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Old 08-16-2013, 07:58 PM   #1
WT Sharpe
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Grocery shopping, coupons, smartphones, and apps.

Hello, folkses!

I'll be retired before you know it, and will soon be learning the joys of living on a fixed income. I've heard a bit of buzz about apps that compare prices at various local stores, search for bargains, and print out coupons from your PC. I've also heard of people taking their smartphones to the checkout and letting the scanner scan coupons right off the phone's display. How doe this work? Has anyone tried it? Can you input more than one coupon at a time this way? Is it time-consuming?

What's your experience? Can you suggest any good apps or recommend any particular smartphone? I couldn't see myself lugging my iPad through the store, but a smartphone seems just about the right size. Could the savings justify the expense?

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Old 08-17-2013, 07:23 PM   #2
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I have coupon apps on my droid, but I download store specific apps, haven't ever tried the "bargain hunt" ones
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Old 08-17-2013, 11:13 PM   #3
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I have coupon apps on my droid, but I download store specific apps, haven't ever tried the "bargain hunt" ones
Have you found any grocery store-specific apps that are useful in your neck of the woods?
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:28 AM   #4
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Google Play Store has lots of store specific apps. A quick search on the Play Store for the stores in your area should give you a good idea of what’s available and if they fit the bill for your purposes. If you'd be considering an iPhone, you can do the same in their App Store, I'm sure. You could possibly even try out the apps on your iPad just to see if they're what you're looking for (if not, just uninstall).

I’ve been using the android app OUT OF MILK SHOPPING LIST by Capigami, Inc. for about 2 years. They keep making it better and better, more and more useful all the time. Something that is new in the last several months has been the integration of store deals near the user’s area. For instance, in my area they show me specials for the following stores:

Albertson’s, Brookshire’s, Tom Thumb, CVS Pharmacy, Kroger, Save-A-Lot, COSTCO, ALDI, Central Market, Central Market (HEB), Dollar General, Family Dollar, Greenling, Market Street, Sam’s Club, Sunflower Farmers Market, Target, Terry’s Supermarkets, The Fresh Market, Trader Joe’s, Walgreen’s, Walmart Supercenter, Whole Foods, and they’re always adding more.

When you touch on a listed item, it adds the item to your shopping list. You can create countless shopping, pantry, and to-do lists, organize them however you want, mark whether an item is taxable, if you have a coupon for the item, you can scan an item from your pantry, type it manually, or add by voice input. As yet it doesn’t import electronic coupons into the app, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was on the horizon.

Most grocery stores have loyalty cards. And many of these grocery stores offer electronic coupons on their web sites that you can click on and have magically downloaded to your card. When the card is swiped at checkout, you get the coupon savings. Kroger, for one, also has a free coupon Friday download. They send you an email each Friday telling you what item they’re offering electronically for free. You can only download it on that Friday but the coupon is good for about 2 weeks or so. Kroger loyalty card also offers $.10 per gallon off of Shell gasoline with accumulated points based on how much you spend at the store.

As to whether it would be cost effective to get a smartphone basically for saving money at the grocery store, well, probably not if that’s all you’d want it for. The cost of service and data plan, even on a no contract unlimited plan, would most likely cost more than you’d save in that regard. You’d probably do just as well by using electronic coupons on loyalty cards and clipping paper coupons and following sales circulars.

Well, that probably didn't tell you much more than you already knew, but since I don't know everything you already knew, I wouldn't know how much more of what I know to tell you. I could probably tell you more (not that I necessarily know much more), but I've probably already strayed from the direct answers you were hoping for.
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:15 AM   #5
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Thanks for that, LB. I'll keep the OUT OF MILK SHOPPING LIST app in mind, although I haven't yet committed to what kind of smart phone I'll end up with, or even if I will. I need to justify the expense, meaning if I buy a smartphone it'll probably be an android based phone as they seem to be cheaper than the iPhone and Windows based phones. The monthly service charge probably won't be much more than the service fees I'm paying now for my Verizon 4G hotspot.

Not directly related, but one coupon site I'm currently checking out is http://www.couponmom.com/. It seems to be pretty valuable, but I haven't made any actual lists with it yet. I'm still trying to coordinate with my wife on what we need from the stores! Like the OUT OF MILK SHOPPING LIST app, it gives you heads-up on bargains in local stores in your area.

Which made me think. I always assumes you lived in Australia for some reason, but most of the stores you mentioned appear to be well-established my neck of the woods.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:22 AM   #6
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Good luck with finding the solution that’s right for you. There are so many options out there with new offerings all the time, it’s not easy to decide what to settle on without exhaustive searching unless you get good recommendations from people who have already culled through the field. I'm sure there are dozens of coupon sites out there also.

Some of the apps out there, as with OUT OF MILK, have a great sync feature also. If both you and your wife have the app on your respective smartphones, you can synchronize your lists if you choose to. Whatever you add/delete on your list will appear on her list, and vice versa. Likewise, you can create/edit lists online at http://www.outofmilk.com/ and it syncs with your smartphone as well.

I’m really surprised that more members haven’t chimed in and offered you recommendations or shared thoughts on what works for them. I’m sure most have smartphones, all buy groceries, some are already retired, and all, I would imagine try to shop smart and save money. Go figure.

By the way … no, I’m not an Ausie, though I love their accents. I’m originally from the Northeast, but don’t have the accent. I live in Texas, but don’t have that accent either. I've lived here for about 37 years. Like they say, "I'm not a native Texan, but I got here as fast as I could." I’ve picked up the colloquial expressions, but not the accent. As a kid, I could always pick up an accent in a heartbeat, but not anymore. Dang. I like accents too.

And poohbear, if you’re listening, we could use a wee bit of that rain you’ve had so much of. We don’t want ALL of it mind you, but we wouldn’t mind if you shared.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:17 PM   #7
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I like Out of Milk too, but I also use Shopping List by FiveFly. They are very similar but for some reason I use them for different things. I have no logic to it so I can't really explain my reasoning

On a side note another great app for Budgeting on your smartphone is EEBA (Easy Envelope Budgeting Assistant).
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:44 PM   #8
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Buy Me A Pie! is supposed to be pretty good. It just came out for Android.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...buymeapie.bmap

I just use Wunderlist. https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...derlistandroid

It works across Windows/Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android. And so I have all these lists for like Starbucks, CVS, Wal-Mart, Target, etc.

I just put what the coupon is for, when it expires, and then I can check it off when I use it.

I have a pretty big wallet, and I keep my coupons in there. Having to have multiple apps for every store is such a PITA. And most places would rather you NOT use electronic coupons. Plus, it just makes the checkout slower. Just cut them out and keep them in a bag in your car.

As for which phone to get... Any of them will do. Just make sure it's affordable/doable for you beyond everything else. Neither iOS or Android work better when it comes to coupons. Although you could setup the Android phone to remind you when you're at certain GPS points to use a coupon.
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:59 PM   #9
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..... Although you could setup the Android phone to remind you when you're at certain GPS points to use a coupon.
That's a good point and something I really need to remember to do when I get my new phone next week. I always forget that I want to do that, but there's no reason to do it now when I am about to change phones anyway.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:50 PM   #10
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Not quite the same thing you're talking about, but Groupon's deals usually say you can either show them to your server from your smartphone or print the coupon. I don't Groupon much, but one restaurant I went to, the server said they have a hard time with the scans from smartphones.

I do have *two* loyalty cards (CVS and Meijer) where you can pick certain deals/coupons on line and have them go to your card. So as long as you remember to go buy whatever it was, it'll automatically be done through the loyalty card.
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:26 PM   #11
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I've been looking at couponmom.com some more, and while it isn't an app, it does appear to be a super useful site. I'm just now beginning to learn how her system works. Basically it appears to involve grabbing two or three of the coupon inserts that appear in your Sunday paper, writing the paper's date on the inserts with a marking pen, then putting them aside. Then when your local stores run specials on certain items, Coupon Mom alerts you to the specials and tells you by date which of the inserts contain coupons for additional savings.

I'm going to write to my daughter later tonight and ask her what method she uses. She's an obscenely savvy shopper who always comes back from a shopping trip having paid only a fraction of the full price for most of her items and also with several items for which she has paid nothing. My wife, who's looking over my shoulder as I write this, says to mention she's paid as little as 38¢ a gallon because a local store where she lives gives discounts on gas when you buy certain items. Big deal. I used to pay 23¢ a gallon on a regular basis. Then again, that was in 1967.

My wife criticizes my daughter's shopping because she can't seem to resist a bargain and often comes home with many items she never uses, but I don't see my wife routinely returning from the store with $100 worth of groceries for which she paid $25-$50.

Oh, my gosh! My wife is now on the phone with my daughter and just came in to tell me, "You know how I said she had bought gas for 38¢ a gallon? It was 38¢ for 20 gallons!"
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:26 PM   #12
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....
Oh, my gosh! My wife is now on the phone with my daughter and just came in to tell me, "You know how I said she had bought gas for 38¢ a gallon? It was 38¢ for 20 gallons!"
I wanna be like here when i grow up
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