Are you looking for ways to save money? Help is only a tap away.
The two basic savings methods are:
1. Increase your earnings while keeping your spending at the same level, then save or invest the extra funds.
2. Reduce spending.
My Dad used to say, “It’s not how much you make it’s how you spend it.” Personally I like a healthy combination of both vehicles, but sometimes only the spending variable is in our control. Whichever position you are in, a great place to look for ways to reduce costs and increase savings is in your grocery expenses.
If you’ve already downloaded an Easy Weekly Meals book to your smartphone you should be enjoying lower food costs because you’re using all of the food you buy and you’re eating your own healthy fast food instead of navigating the drive-thru. You may already shop directly from your phone using your EWM week-at-a glance grocery lists like I do.
Want to save more money using your phone in the store? A few free apps are available to help you do it.
Most of these couponing type apps use your zip code to find local deals and coupons that can be downloaded for print or even scanned directly from your phone.
Here are some I found for my iPhone and iPad in the App Store:
A drop-down menu allows for search by Top Coupons, Popular Stores, Categories, or via the search box. I found many grocery stores via the search tool, including (but not limited to) Publix, Kroger, Jewel Osco, Trader Joes, Albertsons, Supervalu, Grand Eagle, Whole Foods, Food Lion, Dominicks, and Wegmans. Some of the grocery store coupons offer online codes only which must be emailed to you. But watch for updates soon that will allow more electronic options which can be scanned from your phone right at the register.
Users search by Store, Specials and Coupons to find deals in local grocery stores. Deals can be added to a shopping list. The deals can also be compared to prices on the same product at other local stores.
Features current coupons using a savings card. You can “clip” coupons electronically and save them to the store loyalty or savings card of your choice, print them from the device in hand, or email them to your desktop computer to print. Users who select the savings card option can send coupons to that card for scanning at the register. Many retailer offers in this app can also be added to the passbook app on iPhones for point-of-purchase scanning.
Users search by Stores, Coupons, or Sales. Supermarket weekly ads can be viewed. Most coupons are printable, but a few retailers feature electronic coupons which can be scanned at the register.
Allow users to search by category and save coupons to the savings or loyalty card of their choice. The screens are friendly and it’s easy to navigate.
This app didn’t make me feel smarter, or easily arm me with coupons. It works via a menu or search option. The search option allowed me to find specials in grocery stores, and it emailed them to me for printing. The emails were delivered immediately, but I found the app’s screens unwelcoming.
This app accessed the fewest grocery retailers, but its easy navigation makes it one to put on your watch list. It provides a navigation bar allowing users to search by My Favorite, Today’s Offers, Most Popular, Retailers, Local Deals, Brands Offers, and Sponsored Offers. It contains a savings calculator.
Most of these apps are a bit clumsy requiring more steps than some people may be willing to take to find electronic savings. But as we quickly move from paper-based to electronic transactions electronic coupons and point-of-sale scanning will become the norm. Nordstrom and the Apple Stores already use smart phones to handle transactions. Arming client reps with their own mini cash registers prevents bottlenecks at the traditional sales counter and saves trees. Receipts can be emailed to you, but can be printed too for those who want the comfort of paper.
National supermarket chains are coming late to the electronic coupon game. I’ve talked with representatives from all of the major chains. All report having initiatives in process to make electronic coupons available soon. So I recommend watching these apps for upgrades, and searching for others with more electronic options to help fill your piggy bank.
Happy shopping and happy saving!