Wondering how to save money on groceries? Have you considered using the best apps to save money on groceries?
A hefty food bill can have a huge impact on your finances. The average cost of groceries each month for one person ranges between $165 and $345, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which publishes a monthly food plan that suggests how much money Americans should be spending on food.
Being a little bit crafty will help increase your disposable income and increase your savings and get out of debt.
It might allow you to enjoy eating out more, get free food, or allow you to save more money for other monthly expenses. Budgeting apps can only go so far, you need real savings on these monthly expenses.
Here are apps to save money on groceries — all of them free — that will help you save money, time and hassle when you're grocery shopping.
9 Apps to Save Money on Groceries
We’ve curated the best apps and websites you can use to save money on groceries. Here are the 8 best apps to save money while shopping for food and groceries.
- Drop — Best app to save money on groceries
- Ibotta — Best if you want cash back on everyday purchases
- Shopkick — Best if you want a variety of ways to earn money
- Fetch Rewards — Best if you want to earn money on every receipt
- Dosh — Best for automatic cash back and no scanning required
- Checkout 51 — Best app that also gives you cash back on gas
- Receipt Hog — Best if you don’t have much time
- ReCap — Best for beginners
- SavingStar — Best for couponers
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products and services I’ve personally used and stand behind.
Drop offers to get cash back on groceries and at the brands you love. You can also get free gift cards for playing arcade games within its list of apps to play. You can play casino games or game shows and the games list changes constantly.
Drop helps you find games on the iTunes App Store or Google Play, and each game has a task. When your required game task is complete, you’ll get points that you can cash out for free gift cards.
The great thing about Drop is that it has so many ways to earn — you can earn by shopping for groceries, playing games, cash back offers, taking surveys, and other rewards.
- Many ways to earn — Whether you're reserving flights from Expedia or ordering food from places like Postmates, you can shop directly from the Drop app.
- Quick earner — Start earning points right away. For every purchase you make, you get Drop points. And they add up quickly, so you can spend them even faster.
- Cash out — Redeem your points at places like Amazon, Netflix, and Starbucks.
- Proven track record — Drop has over 45k positive ratings and over 4 Million members. Needless to say, this app really pays out for playing games and cash back rewards.
Best for those who want to earn money for playing games and for shopping. Drop is a new kind of rewards program, created just for your lifestyle. From your morning coffee to your late-night food delivery, use Drop to earn cash rewards on everything you do.
Drop sets a cap of 5,000 points ($5) per week so you can make up to that amount. Earning $40 a month is possible if you're a big shopper. You can redeem your points at places like Amazon, Netflix, and Starbucks. PayPal cash outs are not an option on Drop.
Apple iOS and Android
With Ibotta, you can earn real cash back every time you shop online or in-store.
Simply check Ibotta before you shop in-store or online, travel, dine out, or make a purchase in your favorite apps, and you can get rewarded with cash back.
Ibotta works with leading brands and retailers, including Best Buy, Lowe’s, Safeway, eBay, and so many more, to help you save money without the hassle of traditional coupons, or promo codes.
You can even earn with the app's newest feature, Pay with Ibotta, too! When you use Pay with Ibotta, you can pay for your purchases right from the app, and earn cash back on your entire purchase, instantly.
- Add cash back offers – Before you go shopping, find and add offers in the app for things you want to buy.
- Go shopping – Shop at your favorite stores, retailers, restaurants, bars, and apps
- Redeem offers – Upload your receipt or link your loyalty card for instant cash back.
- Get cash back – Watch your savings grow! When you’re ready, Withdraw your cash earnings via PayPal, Venmo, or your choice of a variety of gift cards.
Ibotta is one of the best apps to help you save money on groceries. You can literally earn cash back rewards simply by uploading a photo of your receipt. Plus, you get your money quickly and easily. Ibotta helps you earn cash back on purchases at more than 500,000 locations (and counting).
Ibotta partners include: Walmart, Uber, Target, Lowe’s, Kohl’s, Kroger, CVS, Rite Aid, Groupon, Jet.com, eBay, Boxed, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, JOANN Fabrics, Drizly, Hotels.com, Minibar, AMC, eBags, HotelTonight, Thrive Market, HotelStorm, Safeway, Walgreens, Costco, World Market, Petco, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and many more.
Ibotta's customers have earned over $550 Million in cash back, just for shopping at their favorite stores. Start your shopping with Ibotta to save money on every purchase. Download the free app now for your chance to earn a $20 welcome bonus.
The average active Ibotta user earns between $10 to $20 a month, and more active users earn as much as $100 to $300 a month, a spokesperson for Ibotta told CNBC Select.
Plus, you can earn extra cash when you refer friends with your Ibotta referral code. Or earn even more with extra cash bonuses on specific products or when you hit shopping milestones.
Ready to ditch the promo codes and old paper coupons and shop with Ibotta to earn real cash back?
Download the Ibotta app now to start earning cash back on every purchase, and watch your savings grow.
Apple iOS, Android, and Desktop
With this grocery savings app, you can get exclusive deals and discounts as you collect points by walking into stores, scanning items, or receipts (you don’t even need to buy anything to earn your ‘kicks').
Kicks are the apps reward points. Earn them in-store and online, then redeem for a wide selection of gift cards delivered digitally to your phone.
With Shopkick, you can treat yourself and indulge guilt-free as you shop.
There are six easy ways to earn rewards as you shop with this savings app.
Find the method that suits you: incorporate them as you run your shopping errands or as you relax on your couch.
Earn your kicks when you:
- Walk in to stores
- Scan barcodes
- Purchase & submit a receipt
- Purchase items from select partner stores with a linked card
- Make online purchases
- Watch videos
- Invite friends to join the Shopkick craze
Those who want to save money just for redeeming kicks and rewards for exclusive deals, cashback, and gift cards to some of your favorites stores.
Discover daily challenges to earn kicks just for walking into nearby stores or scanning products in a fun scavenger hunt. Get cash back just for scanning products and for more bonus points, submit your receipt after you purchase products.
Download the app to explore the rest of the apps exclusive deals to some of your favorite brands! Shopkick is the new way to shop retail.
Most Shopkickers can earn enough for a gift card in a week. Choose your preference from the app's wide selection of gift cards from Starbucks, Target, Sephora & Amazon.
If you choose to use this app to save money on groceries, you would join the millions of Shopkickers who have earned over $78 million in free gift cards to Walmart, Target, Amazon, Starbucks, Sephora, and at many more retailers.
Apple iOS, Android
Fetch Rewards is one of the quickest and easiest ways to save when you grocery shop.
Fetch Rewards turns your grocery receipts into savings. Simply scan any grocery receipt after you shop and save on thousands of popular products throughout the store.
You can earn points on every receipt you scan so you don't have to worry about clipping coupons, chasing down expiring deals, or missing out on savings.
Just shop, scan, and save. It’s that easy. With Fetch Rewards, just snap a quick photo of ANY grocery receipt and in seconds we’ll deliver points to your account on thousands of popular products.
- The Fetch Rewards app brings everyday savings to your life with a quick and easy mobile app that rewards you for the purchases you already make.
- You’ll earn points on every receipt you scan.
- Unlike other cash back and rebate apps like Ibotta and Shopkick that require you to unlock coupons before you go grocery shopping, causing you to miss out on savings, Fetch Rewards gives you savings every time you purchase a participating product.
- Just scan your grocery receipt after you shop and earn points in seconds.
With Fetch Rewards you can just shop and let the savings come to you. In addition to offering quick and easy savings with a scan, Fetch Rewards also features helpful tools to plan your shopping trip, find inspiration for your next recipe, and track your grocery budget.
Build and manage your next shopping list or search the apps recipe library for thousands of recipes.
Find a recipe you want to try? Save it to your digital recipe box and add the ingredients to your shopping list with the tap of a button.
View your personalized shopping history to see where you shop and how much you spend and save.
Since 1,000 points is equivalent to $1 USD, you can earn anywhere from $0.25 cents to $2 per offer. If you have more than one offer per receipt, then it is possible to go over $2.
Fetch Rewards makes it easy and rewarding to save on groceries. Simply shop, scan, and save.
To save money and earn rewards, simply scan your grocery receipt from grocery stores, convenience stores, liquor stores, big box stores, and anywhere else you purchase grocery products – and submit.
Within seconds you’ll have points in your account that can be redeemed for hundreds of rewards.
You can submit grocery receipts up to 14 days after the purchase date on the receipt and you’ll still get all your points.
Other cash back and grocery reward apps require choosing coupons before or after you shop in order to save, but sometimes you forget or make an impulse purchase while shopping, and that shouldn’t keep you from earning rewards.
Apple iOS, Android
Dosh allows you to save money on groceries plus at thousands of brands and over 600k hotels.
Shop with Dosh and you can get cash back for shopping on items you already buy. That means getting back money for shopping, eating, and booking hotels.
You can get paid when you shop and dine at the places you visit every week including Wendy’s, Uber, Sephora, Papa John’s, Grubhub, Old Navy, Gap, Domino’s, Forever 21, Apple Music, and more!
You can even get real cash back on your hotel booking.
Simply download the Dosh app, securely connect your credit and debit cards, and live life as usual.
Every time you use those cards, Dosh searches for available offers. If it finds one, Dosh automatically redeems the offer and converts it into cold, hard cash, then deposits it directly into your Dosh Wallet. You don’t have to do a thing.
Five reasons you'll love using Dosh to get cash back:
- Pay with your card and get cash back – Securely link your credit and debit cards and whenever you pay with your linked cards, Dosh gets you cash back. It’s as simple as that!
- Shop and dine out – Pay with your linked card at thousands of stores, and restaurants, and get cash back automatically in your Dosh Wallet.
- Book a hotel globally – Book at thousands of hotels worldwide from the app and get up to 40% cash back in your Dosh Wallet.
- Mobile offers are available – Open the Dosh app, find your favorite brands, tap Shop from the app to launch the brand website (or app) and do your shopping. When you’re done check out and get your cash back!
- Use your cash however you want – Transfer your cash to bank accounts, Venmo, PayPal, or donate to charity from the app.
This cash back app can get you cash back automatically, unlike other cash back apps, there’s no need to cut coupons, scan receipts, or remember discount codes.
Through secure credit and debit card connection, Dosh automatically finds existing offers, redeems them, then puts the cash into your Dosh Wallet.
Most stores offer 2 to 5% cash back, but some offer up to 10% back. You can also get up to 40% back when you book hotels through Dosh.
Plus, you can also get paid for each friend who signs up with your referral code. When you share Dosh with people you love, it’s like putting cash right into their pockets.
Apple iOS, Android
6. Checkout 51
In many ways, this cashback service from Checkout 51 is similar to the one that we have already discussed here – Ibotta.
Checkout 51 is also a cash back app where you can get gas rewards and cash back that saves you tons of money on your favorite brands, groceries, and necessities.
Also, you can get fuel rewards where smart drivers can get their gas cash back and grocery offers on everything you buy.
On this grocery savings app, new deals are available on everyday items from all your favorite stores. Grocery offers and cash rewards are updated every Thursday.
With Checkout 51, grocery offers and cash back rewards are right at your fingertips. Get grocery promo savings, cash back offers, and more right from your phone. Grocery offers are easy to redeem, just snap a photo of your receipt and earn cash back rewards.
Save money on groceries with these simple steps:
- Browse grocery offers that are updated every Thursday
- Buy groceries and other products from any store
- Take a photo of your receipt to redeem your offer
- Earn cash rewards!
Apple iOS, Android
Receipt Hog is another fun and easy way to turn your everyday receipts into real cash and rewards.
How this grocery saver app works:
- Take pictures of your receipts from any store, restaurant or cafe…
- Earn Receipt Hog rewards like coins, spins at the virtual slot machine, and sweepstakes prizes…
- Cash out with PayPal or Amazon gift cards. Cha-ching!
Receipt Hog is an exclusive opportunity to join a diverse community of people who get paid for uploading pictures of their receipts for market research.
The grocery app had so many people join its panel of shoppers (they actually have already paid out over $2.5 million!), that spaces are now limited.
With this app you can save money on groceries and earn more when you level up, win sweepstakes prizes, and complete short surveys. Plus you can enjoy a totally uncluttered wallet as Receipt Hog allows you to access a digital copy of your receipts in one secure place.
Apple iOS, Android
NCPMobile (iOS only) lets you easily turn your shopping receipts into fantastic rewards with just a quick pic.
Unlike most similar grocery apps, you can use NCPMobile to take pictures of all your receipts, from grocery stores to hardware stores (and everything in between).
Send the pictures of your receipts using the app, and you’ll earn reward points to redeem towards a pretty solid selection of gift cards. Or just cash out for a free Amazon Gift Card, which is my favorite option.
Users can earn up to 500 reward points for their weekly receipt pictures. Plus, every receipt captured earns you sweepstakes entries for even more rewards.
You’ll also be invited to take online surveys – giving you additional reward options.
Grocery store, department store, pet store, convenience store, home improvement – you name it, you can scan in your receipt to earn rewards.
Forgot to scan in a receipt? Don’t worry – you have up to 14 days after your purchase to capture your receipt picture and send it in for your rewards.
Signing up is easy and you can start earning rewards right away.
9. SavingStar (Update: App is now Coupons.com)
Want to save money at the grocery store, but don’t have the time or desire to clip coupons?
Use SavingStar’s grocery coupons to earn cash back on in-store grocery purchases at over 70,000 retail locations.
There’s nothing to clip or print!
You’ll earn cash back quickly with the grocery savings app exclusive Healthy Offers and big savings on your favorite brands.
Just scan your loyalty card at the grocery store during checkout to redeem offers.
For stores without loyalty cards, you’ll take photos of your receipts and submit them to SavingStar.
Your savings are automatically added to your SavingStar account. Cash out to PayPal, your bank account, or gift cards when you reach $5!
SavingStar is free and easy to use:
- Save money without the hassle of clipping grocery coupons. Just tap the offers you like!
- Who says grocery coupons are for unhealthy products? Save on fresh produce with the Healthy Offer of the Week (bananas, apples, tomatoes, and more).
- Link deals to your supermarket and drugstore loyalty cards! For stores without loyalty cards, take a picture of your receipt using our app.
Ready to earn cash back when you purchase in-store at your favorite supermarkets and drugstores like Walmart, Target, Safeway, Albertsons, Kroger, Stop & Shop, CVS, Meijer, ShopRite, and 100+ other grocery chains?
Apple iOS, Android
How To Save Money on Groceries
While getting free food may be a bit tricky to finesse and grocery saving apps can only get you so far — here are some ways to reduce your food budget save money on groceries.
1. See a Bargain? Go For It!
Sometimes all the planning in the world can be fruitless if that one lettuce you need is $6.99.
When you head to the supermarket take note what fruit and vegetables are on sale. Most likely it will be things that are in season and in excessive.
Notice that 1 kg of pumpkin is only $.50? Why not grab a couple, vegetables can be so diverse and used in so many different recipes and juicer recipes to use with your juicer.
It might be just pumpkin soup or you can get create and make things like pumpkin cornbread, pumpkin, beef, and black bean chili or pumpkin cannelloni.
You might also see an abundance of cabbage or corn. You can use your natural gas smoker to preserve these foods and enjoy them at a later time. Saving you tones of money down the track.
Tip: Download the free Ibotta to make money off your grocery receipts. You can usually get $1 to $5 back on every grocery run.
2. Don’t Be Afraid of Budget Supermarkets
Budget supermarkets are a sure-fire way to reduce your food budget with limited hassle. The great thing about them is they only have one option, and you either take it or leave it.
There’s no opportunity to be taken in by higher priced or branded products like in a normal supermarket, as they just aren’t available.
Because these shops aren’t so concerned about your shopping experience, it means your food shop costs less – this is a small price to pay when it comes to reducing your food spend.
3. Set a Budget and Stick to It
Setting yourself a food budget is a good way of giving you something to work towards and cut back on wasting money while grocery shopping.
Look at what you are spending on food on a weekly basis and set yourself a reduced (but reasonable) budget to work with each week.
Setting your budget too low will just set you up for failure, so make sure you aren’t too hard on yourself!
You will be so pleased with yourself when you come in on budget, or even better – under budget!
You can make it into a challenge to see how low you can get your weekly food spend.
4. Avoid Big Brands
Buying unbranded or own brand products is another excellent way of reducing your food budget.
The products are often just as good (if not better) and you won’t be disappointed when you swap your branded condiments, snacks and packets for an own brand option.
When you compare the price of your branded and unbranded products when you are next in the shop, you might be surprised to see how much more expensive they are.
5. Calculate Your Food Shop as You Go
It’s easy to place food in your basket and have no idea how much your shop will cost when you get to the checkout.
Adding up as you go is a great way to keep track of your spend; you can do this with a calculator or on your phone.
There’s also a benefit to online food shopping here, as you can see how much you have spent before you pay.
You then have the option to go back to your basket and remove things and change them for alternatives.
Wrapping it up
Once you implement a few of these techniques and download these apps to save money on groceries, you will notice the savings rolling in.
It's like you'll be getting paid to save.
Soon it will become a habit and you will notice that your surplus will allow indulging in more holidays or lovely meals out with your friends and family.
Do you know any other tricks to cut your grocery bill and still be healthy? Do you use any other grocery savings apps?