My husband and I recently got married and moved from a 700 sq. ft one-bedroom apartment into a gargantuan 1200 sq ft two-bedroom apartment. With the extra space, obviously, came extra rent money each month. We have also been saving for a European honeymoon to London and Barcelona this summer – so to say we’re penny pushing would be a gross understatement.
We elected to cut back on everything, but what we noticed we were really pushing our budget on was how much money we were spending eating out! When we looked at our bank statement at the end of the month and added up the amount we had spent in restaurants over the course of 30 days, it was truly eye opening. So, we vowed to cut back to one meal of each kind per month (one brunch, one lunch, one dinner).
With this new plan in place, we decided we really needed to get smart about planning what we would eat for the week/month and budgeting our grocery shopping so that we weren’t spending just as much in the grocery store as we would be at a restaurant.
I stumbled upon an app that has been incredible in helping us save money when we shop, and we’ve worked out a system that works for us and has made our financial situation so much less stressful – and its’ made our bellies (and our diet) pretty happy too! If you’re someone who needs some help in the grocery department, go into the App store on your phone, and download the FREE app:
[[ uGrocery ]]
The app is honestly so simple to use and has saved me a TON of money over the last few months. I’ve started using it religiously whether I need a couple things at the store or I’m doing a huge monthly food shop.
**Disclaimer**: Right now, this app only compares four major grocery chains: Walmart, King Soopers, Target, and Safeway and will find you the best deals for those four. I have heard speculation that they are thinking of adding more chains later on, like Sprouts and Whole Foods.
Here’s what the main screen looks like, and I’ll give you a simple tutorial (with pictures, of course) on how to use it for the best savings!:
As you can see, you’ve got a few options for finding grocery deals – I really only ever use the “search” feature, but I’ll give you a run down of the others!
There are a multitude of categories that you can browse to find deals on what you’re looking for, here are all the categories offered:
And here’s what you’ll find when you delve into some of those categories:
Notice that you can see right away where you can find the best deal by the store logo and the percentage off of the original price. If you’re only looking for what’s on sale, this feature may be perfect for you, it’s definitely a great way to budget shop. Next, I’ll show you the Search & Scan features which are what I use the most often.
The search feature is pretty self explanatory – you search for what you need. In this case, I need avocados for guacamole, so from the home screen, I click SEARCH and type in avocado, and you’ll see that Safeway has them the cheapest by $0.50 EACH, so for the five avocados I need, I can save $2.50 on this one item alone (even more if I’m choosing to shop somewhere other than Walmart)
I also needed ground beef in this trip, and you’ll see Safeway comes in with the win again by over $1 less per pound of beef. Also, if you haven’t done so already, you can start adding these items to a list that you can keep handy on your phone (which will serve other purposes later on as well).
Now, the next part really depends on your own personal preferences for grocery shopping. I’ll tell you mine and how I use the final feature, but I know people can be very particular about the way they grocery shop – and I don’t blame you!
I am fortunate enough to live in a pretty populated area in Colorado where I have very quick access to all four of the grocery stores that this app compares – I’m less than a fifteen minute drive to all four of these places.
BUT I generally only shop at Walmart and King Soopers because they’re very close and convenient for me. So, when I use this app, I compare those two stores and decide which items I’m going to get in each place. So this is what my shopping list looks like each week:
If you’re a one and done kinda person – you just wanna go to one store and get it over with, there’s a different feature where you can simply determine which store you can go to and find everything you need for the cheapest overall price! HOWEVER, this is a paid feature of the app (but it is only $1.99 for an entire month). You literally just add everything you need to list and it’ll calculate the lowest price across all four stores. In my experience, this doesn’t save you nearly as much money overall, but it is helpful if you’re really trying to just visit one store.
I have found that I save well over $20 each trip by going to just two stores instead of one, so I recommend multiple stores if you have the time and if you can get to them both easily.
I have also found that Sprouts is a big rival in price for fresh produce, so if you have the weekly paper handy or if you can look up their prices online while you use this app, you can always compare prices there as well, it’s just a little more work.
If you’re pushing pennies like I am or you’re just a big fan of saving money, this is truly one of the most valuable apps I’ve ever downloaded. Each time we save $20 at the grocery store, that’s a few more glasses of Sangria I can sip in Spain this summer!
I’m hoping this is as helpful to you and your family as it has been for mine!
Thank you for reading, and as always, try to spread some happiness today!