People are always looking for ways to save, especially on groceries. A family of four can spend an average of anywhere between $650–1300 per month on groceries. I have a family of five and I spend around $800–900 per month. Basically, I try not to spend more than $200 per week. I am a thrifty shopper at heart but, trying to feed three boys (age 12 and under) can be overwhelming with their never-ending growth and seemingly hollow legs where they must be keeping all the food they eat.
My mother instilled in me her thrifty ways via coupons and discounts. Over the years, I’ve continued to follow in my mom’s footsteps and I always seek out the best deals. Grocery apps have become my new obsession because I save money and I don’t even need to try.
Colorado grocers like King Soopers and Safeway have apps that go the extra mile to save you money and make it oh, so easy. In Colorado, it seems that choosing between King Soopers and Safeway is like choosing between Coke and Pepsi. You regularly go in one direction but, if you MUST, you will give the other one a shot. The apps both work the same way as far as saving; but personally, I’m a King Soopers girl.
In addition to having a SooperCard, you can download the King Soopers app that you can load with e-coupons. Anytime you open the app, it shows you specific things that are on sale and even creates an e-coupon list that you can add to your SooperCard, all based on your previous purchases. But wait! There’s more! When you register your SooperCard, they mail you paper coupons based on your purchase history. It is usually a mix of regular coupons, FREE items, and even dollar amounts off of your total purchase. Getting a coupon for $5 off just for being a regular shopper is pretty awesome.
Let me share an example of my best purchase to date with my e-coupons on my SooperCard.
Febreze was on sale for $2.99 a bottle. If you purchased five or more, they were $1.99 each. Considering our household, it was worth it to buy five. I knew there was an e-coupon on my card for $1 off so I figured I would get one for only $0.99. I was wrong. I got all FIVE for $0.99 each because the e-coupon could be used up to five times in one trip. Considering Febreze is normally around $4 each, I saved around $15 on that purchase alone.
Weekly, my total savings with clipped coupons, SooperCard savings, and e-coupons hovers around 10–15 percent of my total purchase. When I really try, it’s been as high as 17 percent. Added bonus: When I use my SooperCard to get gas, I save even more because the discount is built in. My proudest SooperCard gas moment: Saving one dollar per gallon on a full tank of gas. Of course, this is thanks to feeding three young boys.
The benefit to using Target’s Cartwheel app is similar to the above grocer apps. It isn’t a “loyalty card” like the SooperCard. It’s a simple app you can add coupons to and use them at checkout. All they do is scan your phone through the app. Simple. Since Target sells more than groceries, you can also add savings on electronics, clothing, and more. An additional bonus to shopping at Target is using their REDCard. You can get a debit card (which works like any debit card—it pulls funds from your checking account) or get their credit card. You save 5 percent on every purchase when using either of those cards. Period. Target also lets you stack the savings. So if you happen to have a paper coupon to go with your Cartwheel app AND REDCard, your savings could be even bigger.
Other Grocery Apps
Some apps, such as Grocery iQ and Cellfire, give you the option of creating a shopping list in the app and using that as you go. You can upload coupons to your “savings card” or collect printable coupons to email to yourself. One of the really cool parts is that as you create your grocery list, it notifies you of the potential coupons that are available to you. That’s a step up from the grocer apps I mentioned above because with those, you need to know which e-coupons are on your card.
My obsession with grocery apps doesn’t bother me. Considering I saved just under $50 on my last trip to the store and ended up spending around $270 (that’s a 17 percent savings), I’m going to be content with my obsession and enjoy my skills as a thrifty shopper.