Food is a big expense for American families, eating up around 10% of the typical household budget, according to the USDA.
In addition, Americans spend nearly half of their food money eating out — 49.6% to be exact. This is up from 26% in 1960, due to the increasing number of people working outside of the home. When it’s all said and done, we spend anywhere from $3,685 to more than $10,000 per year on food — and if you want to keep your spending closer to that lower end, it’s a great idea to try to save whenever possible.
So to help you get started, here are 11 smartphone apps that can help you slash your food expenses!
iBotta is an app that pays you through cash back rebates you can earn before you shop. Once you download the app, you’ll want to look for deals you like. Once you do, you can ‘qualify’ for the deal by clicking on the deal, watching a video or filling out a survey. Then, go to your favorite store to shop for the item, and verify your purchases by uploading a photo of the receipt. Then, according to the app, you’ll get cash back in less than 24 hours! You can shop at stores such as Walmart, Publix, Target, Kroger, Harris Teeter, Rite Aid, CVS Pharmacy, Costco, BJs, Whole Foods, Walgreens and many more. The app shows you how much in rewards is available from each retailer too. Get an extra $10 when you redeem your first rebate.
Read more: 15 ways to save more on groceries
Checkout 51 works in a similar fashion to iBotta. Just download the app, browse hundreds of offers within the app, select an offer, go shopping, upload your receipt and earn cash back! But, the difference between Checkout 51 and iBotta is you can go to any store to redeem your offers. Plus, you do not have to do anything to get your offer, all you have to do is select them! Offers are updated every Thursday. You must earn at least $20 in offers before you can redeem for cash.
If you’ve ever used the website Coupons.com before, you’ll know what the website is all about — coupons! This app for Coupons.com provides a simple way to select all the coupons you want at the tap of a button, and allows you to print them from your phone. Browse by featured deals, grocery, shopping and nearby, or search for exactly the brand or store you’re looking for. In addition to coupons for grocery stores, the Coupons.com app also has valuable promo codes for other major clothing, shoe, travel pet, home and specialty stores.
SouthernSavers.com is a great website to find fantastic deals on grocery items and just about anything else. The owner of the site, Jenny, started SouthernSavers.com in order to save her family over $400 in grocery expenses every month. Now, she helps others do the same — on the website and the app! The site and app are both really great about showing you how to stack your savings through store promotions and multiple coupons. Search specific items through the app, browse stores, browse coupons — plus save lists of the items you plan to buy. The app also has a savings tracker that shows you how much you’ve saved.
Favado is an app by Savings.com that helps to prepare a shopping list based on store promotions and what’s currently on sale. Once you sign up for the app, select your stores, and Favado will save them on the app. To see the offers for each store, click on the store, and a list of offers will show up with the dates the offer is valid. Check the offers you want to buy, and this will save them to your shopping list. This app is a great help when planning purchases and budgeting grocery expenses!
Walmart Savings Catcher
Walmart’s app allows you to shop by department, search for an item, create a shopping list, and order refills from the pharmacy. But probably the coolest feature in this app is the Savings Catcher. With the Walmart Savings Catcher, if a competitor advertises a special deal for a lower price, Walmart will give you the difference in the form of an e-gift card.
Ebates is an app that allows you to earn cash back at the stores where you shop. Get up to 25% cash back from more than 1,500 retailers, and get paid every quarter! Browse stores to see the best deals and who is offering the most cash back. The grocery stores on this app include Safeway, Sam’s Club and Walmart. Get a free $10 Walmart gift card when you sign up!â€‹
With Shopmium, browse offers or stores near you to view special product offers. Select the item, then, once you buy the item, take a picture of your receipt in the app. You’ll get cash back deposited to your bank or sent to your PayPal account. The best part, all the offers in Shopmium are exclusive to the app and you won’t find them anywhere else. New offers are added each week.
With Receipt Hog, you can earn coins you can redeem for cash or gift cards. Simply take pictures of your receipts to earn coins or slot machine spins. Receipt Hog accepts receipts from stores like Safeway, Costco, Kroger, Walmart, CVS, Dollar General, Petco, GNC and Sephora that turn into coins, or receipts from stores like Sears, Old Navy, Best Buy, Staple’s, Kohl’s, The Home Depot or Macy’s that turn into slot spins. Receipt Hog is more like a game that pays you — making savings fun!
Apples to Oranges helps you comparison shop the same items to find the best price. It also helps you convert items that have different sizes. Compare, convert and calculate in one step.
Target’s Cartwheel app, specific to Target, shows you weekly discounts on items throughout the store — with offers for up to 50% off! Get coupons through Target’s main app to stack your savings, plus use coupons from websites like Coupons.com to triple dip your savings! Shop by newest, discount, trending, expiring or search for specific items within the app.
Read more: 12 ways to save at Target