How to: Use mobile apps to save money at the grocery store

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We're all obsessed with apps. Seeing 40+ apps installed on your phone isn’t crazy: They help us track our heart rate, observe our spending habits, see train schedules, save money — the list goes on. Downloading grocery apps to help you with your checkbook puts you in control of the money you spend on groceries.

Just list it

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Remember the biggest step is the hardest — making the shopping list! That’s your compass when visiting the grocery store; follow it as best you can to save the most money and not buy products impulsively. Also, when crafting your shopping list, be sure to visit ReadySetEat.com to search for recipes but also to see which of your local supermarkets have specials on the items you need.

App yourself

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If you want to dig around for apps that best suit the way you shop, type in “grocery apps” in your cell phone provider’s app store. Retailers such as Kroger, Wegmans and ShopRite already offer their own, while others come from independent sources, and from coupon aggregators such as coupons.com. You can also save more with a retailer’s app by being in their loyalty club — chances are you’ll get special coupons — and by checking their Twitter feeds each week for special promotions.

Become a lean, mean, saving machine

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With apps doing most of the leg work you can easily become a high-powered savings machine. Here are a couple to start with:

StockUp: Find the best local prices in real-time for items you want most. Search for a specific item or scan the product’s bar code to compare local prices that have been submitted by shoppers like you. And for every valid price you submit, StockUp will reward you with points, which you can later convert to real money.

GroceryHero: The average four-person household wastes $2,270 in food per year. That’s a lot of food and money to just throw away. With GroceryHero, keep track of the food you have on-hand, as well as knowing when each product expires. Before going on another round of grocery shopping use this app to come up with new and innovative recipes you can cook with what you already have at home.  

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