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Money-saving tools to tame your grocery bill 8/12
(This article is adapted from the August/September 2012 ShopSmart magazine.)

Photo credit: Bill Saelinger
To help you save at the supermarket, grocery stores and online companies are offering a slew of time and money-saving tools online, moving beyond traditional coupons. On average, people spend about $6,000 a year on groceries so the savings can be significant.

The online tools include free shipping offers for online orders as well as an ever-expanding number of mobile apps and website deals that can help you find healthier foods.

Must-see supermarket sites

Grocery-store websites are a surprisingly great resource for coupons and flyers, as well as savings tips, meal-planning help, nutrition advice, even cooking tutorials. Here are a few standouts:

BEST FOR: Money-saving healthy meals. Download the healthy-cooking demos and use the Guiding Stars program which helps you choose nutrient-packed foods.

DON’T MISS: The Buy & Earn Tab in the coupon section listing weekly specials. and Adult Wellness Clubs (A & P, Pathmark, Food Emporium family of stores)

BEST FOR: Saving on kids stuff and for free generic antibiotics and prenatal baby and children’s prescription vitamins. The Live Better Wellness Club has a $9.99 enrollment fee, rebated as a grocery credit.

BEST FOR: Ordering groceries in your pj’s. Shop by aisle and see the week’s specials as you go. It has always been a great site for healthful, budget-friendly recipes, cooking videos, and solid nutrition. Only available in certain areas.

DON'T MISS: The site’s large organic section lets you find your favorite by brand or by aisle.,, and

BEST FOR: Recipes and healthy-living tips. In its free newsletter, you get great meal tips and coupons. Also check out the Weekly Specials, hover over a deal to add it to your shopping list, then print it. Home delivery only available certain areas.

DON'T MISS: Store’s active Twitter accounts; see @Safeway, @genuardis, and @vons_pavilions for a heads-up on sales.

BEST FOR: Free shipping for certain groceries if you buy $45 worth of qualifying items. Use for kitchen staples such as cereal and spices.

DON’T MISS: Printable coupons section (

BEST FOR: Cooking demos via YouTube link featuring hundreds of how to videos on topics including making gazpacho and comparing food labels.

DON’T MISS: The $6 meal out of dishes from the prepared foods section of the store. It even computes the calories and servings of vegetables.

BEST FOR: The organic life. There are Budget-Friendly Recipes in a section of the site that show how to make lots of meals for less than $4 per serving. Also the Money-Saving Tips section has advice for getting the most value out of your food, such as quick breakfast ideas and recipes for vinaigrettes.

DON’T MISS: Print coupons at
Money-saving phone apps… and they’re free

Your grocery store probably has an app that can help you shop smarter and save more when you buy everyday essentials. Check your smart phone’s app store to find it. And while you’re at it, download the apps listed below too:

BEST FOR: Keeping cards handy. CardStar holds all of your store savings cards and gets you automatic coupon discounts, too. Available for Android, BlackBerry, iPad, and iPhone.

DEVICES: Android, BlackBerry, iPad, and iPhone.

Grocery IQ

BEST FOR: Creating shopping lists and sending you coupons for the items on your list.

DEVICES: Android, iPad, and iPhone.

Grocery Smarts Coupon Shopper

BEST FOR: Maximizing coupon savings. This app matches store circulars—for CVS, Rite-Aid, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart—with manufacturer coupons and tallies your savings so that you’ll know where to shop.

DEVICES: Android.

Make Change, Not Waste

BEST FOR: A green living initiative that motivates Whole Foods shoppers to start up some earth-healthy habits, like biking to work and switching to paperless billing, then rewards you for coupons you can use at Whole Foods.

DEVICES: iPad and iPhone.

Meijer Find-It

BEST FOR: Saving time at the supermarkets using detailed maps of some stores, plus alerts you to coupons and sale items.

DEVICES: Android, iPad, and iPhone.


BEST FOR: Ordering groceries using My Specials section, which provides a list of your past purchases that are currently on sale.

DEVICES: Android, iPad, and iPhone.


BEST FOR: Digital Coupons. Quickly find coupons and nutrition data for every item on your list with this easy-to-use app. Pushpins notifications warn you when coupons are about to expire.

DEVICES: iPad and iPhone.


BEST FOR: Giving your grocery list a healthy makeover. Enter your age, gender and food preferences, and nutrition goals (e.g., lose weight), and it gives you personalized advice to help you get there. Scan bar codes to see color-coded nutrition labels and healthy swaps.

DEVICES: iPad and iPhone.
Related links

Eco-Labels App by Consumer Reports. Helps find truly meaningful labels with environmental claims so you can know which ones will meet your expectations. This tool covers food, personal care products, and cleaners. Cost: $.99. Devices: iPhone and iPad.

Green online deals: Best shopping sites. 2/12

25 healthy and delicious food bargains. 3/11

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