10 Must-Have Apps That Will Revolutionize Your Grocery Shopping
Lists on the fridge are so last century! Technology has made food shopping faster, easier, cheaper, and more convenient than ever. These are the grocery-store game-changers to download now.
When over 100 million Americans suffer from diet-related health conditions, there’s no doubt that we could all use a little nutritional advice when grocery shopping. That’s where ShopWell comes in. The app focuses on helping you stick to your dietary goals and needs by giving you the 411 on any grocery-store item via a simple barcode scan. ShopWell’s patented algorithm provides instant feedback on whether or not a product is in line with the individual’s plan, whether he or she is living with diabetes, avoiding gluten or simply managing sodium intake. The app also recommends similar, better-for-you alternatives that are available at your local grocery store. You can even chat with a registered dietitian and receive personalized recipes, quizzes, tips and tools to empower you to get your shopping cart fit. Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking of grocery shopping online.
Download it: ShopWell | Free
Rather than pace the grocery store aisles back and forth only to walk out with bags of random items that satisfy all the varying taste buds in your family and just might yield a few full meals, now an app can do meal-planning for you—and more efficiently. EatLove’s healthy meal-planning service uses advanced technology that analyzes over three million data points to create healthy meal plans based on your preferences. What’s even more exciting: they cross-utilize ingredients so you’ll have fewer perishable items on your grocery list. All you have to do is select which meal plan you want to go with, which will depend on the number of mouths you’re feeding and each individual’s dietary restrictions (vegan, gluten-free, low carb, pescatarian, lactose-free, etc). Then, let the app work its magic, creating a variety of recipes that you can make throughout the week, and even auto-populating all the items into a grocery list you can easily access. Fun fact: EatLove’s meal plans are composed of recipes from their extensive library, which includes contributors like Bobby Flay, Jonathan Waxman, and Shauna Ahern of Gluten Free Girl!
Download it: EatLove | A free 2-week trial is available through their site and pricing plans come out to $99 annually, $36 for three months or $14 monthly.
Gone are the days of spending hours cutting coupons or forgetting to stash them in your bag before you head out to the store. With Ibotta, you can browse and unlock deals for grocery stores and brands right on your phone. All you have to do is snap a photo of your receipt to redeem the offers. The app verifies the purchase and delivers a cash reward into your account where you can then cash out via Paypal, Venmo, or with a selection of gift cards. It’s all seamless and electronic—no paper used ever. It’s post-shopping coupons, all via your mobile device. The best part? It’s not only for grocery shopping. The company partners with leading brands and retailers to offer cash back on groceries, electronics, clothing, gifts, and home and office supplies. Score a $10 welcome bonus when you download and use the app for the first time.
Download it: Ibotta | Free
This shopping tool brings all your weekly circulars and coupons to your fingertips so you can easily find the best deals near you and save more money each week. The app recently launched a brand new feature, Family Sync, that allows you to sync your grocery list with a significant other or friend, so co-shoppers can divide, conquer, and never forget an item on their list. It also lets you take a picture of a handwritten shopping list and upload it to the app so all of your items are transcribed in one place. Taking it one step further, Flipp also has “store mode,” which sorts your shopping list by store aisle to help you find what you need to make it easier to navigate through your grocery store.
Download it: Flipp | Free
Why even leave your apartment when you can have grocery items delivered in as little as an hour? The app, which is available in 28 markets across the U.S., connects you with personal shoppers in your area who pick up and deliver your groceries from your favorite local stores, saving you the time and hassle of wandering grocery store aisles. Additionally, Instacart provides tons of special offers and coupons from leading brands that are instantly redeemed at purchase (no coupon cutting needed!), saving you time and money. Order everything you need through Instacart’s app from your favorite local retailers, like Whole Foods Market, Costco (no membership required), Target, and many others. Think of it as a personal shopper who will hand-deliver everything to your doorstep—no heavy lifting from you.
Download it: Instacart |Free to download, and delivery is free on your first order (over $35), but after that, delivery fee depends on size of your order and delivery time chosen. The fee will be displayed when you choose a delivery time during checkout and before your order is placed.
SideChef is a cooking app that functions much like GPS—including voice commands, step-by-step photos, how-to videos, and even built-in timers (great for those learning the navigate the kitchen!). Users can bookmark recipes in a personalized cookbook and email shopping lists to themselves or the designated shopper. Using the app, you can email ingredients or grocery lists (including measurements) to yourself or the designated shopper. Serving size can be adjusted through the app so users can email grocery lists with the correct ingredient portions to purchase without having to do the math! You can also skip the grocery store and have pre-measured ingredients delivered to your door! Check out these ways to reduce food waste and save money.
Download it: sidechef |Free
With this app, you can toss away all those heavy cookbooks that have been collecting dust on your bookshelf an instead access a database of over 1,000 easy home recipes created by world-class chefs such as Marcus Samuelsson, Daniel Boulud, Jacques Pepin, Amanda Chantal Bacon, Seamus Mullen, and more! Each recipe has been mapped with the latest nutritional research and recommendations, allowing users to personalize their feed to effectively fuel their lifestyle. So whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, catering to a picky toddler, have an allergy or health condition or a lifestyle preference such as vegan or pescetarian, the app takes it all into consideration before curating your recipe selections. Not to mention, Simple Feast uses your location to suggest recipes with locally in-season ingredients!
Download it: Simple Feast |Free for a limited selection of recipes and personalization or upgrade to premium for a monthly fee of $8.99.
Picniic is a digital family organizer that has all the features parents need and use in their everyday lives—shared family and work calendars, to-do and grocery lists, recipe search and meal planner, family locator, and even a secure information locker for things like insurance info and doctor’s numbers. The app links recipe searching, weekly meal planning and interactive grocery lists, meaning parents can get rid of the dozens of apps they’re using to keep up with family life and streamline everything into one, convenient location. Picniic’s recipe search feature allows you to search for and save recipes from all of the top recipe sites, as well as add items from the ingredients directly to your grocery list. The meal planner feature allows you to schedule meals so the whole family can see what the lineup is for the week and have access to these features. This allows each family member to be more involved by adding items, saving recipes, or requesting a meal.
Download it: Picniic | Core features are free to use, but a few come with a premium subscription which includes a meal planner, family locator and information locker. Monthly subscription is $14.99 and annual is $74.99.
Replace the old pen and paper method of tracking which items you’ll need to buy next time you hit the grocery store with your new best friend, Alexa. This is the name of the voice-controlled, intelligent personal assistant that comes with Amazon.com’s “smart speaker.” The device is capable of just about anything—from creating grocery lists at the sound of your word to playing music and even providing weather and traffic updates! Simply call out Alexa’s name to activate the device and tell her to add any item to your grocery list. You can then access your shopping and to-do lists in the Alexa app, the Alexa Shopping List on Amazon.com or the Amazon app itself.
Buy it: Amazon Echo | $179.99
Similar to Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home uses a voice-based artificial intelligent assistant to do almost anything—including adding items to your shopping lists. Using Google’s search and machine learning capability, the device makes interaction so conversational that you can simply talk to it, for example saying, “Google, please add ingredients for chicken parmesan to my shopping list.” You can even ask the device to make a purchase for you, instructing it on where to buy, for example Costco or Whole Foods, and then telling it which card to use for payment. Pretty cool right?
Buy it: Google Home | $129