Gone are the days when FSI’s (free standing inserts) in the Sunday paper were the number one source of coupons. Numerous coupon sources and companies that aggregate coupons have proliferated over the past three years. With that and advancement with technology, many of the best coupons are now printed or downloaded to the club card.
So along came the parade of grocery apps…
My smartphone has been cluttered with 32 apps that claim to help streamline grocery shopping, hone in on deals, and find coupons. OK, 32 is alot, but it’s my business to know. I found many of them by reading articles for top grocery apps. After waiting weeks and months for new apps to fail to fix their bugs, I uninstall. Some, have added patches to make them at least somewhat functional. I have laughed out loud at many of them, and become frustrated almost to the point of tears on others. What is the point of scanning my grocery receipt anyway? Even more pointless when the app returns their analysis that they couldn’t find better deals, but offered four other totally unrelated deals. That was “CartCrunch” by the way. “ZipList” is a crying shame. I can’t even begin. “PriceSpotting” is laughable, and has absolutely no value to saving money on groceries. Even high profile apps like “Favado” haven’t proven to offer comparison shopping, deal stacking, or even the best deals.
Not to pick on Favado, because the others are in the same boat or worse… Here’s just a few examples of missed savings potential among hundreds of current listings for numerous stores with many of the same problems:
|The Grocery Game||Favado|
|Ralphs – (Kroger) Ocean Spray||$1.50||$2.00|
|Ralphs – (Kroger) Tillamook Cheese 32 oz.||$5.99||$6.99|
|CVS – Playtex 18 count||$1.29||$2.97|
|Trader Joe’s – Applegate Farms Herbed Turkey 7 oz||$2.69||$3.69|
|Trader Joe’s - Weetabix Cereal||$1.49||$2.99|
|Trader Joe’s - Lundberg Rice Cakes||$1.49||$2.49|
Created with the HTML Table Generator
The problem with most of these apps is that they are developed by corporate people and tech geeks, who know nothing about grocery shopping, much less grocery savings, so they lack the strategies for getting the best value.
All that to say, at this time, the best grocery apps are administered by the retailers or supermarkets themselves. Here’s a list of links to supermarket apps and they’re quite good. Supermarket apps feature the ability to make shopping lists, add digital coupons, and take advantage of “personalized deals”, and most of them work quite well. The main drawback is that they don’t provide viable price comparisons with their competitors.
2 THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN SUPERMARKET APPS:
- #1 – Sometimes the digital coupons are for less value than the printable or FSI counterpart, and many supermarkets will supercede the paper coupon if a digital has already been loaded. The solution is to download after you know there isn’t a better paper coupon.
- #2 – Personalized deals are not always the best price. For example, a personalized deal for meat may be on a regular sized package. Even though it’s less than the original price, the value pack may be on sale for even less. That’s just one example of many. Personalized deals are an effective marketing tool that cannot always be trusted as your best deal.
Of course, www.TheGroceryGame.com has an app and mobile site that work better than all the other apps combined, leverages the best of supermarket apps, and actually does help you save the most on groceries. Just saying.
As CEO of www.TheGroceryGame.com, Teri Gault is the foremost expert in grocery savings. Over the past decade, Teri has been featured and contributed to media and publications, such as Good Morning America, The Today Show, 20/20, Inside Edition, Time, Redbook, Wall Street Journal, and countless more national and local channels. Teri has authored two books, “Shop Smart, Save More”, written with Sheryl Berk and published by Harper Collins. “The Grace of Saving”, Teri’s latest book, is the inspiring story of America’s smartest shopper, and her rise from an everyday mom, to one of the country’s leading savings experts.
Public Relations Director, Dawn Wickwire
Email – PublicRelations@TheGroceryGame.com