Grocery shopping is the bane of my existence. Between the skyrocketing cost of products and folks who take 14 items through the 10 items or less lane, this mundane activity ends up putting a grimace on my face more often than not. Add to that my propensity for forgetting a few items on my list or leaving my coupons at home and grocery shopping has catapulted to the number one spot on the list of things I would rather take my eyeball through a cheese grater for than actually endure. However, I have to eat -and so does my family of five. Because of this, I scouted out some grocery shopping iPhone apps that might just move getting groceries a little further down on my cheese grating eyeball list.
App No. 1: Must-have Recipes from Better Homes & Gardens
I can find recipes on the fly and construct a list of ingredients to shop for with ease using this handy, dandy app. For example, if I see chicken on sale this week, I can add a dinner recipe to my meal list with the click of a button and not magically forget an item or two in the process. This eliminates extra trips to the store and helps me save money buying what is on sale at the same time.
App No. 2: Real Simple Recipes
Even though I love to cook for my family, there are days when I am just not "feeling it". When those days arrive, the Real Simple app is a beautiful thing. It gives me a bunch of quick (and even cooking not required) recipes with a grocery list I can email and print, or use right from my phone. This app is a lifesaver on nights when the family has a variety of activities near dinnertime and is my personal favorite.
App No. 3: In Bloom
A money saving tip I harp on regularly is buying produce that is in season. The In Bloom app keeps me in the know when it comes to in season produce, what is on sale at the grocery store and what's coming in season soon. Short of picking fruits and vegetables from my garden for free, this app has proven to be a serious money saver.
App No. 4: GeoQpons
I am absent minded, and I have no problem admitting that. I will often find and print coupons before heading to the market, but sometimes I forget those coupons at home. When that happens, I use GeoQpons. I can scan a product's barcode using my iPhone camera and get instant coupons for that item (when available). If I'm on the go and looking for a quick bite to eat, this app also gives me a modicum of restaurant coupons I can use on the fly.
App No. 5: CardStar
The loyalty cards in my wallet outnumber credit cards and identification cards two to one. Sometimes digging through my wallet to find a specific loyalty card isn't (excuse the pun) in the cards. I have been known to lend a loyalty card to one of my teens, to a friend or to my spouse, leaving me empty handed at the register. That's when CardStar comes in handy. I import all of my loyalty cards into my phone for use at the checkout, so I never miss an opportunity to earn points, rewards and cash back.
While grocery shopping is still (for me) in many ways still about as much fun as a painkiller-free root canal, these apps make it just a little easier to swallow.
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