I love coupons, I always have. It was so exciting to open the newspaper on Sundays or the mail on Tuesdays and see what treasures were in the coupon inserts that I could get for cheap or even free. I used to live in a giant apartment complex that had a recycling can in the mail room. I could not believe how many people threw away their coupons, in my eyes they were basically throwing away money. Better for me since I would collect them to use. It would take me forever to get them organized and scour the store ads to see where I could use my coupons for the best deals. Fortunately, my days of dumpster diving are behind me because many stores have mobile coupon apps that I can load on my phone to take advantage of their digital coupons. Here are a few of my favorite grocery store apps and how to use them. If you embrace these apps like I have, you’re sure to save some serious money on your grocery budget!
Target is my favorite store. They have everything you need plus lots you didn’t know you needed. Target’s mobile app is called Cartwheel. You will need to download the Target Cartwheel app and create a log in account. Target’s coupons are easy to view and are sorted by “cartwheel categories” or you can search by all. Coupons are either a dollar amount off or a percentage off. Some are extremely generous. For example, they currently have a coupon for 15% off Seventh Generation diapers and 30% off Chips Ahoy cookies! Add the coupons to your account and scan the barcode on your phone at checkout by using the wallet option in the app. I like to wait until my total is finalized so I can immediately see how much I have saved. Target cartwheel coupons can be combined with manufacturer coupons, Target store coupons and the Target credit card for maximum savings.
Don’t panic if you do not have a Fred Meyer store in your area. Fred Meyer is based the Northwest and is part of the family of Kroger stores operating in 32 states and they all have a similar phone app to download money saving coupons. Fred Meyer works with your loyalty card. If you do not have one, do that first, sign up either online or in store. You will be assigned a loyalty card number. Use this to register on the Fred Meyer phone app so the coupons you load are linked to your loyalty card number. I personally don’t carry the loyalty card but instead enter my phone number at check out. Once you are signed in to the app, you can view digital coupons by category and load to your card. I like this app because they offer an organic and natural category which is what I buy most. Another great thing about the Fred Meyer app is every Friday, they have a Free Friday Download. You can add the weekly changing free item to your card every Friday and it is valid for 2 weeks. I currently have a free Ghiradeli Carmel chocolate bar waiting for me, yum! Unfortunately, Fred Meyer does not allow paper coupons to be combined with their digital coupons.
Safeway operates in 19 states in the US and is part of the Albertsons company that has 19 different stores including Ralphs, Vons and Jewel Osco. Safeway’s mobile app is called Just for U. Just for U is connected to your Safeway loyalty card so make sure to sign up for that first either online or in store. Once you download and sign in to the app, the coupons are separated by categories. One of the things I like about the Just for U app is that most of the coupons are a lower price for a product as opposed to a dollar off amount. For example, Yuban coffee is in Just for U for $6.99 which is less than the price in store. If you have a Yuban paper coupon for $1 off you can also use that to make the coffee even less! Safeway does not allow 2 coupons to be used per item but you can stack the digital offer with a paper coupon. Another thing I like about the Just for U app is that the coupons offered to you are based on your purchase history so you can save more money on what you actually buy. At check out, either scan your loyalty card or enter your phone number to take advantage of your loaded Just for U offers.
Food costs are one of largest ongoing expenses for many families. Lowering that expense can make room in a home budget for much more fun things such as a family vacation! If you do not have any of these stores in your area, be sure to check if your favorite grocery store offers a mobile app and you’ll be on your way to saving money. Do already use a great app or have some other grocery saving tips? Share the knowledge in our comments, our readers will appreciate it!