Fancy using your phone to cut your food bills?
I think my husband regrets persuading me to get a smartphone, given it’s now pretty much glued to my hand. But it’s not all scrolling through social media. Your mobile can also be a great way to save money.
Here are my five favourite apps to cut food costs and avoid food waste!
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Favourite app for comparing prices: MySupermarket
Why? The app version of the MySupermarket price comparison website helps to cut food costs because it shows if I can buy items cheaper elsewhere. It’s super handy when I’m in a supermarket, trying to work out if a deal is actually as good as it looks. Can’t say I use it for every single apple, but it’s useful for more expensive purchases like a joint of meat, dishwasher tablets or gin, so I can check if another supermarket is selling the same thing for less. You just search on a particular item from a particular supermarket, and then it lists how much the item costs elsewhere.
More about MySupermarket
Previous post: 80+ ways to save money on your food shopping
Favourite app for cutting the cost of extras: Shopmium
Why? Shopmium is a supermarket cash back app, which cuts food costs by offering money back when you buy certain items. It’s a bit like the smartphone equivalent of cutting money-off coupons out of a magazine.
You have to buy the items first, then submit a photo of the receipt and scan the barcode. Where Shopmium really scores is paying the money back into your bank account in only a few days, without having to reach a minimum balance needed for other cashback apps.
Let’s be clear: Shopmium isn’t going to cut your basic shopping bill, although it does sometimes have offers on say tinned fish or passata. But it’s great for trying little luxuries for less. Think prepared foods and brand extensions rather than essentials. I’ve used it to save money for example on Jude’s ice cream, Gu puddings, Taylor’s coffee, and fancy biscuits, crisps and booze.
Offers are usually limited to particular stores, rather than applying everywhere. This means I tend to whip out my phone in a supermarket, just to check if there’s anything I want, or I’ll plan a visit to a specific shop with a list. Plus, if you refer friends, they can claim cashback for a free jar of Nutella, and you get £3 to set against future Shopmium products. Just make sure you match up the exact item on offer, down to flavour and pack size, or you won’t get any money back.
Check out Shopmium and if you’d like that free Nutella, use my referral code KFKKAMKL when downloading the app
Favourite app for finding free food: Olio
Why? Olio helps cut food costs by showing you where to find free food. It’s a food sharing app, allowing neighbours to share food rather than chucking it away. Individuals and local businesses can list surplus food, with a quick pic and description of when and where it can be collected. Then you can scan what’s available nearby, and pick up some food for free. You could also offer food you don’t need yourself, to help cut food waste.
The only caveat is that Olio works best in areas where loads of people live, so there’s likely to be loads more on offer in London, for example, than out here near Ipswich.
More about Olio
Favourite app for cheaper food when out: Too Good to Go
Why? Too Good To Go also aims to cut food waste as well as food costs – by letting shops, cafes and restaurants sell freshly prepared food that would otherwise be thrown away at the end of the day. You buy a ‘Magic Bag’ with a random selection of items for less than they would normally cost. You pay via the app, then need to collect your food during the time specified.
It’s a fun way to try new places for less. I’ve certainly saved money compared to buying sandwiches when out and about. For example, the food in the £3 Magic Bag from Costa Coffee would have cost at least a tenner full price.
However, it helps if you don’t mind eating later than normal, as the pick up times are typically a little after normal breakfast, lunch and dinner times. Also, like Olio, Too Good To Go works best in cities with lots of places taking part, like Cambridge and London.
More about Too Good To Go
Favourite app for food budgeting: Yolt
Why? OK so Yolt is actually an app that brings together info from all your bank accounts and credit cards, but bear with me on this one.
Yolt helps cut food costs by making it oh-so-easy to check your bank balances, so you can see if you’ve got megabucks for a big shop up, or should just buy the milk and leave.
It’s also helpful for budgeting. I’ve set a monthly budget for groceries, and Yolt sends alerts if I’m getting close. I’ve got a graph showing my grocery spending this month compared to the previous three months, which reinforces whether I should rein it in a bit.
More about Yolt
Now – over to you. Ever tried any of these apps? What are your favourite apps for cutting food costs? Do share in the comments, I’d love to hear!