In addition to groceries, Flipp offers coupons for home and garden stores, pet stores, pharmacies and more.
Your savings: According to Flipp, users typically save about $45 a week.
How it works: Stores often throw away perfectly good food when it’s nearing its expiration date. The Flashfood app helps users find discounted items from a variety of local grocery stores. It’s not old or “bad” food; it’s just nearing its sell-by date. The idea is to reduce waste while helping users save money.
Your savings: It varies by what’s available and what you buy, but grocery deals are offered at up to 50 per cent off.
How it works: If you shop at Loblaws-owned stores like Fortinos, No Frills and Shoppers Drug Mart, you can earn 10 per cent back in Optimum points on all house-brand PC products. Then, cash in those points for free stuff (including more groceries). It’s not a bad deal, especially if you already frequent these stores.
Your savings: If you spent $10 per week on PC items, you’d get $52 back per year. The more PC items you buy, the more you save.
How it works: Shoppers make a list, load the app with relevant offers, and then make purchases to redeem those offers. Later, they upload a photo of their receipt to earn cash back (there is a minimum of $20 in cash back required to redeem). Like Flipp, Checkout 51 is not tied to a specific grocery store, so you can use it wherever the offers are valid. You can also “stack” coupons by using a paper coupon plus the app.
Your savings: It depends on what you buy, but you can expect to save 10 to 30 per cent on average.
How it works: Like several other grocery apps on this list, you can use Save.ca to view a list of coupons available through local retailers, make a shopping list and load up the deals you want to take advantage of.
Your savings: It varies based on what you buy, but is often 10 to 30 per cent. There are also BOGO offers.
How it works: RedFlagDeals offers flyers, coupons, special offers and a forum where users share tips and tricks for saving money using the app. Groceries are just one of many categories on the site. There’s even a section dedicated to freebies, where you can take advantage of vouchers and free samples.
Your savings: Varied, but there are a lot of markdowns and two-for-one deals to take advantage of.
How it works: With this shopping app, customers earn cash back by making purchases, filling out surveys, watching ads and providing product reviews. You’ll have to upload your receipts and request your rebate, which is sent in the form of a cheque. You can also use Caddle for cash back on Amazon purchases.
Your savings: As with many grocery apps, it depends on what you buy, but is typically in the range of 10 to 30 per cent off.
How it works: Use the Reebee app to browse local grocery flyers in one place, save the offers you want and redeem them at the point of purchase. Cha-ching!
Your savings: Whatever your local grocery store is offering, from a few dollars off your bill to BOGO offers and free samples. You may also be able to redeem points for free gift cards to your local grocery store. That’s good news, because the only thing better than cheaper groceries is free groceries. Good luck and enjoy!
Once you’ve downloaded these grocery apps, find out how shrinkflation is affecting your grocery bill—and how you can fight it.