For the first few weeks of our marriage, I grocery-shopped twice a week. Which frustrated me for a few reasons:
- I was diligently meal-planning.
- I was making a list.
- I work, which means taking the time to run by the store twice seemed a little ridiculous.
I sought to give myself grace as I acclimated to wifedom + cooking more regularly. I shopped mostly at Aldi for the things I could find cheaper there. Then on another day I would run to Walmart for whatever I needed that I hadn’t (or couldn’t) find at Aldi. Every week. This became exhausting.
Something else that became exhausting? The grocery budget. I was spending more and more on food almost every month! So I buckled down, did my research, clipped coupons, and downloaded a few discount apps that helped me lower our grocery budget—I list them here so that hopefully they will help you slash your grocery budget, too!
The Apps that Slashed My Grocery Budget
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Which means at no extra cost to you, if you decide to download any of the apps below using my links, I may earn a credit with that particular program. But also in the list below are some apps I’m recommending just because I like them—not because it benefits me to include them. I hope they benefit you as they have me!
Ibotta is by far my favorite cashback app. If you don’t try out the rest of the apps I highlight below, download this one and prepare to be blown away! Ibotta offers store-by-store and/or category-by-category cashback rebates. That’s right, I said cashback.
It’s not as immediate as clipping coupons, which offers the satisfaction of watching the total go down right there at checkout. But when you hit $20 cashback earned with Ibotta, you can earn a gift card or have the money sent to you via Paypal.
I love Ibotta. I don’t buy a lot of name brand items, which is why I especially enjoy seeing those random produce and any-grocery-item rebates pop up. Yes, cash back on any grocery item! Each rebate can be anywhere from $.25 – $5+. I’m always surprised by how quickly I can rack up that $20 (the required minimum for a payout). Every little quarter adds up!
I use ShopKick for more than just grocery shopping. When my husband and I venture to the mall (which, admittedly, is rare, as neither of us are big in-the-store shoppers), I like to open my ShopKick app and watch my points collect like crazy. How does it work?
ShopKick awards you points when you walk into some stores, when you scan certain items, and when you purchase those items.
Confession: I rarely purchase the items I scan, but when I have a few spare moments and I’m already right there in the aisle, you can bet I’m going to take two seconds to collect points by scanning that name-brand shampoo. Because I earn gift cards later!
Walmart Savings Catcher
Okay, friends, this program has absolutely no affiliate program, which means I’m not earning points or anything by telling you about it. But I just can’t keep it to myself. If you shop at Walmart at all, you’ll want to download their app for no other reason than to use the Savings Catcher feature. (My mom also loves Walmart Pay, but I haven’t yet tried that!) How does it work?
According to the app, “With Savings Catcher, if a competitor advertises a special deal for a lower price, we’ll give you the difference.”
This app is probably the easiest to use: all you have to do is scan your receipt. That’s it. I usually earn less than a dollar with each receipt, but again every little bit adds up. Maybe that doesn’t sound like much, but for the effort put in, I consider it kinda awesome.
Like I mentioned above, my husband and I are rare in-the-store shoppers, but we rock shopping online—especially during the Christmas season! I always activate Ebates before shopping online because it gives you a small percentage cash back on most online purchases; every three months, a check comes in the mail! I wish it worked more with Amazon; Amazon’s cashback is only applicable in certain rotating categories and I hardly ever earn from Amazon. But it’s great for most other well-known stores.
The Grocery Shopping Routine that Saves Me Time
I must mention I barely coupon anymore, and I don’t stockpile (yet) because I’m OCD and we live in a one-bedroom apartment. So sometimes we’re nearly out of toothpaste before I both clip the coupon and secure a rebate from one of the apps above. But this is how I roll.
And I like the figure on the grocery budget line item in EveryDollar even if it’s not as low as others might say I could achieve. Finding the balance between becoming a grocery shopping ninja + life + client work is my aim right now—not spending a mere $27.58 on groceries for the week.
Slowly, my husband and I have settled on a few staple meals that are now a regular in our apartment. I have learned to always keep those ingredients on hand. I finally took my grocery shopping trips down from twice a week to once a week or even twice a month. Which is a whole lot more freeing.
I’d of course like to shop twice a month all the time, but fresh produce doesn’t like that very much, and I like fresh produce, so. :)
Hope those tips help you also save on your grocery budget. Let me know of any questions you have below about how to slash your grocery budget!