3 Grocery Apps That Will Save You Money and Stretch Your Budget, According to a Budget Expert

published Mar 11, 2023
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Unrecognizable female customer paying for groceries with smartphone
Credit: Getty Images/Hispanolistic

Even though reports say inflation is easing up, consumer prices are still running high. But by employing a few savvy shopping hacks, you can still stretch your budget and save on daily essentials. The best part? You can score these savings without having to clip a single coupon! In fact, there are a variety of mobile apps that make it easier than ever to hunt down the best bargains on your groceries. 

Figuring out which one to download can be confusing, which is where I come in. As a financial expert (and a woman on a budget!), I’ve spent years sorting through the app clutter to find the ones that give me more bang for my buck. These are three of my favorites, and each one offers a different way to save — compare prices across retailers, accumulate rewards, and even earn some extra cash back on your groceries — all from your phone. Take a look and then consider downloading one (or all three) before your next shopping trip.

1. Fetch

Fetch is a rewards app where you earn digital gift cards by accumulating reward points from logging your receipts. You get a flat 25 points for each receipt you log, and you can easily earn more depending on what you buy or where you shop. There’s a list of current promotions in the app’s “special deals” section that shows just how many points you’ll earn on select brands and products. (A 15-pack of Gatorade Zero with Protein, for example, is worth 4,000 points.) These promotions change periodically, so it’s a good idea to check the deals daily. You can also accumulate points with online purchases — just link the email associated with your online purchases to your Fetch account to earn points for all (yes, all!) your e-receipts. 

One thousand points earns you $1 and once you’ve accumulated at least 3,000 points, you can redeem them for a digital gift card to a variety of retailers, including Amazon, Target, and Walmart. Even more gift card options are available for redemptions of 10,000 points or more.

The app is easy to use and saves a lot of time, compared to couponing. Keep in mind, receipts with no promotional offer will earn limited points and there is no cash-back-redemption option. So keep this in mind if your gift cards tend to go missing before you have a chance to use them.

Credit: Courtesy of Flipp

2. Flipp

Flipp is a savings app that aggregates grocery circulars by zipcode all in one place, making it easy to compare store sales quickly with the tap of your finger. By knowing which retailers have the best deals for the items on your list (say, buy-one-get-one free discounts on meat), you can plan where to shop for the biggest savings. 

This app also offers other helpful money-saving features, including the ability to create a shopping list and a price tracking tool. Add items to your “wish list” and Flipp will alert you when those goods go on sale. It’s almost like the deals find you!

Checking current promotions at your local stores is a great way to find savings, but it’s important to know Flipp doesn’t feature every single store or item. It still pays to compare prices for non-grocery goods online to see if there’s an online retailer with a better price.

3. Slide

Slide is a cash-back app that partners with select stores, delivery services, restaurants, and other retailers (apparel, automotive, entertainment) to give you up to 10% back on purchases made through the app — just by linking your credit or debit card to your account. You can earn 0.5% back at Amazon, 1% back at Instacart and Uber Eats, and 10% back at Home Chef Meal Kits. And if you pre-fund your account, you’ll earn an additional 1% back on each transaction. 

Cash back is automatically deposited into your account, which you can use towards future purchases in the app or cash out via Venmo or PayPal. You need at least $15 accrued, however, before you can cash out or use it towards a purchase. New users can even earn a bonus deal of $5 off your first four purchases. 

While Slide works with a variety of retailers, not every store will accept payment from the app. So double check the list of participating merchants before checking out.

What grocery apps do you use to save money and stretch your budget? Tell us in the comments below.