Shopping for groceries is an essential task we all tackle each week. We each have our favourite supermarkets for various reasons, from the best butcher counter to the most reliable delivery service. But what is consistent is a desire for value – and a bargain!
Traditionally, supermarket discounts and coupons came on inserts in the newspaper or you would register with a supermarket and get coupons in the post.
However, this has all mostly moved online now and onto smartphone apps. Apps are free to download via your phone’s app store and you can register or log in this way and always have your coupons and special offers at your fingertips when shopping.
How can I shop smarter and save?
If, like me, you spread your weekly shopping across multiple supermarkets, then this in itself can lead to losing out on rewards. Supermarket apps are designed in a way that the more you spend, the more you earn. We often hear about algorithms when referring to social media; well apps have them too and recognise your shopping trends and app usage.
If you are a family that has one “big shop” per week, it’s wise to do this in the supermarkets with reward-based loyalty apps, for example, Dunnes Stores or SuperValu. Not only will you have a discounted receipt from previous sales, you will also earn points per spend, which add up to money-off coupons.
If you shop a few times per week, you are more likely to benefit from the coupon/discount-led apps - for example, Lidl. However, the problem with these offers is that it is unlikely you will want everything that has a coupon in your shop. They do, however, offer a “scratch & win” game, which can offer free items to avail of.
Another handy tip is to add an alert to your phone calendar for the day you do your shopping, reminding you to bring your coupons with you. The other is to keep all receipts in your car so that they aren’t far away if you reach the checkout and remember them last minute.
When you are making your shopping list, open your apps to see what coupons you have and if any correlate with what you’re buying, then just make a note on your list beside the item.
Shopping online often has bargains that you are not offered in store, even for food shopping. If you are short on time it can be highly beneficial, but you can also apply your coupons and receipts discounts at point of sale so you don’t miss out.
What else can help me save money?
There are some really good tools in the form of apps and websites to help you save more money on shopping. Here’s my pick:
• Too Good To Go: One of the newer apps, this is not just about saving money, you will also be helping to save food that would have been wasted. Food waste is a problem and this app works with shops to offer discounts on food before it goes to waste. You can purchase a “surprise bag” for as little as €3.99. Visit toogoodtogo.com/en-ie
• Buymie: This app is to do your shop in Dunnes Stores and get it delivered to your door. Visit buymie.ie for more.
• Olio: This app also ties into the ethos of benefitting from wasting less. Olio is a local sharing app for passing on things you don’t need to people who live nearby, including food, but also including items like clothes, books and toys. Visit olioapp.com
• SavvySpender.ie: This is a website that I find so useful. This consumer website lists out all of the weekly or monthly supermarket special offers, and discounts.
• Vouchercloud.ie: Another useful website that collates a lot of the supermarkets discount coupons in one place, making it very convenient to access and download them before shopping.