7 best apps to save money on groceries

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Looking for the best apps to save money on groceries? Technology can be a big help when you want to stretch your grocery dollar and get the most food for the least amount of money each week! In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best options.

What are the best apps to save money on groceries?

There’s no shortage of apps that can help you save money on groceries. And all of them do so in a variety of ways. These typically include:

  • Offering coupons and other savings at the point of sale
  • Letting you scan and upload your receipt after purchase for additional cash back rewards
  • Grocery list planning before you hit the store to help you avoid impulse purchases

While it’s probably best to use a few grocery-saving apps in concert, you need to get a lay of the land first to know what’s available. Here are some of our favorite grocery rebate apps, listed in alphabetical order:

  1. Checkout 51
  2. Coupons.com
  3. Fetch Rewards
  4. Ibotta
  5. Rakuten (formerly eBates)
  6. Saving Star
  7. Target (formerly Cartwheel)

Checkout 51

Checkout 51 logo

Need to know:

  • Cash back available at $20
  • New deals updated every Thursday morning

Checkout 51 makes it easy to shop as you normally would and save money while doing it. Just download the free app, select your grocery store and see what the offers are that week. Anytime you buy something that’s being spotlighted, you’ll get cash back.

The app has a built-in camera to take perfect shots of your receipt so you can start building up your savings. You can cash out when you have a minimum of $20 in your account. Payment methods include PayPal or receiving a check in the mail.

With Checkout 51, the nice thing is the items you can get cash back on aren’t limited to prepackaged goods from name-brand companies.

Coupons.com

coupons.com logo

Need to know:

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  • Offers free paperless grocery coupons at point of sale
  • No minimum required to get cash back

Coupons.com has a mobile app that promises you can save hundreds of dollars with free paperless grocery coupons.

Using it is easy. Simply link your store loyalty cards to the app to add coupons for your store. Then you can save instantly at checkout.

Or if your store doesn’t have a loyalty program, you can submit your receipt after you shop to get your cash back. It’s as easy as snapping a pic and submitting it!

Best of all, you can get cash back each time you shop; there’s no required minimum before you can cash out!

Fetch Rewards

fetch rewards logo

Need to know:

  • Cash out at 3,000 points for gift cards from major retailers
  • Available gift card options include Amazon, Target, Walmart and more

Fetch Rewards lets you scan your receipt from any grocery store and receive points for the brands and products you buy already.

“The ‘Special Offers’ tab lists the most valuable deals, but I usually earn a minimum of 25 points per receipt without those offers,” Clark.com writer Michael Timmermann reports.

When you reach 3,000 points, you can redeem them for gift cards to dozens of major retailers like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Petco and many more.

Ibotta

ibotta logo

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Need to know:

  • Submit pictures of your grocery receipt for cash back
  • Unique in that it allows you to get cash back for shopping at Aldi

Ibotta is pretty much the big dog when it comes to apps to save money on groceries.

There are two ways to use it: Either earn cash from adding offers, shopping and uploading a photo of your receipt. Or you can link your loyalty account, add offers at participating retailers and earn without having to upload a pic of your receipt. Here’s a list of supported retailers here.

You can withdraw cash from your account when you reach $20. If you upload pics of your receipt, you can get your cash within 24 hours.

Like a lot of the apps on this list, Ibotta mostly features products from national brands. But even if you shop at Aldi — which primarily sells off-brand groceries — you can take advantage of “Any Item” rebates for about 25 cents per receipt you upload.

RELATED: Need extra money? How to turn grocery receipts into cash with Ibotta

Rakuten

rakuten logo

Need to know:

  • Cash back available at $5
  • Payments are sent quarterly

You may not think of Rakuten (formerly eBates) as an app to save money on groceries; it’s better known as an online shopping cash back site.

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However, Rakuten has a new focus on in-store offers and the grocery stores on this app include Safeway, Sam’s Club and Walmart.

You must have a minimum of $5 in your account to cash out and payments are only sent quarterly via PayPal or physical check.

Saving Star

saving star logo

Need to know:

  • Cash back available at $20
  • Get cash or gift cards to Starbucks, Apple, AMC Theaters
  • Charges $3.99 monthly inactivity fee

Like the other apps on this list, Saving Star lets you either link up your loyalty account and add offers or upload a photo of your receipt to earn your cash back.

You can withdraw cash when you reach $20 via check or PayPal. Or you can elect to get gift card codes sent to you for popular retailers like Starbucks, Apple and AMC Theaters.

However, one warning about using Saving Star: The app will hit you with a $3.99 monthly fee if there’s no activity on your account for 180 consecutive days. The fee is assessed against cash back that has built up in your account, rather than charged to a credit card, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Target

target app logo

Need to know:

  • Offers app-only coupons and REDcard exclusives
  • Lets you scan barcodes to add offers as you shop
  • Gives you access to Cartwheel offers

Unlike the other apps on this list which let you shop most anywhere you want, the Target app is tied specifically to the Red Retailer.

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With this app you can browse Cartwheel offers and get app-only coupons without the clipping. It also integrates with the REDcard to give you 5% savings on everything you buy at Target — not just groceries.

Final thought 

While there are a variety of apps you can use to save money on groceries, there are one of two ways most of them work: They either track your store loyalty card and offer point-of-sale savings by specific retailer. Or else they require you to add offers and then upload a pic of your receipt.

The nice thing about these apps is that they’re very low-hanging fruit if you’re looking to put more money in your wallet. Anyone can download an app and upload a picture of their receipt. It usually takes just a few seconds. So it’s easy to enjoy the fruits of your labor with very little labor.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for more ways to lower your grocery bill, be sure to check out our 22 ways to save money on groceries!

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