Ya’ll know how I roll. With as much transparency as possible, even if said transparency makes me look a fool. I probably would look a fool anyway, so may as well come clean, you know what I’m saying? I’m leaning in.
And it is because we are best internet friends and because I am leaning in that I tell you, in all sincerity: I am not great at apps. Like, really not great. I’m not being self deprecating here. There are areas where I shine (surveys about films!) and areas where there is obvious room for growth ( any and all grocery apps!).
I have my reasons. From the beginning of my savings journey, I didn’t have a ton of mileage with apps like Ibotta or Checkout51. Our household eats a lot of protein and produce and tend to hit the store brands hard. That is like, the exact opposite of some of these apps. Ain’t nobody rewarding me for buying Kroger brand deli turkey. And that’s fair. I would still plug away at those types of apps, because free money is free money, but I must own that my heart wasn’t in it.
The other thing was the rushed nature of the whole thing. I am the kind of person, I want to like, sit and get into it, whatever it is. I’m doing surveys? Great. I’m going to sit and do surveys for an hour, with my legs covered in a nice fuzzy blanket, a cup of tea at my side. I’m watching a show? Terrific, I am going to need the next five hours cleared so that I may sit and get into this show about teens terrorizing each other in a small town and also searching for gold and/or learning to love themselves. You want me to write a post about the food I bought? Delightful. Here’s 750 words about the seminal children’s film The Last Unicorn. I like to sit and get into it.
And grocery apps, most phone apps really, are not that. They’re quick and breezy. Snap this, scan that, double tap here, keep track of eighteen different app offers that can be stacked with in-store offers and manufacturer’s coupons and store sponsor coupons and best customer bonuses and worst customer bonuses. Oh, and also, grocery shop.
I could not handle the stress. Every time I went to the grocery store I had to make a list of the different apps and their different rules about submissions: you can submit to this app within 12 days of purchase and this app within 6 days of purchase and this app can only have things submitted within 3 hours of purchase if you also have the name of the Six Fingered Man and a hair from the head of a silver fox. I simply could not. I concluded that apps were for smarter, better, savers than me, and that was that, please may I have my tea and baby food survey now?
Then I discovered snap and go apps. The ones where all you need to do is take a picture of your receipt and you get points, money, whatever you want to call it. Fetch Rewards was really the star for me. I loved that it was so easy (Snap! Fetch! Reward me!). I loved that instead of excluding my trips because I didn’t buy particular brands, Fetch gave me a few points for having any receipt at all. And if I did happen to purchase the brands they were featuring? Then I would get a high point bonus. I still wasn’t fully wrangling all the special deals, but this was a tangible start. I was earning money and I wasn’t losing my mind. This app was my jam and it opened the door for me to see grocery apps in a new way.
Next came Receipt Hog and CoinOut, more snap and gos. And it was because I was rocking five apps and like, not being a complete disaster at it, I thought I could branch out. So I did! I had heard a considerable amount about Shopkick, and while the nature of it initially seemed daunting (wander around this store and scan items) I soon realized that Shopkick can be whatever you want it to be. You wanna be lazy and just walk into the store and get points? You got it. Here’s your kicks. You wanna be one step above lazy (Diet Lazy) and only scan magazines while you’re waiting in line to pay? Girl, we got you. Have some kicks. You want to actually try and wander the store scanning all you survey? Huzzah! Kicks abound!
My newest thing is that I am re-obsessed with Dabbl. I fell for Dabbl hard when it came out. Then once I got used to it, it became just another app used by me, renowned app user. But THEN I discovered you could also submit receipts on it. Receipts, you say? I love submitting receipts!
The point is, of course, that no matter how inept at apps you perceive yourself to be, there’s still something that can work for you. Whenever I recommend one of my favorite apps to people, I say, “Listen, if I can do it, anyone can do it.”
- Avocados (4)-$3.96. *Digital Coupon* for $.40 off combined with in-store sale of $.68 each.
- Bananas, 1.78 lb-$1.05.
- Beechnut Baby Food Pouches (3)-$3.
- Ben & Jerrys Ice Cream, pint (3)-$7.47. Sale price was $2.49 each.
- Blackberries, 6 oz (2)-$4.
- Black Grapes, 1.82 lb-$1.77.
- Blue Cheese-$3.36.
- Boar’s Head Maple Turkey, .5 lb-$4.07.
- Boar’s Head Pepperoni, .75 lb-$7.31.
- Fuji Apples, 5.33 lb-$6.34.
- Green Grapes, 1.71 lb-$1.66.
- Heritage Farm Chicken Breasts, 8.76 lb -$17.45.
- Kraft Salad Dressing (2)-$1.98.
- Kroger Ground Turkey, 1 lb-$2.30. *Digital Coupon* took $.70 off the sale price.
- Kroger Milk, .5 gal (3)-$2.31. *Digital Coupon* for $.72 off made buying three half gallons cost less than a single whole gallon. Deals!
- Kroger String Cheese, 12 ct-$3.
- Mangoes (2) -$1.98.
- Monterey Jack Cheese-$4.26.
- Private Selection Bread-$1.69. *Digital Coupon* for $.50 off.
- Private Selection Rolls -$1.88.
- Red Grapes, 2.22 lb-$2.15.
- Red Leaf Lettuce, .48 lb-$.81.
- Roma Tomato, 1.38 lb-$1.37.
- Salmon, 2.01 lb -$14.68.
- Silk Almond Milk, .5 gal (2)-$5.
- Simple Truth Baby Food Pouches (2)-$2.38.
- Vidal Onions, 1.71 lb -$2.03.
- Apps I’ll submit to: Fetch Rewards, CoinOut, Ibotta ($.10 off Any Brand Milk, $.20 off Grapes), Dabbl
Total Budget: $77.74
Total Spent: $110.65
Total Saved: $27.21
Deducted from Next Week: $32.91
Are you great at apps? Are you like me, a solid B level achiever with room to grow? What’s your fave app for grocery shopping? Tell me after the jump!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey three years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!