Are you tired of the never-ending increases in your monthly grocery bill?
While some foods such as pork, bananas, and baking flour have “slowed in price,” the fact remains that grocery prices are steadily rising across the board.
At this point, simply being budget-conscious isn’t enough.
One of the best ways to offset rising costs is to use grocery store apps that allow users to easily access food coupons, take advantage of flash deals offered by local grocery stores, and earn cash back.
Below, I’ll share some of the best grocery apps in Canada so you can give your wallet some extra breathing room.
Save Money While Grocery Shopping With These Apps
By using a combination of the following couponing apps, cash-back apps, and grocery shopping platforms, you’ll be able to save significantly on your weekly grocery store purchases.
Let’s dive in!
1. Checkout 51
- Try It Out: Checkout 51
- Best For: Viewing weekly grocery deals and earning cash back with receipt scanning
Checkout 51 is among the top savings apps for Canadians and combines the best aspects of a cash-back app along with weekly-updated grocery deals. This ingenious app gives discounts on various products, trimming down your grocery bill by offering cash back on many items.
Every week, the app rolls out a list of items with coupon deals, allowing users to save anywhere from $0.50 to over $1.50 or more on name-brand groceries, snacks, and even produce. Sometimes, users will even be offered free samples.
After you check out, simply upload a picture of your receipt (either from in-store or online purchases) to have the saved amount credited to your account.
Once you reach $20 in account credit, Checkout 51 will mail you a cheque or offer you PayPal credit.
Aside from groceries, Checkout 51 can be used to help you save money with other retailers for clothing, electronics, and even home goods.
- Try It Out: Flipp
- Best For: Searching for local coupons and building a shopping list
In the past, scouring store flyers for grocery deals as you made your weekly shopping list was a tedious task, to say the least. Flipp is a grocery coupon app that simplifies couponing by centralizing all of the local grocery deals in a user-friendly interface.
It aggregates weekly circulars and manufacturers’ coupons from local stores and other coupon sources, eliminating the need to manually sift through multiple flyers.
The app highlights trending deals and allows you to save selected coupons that you plan on using. You’ll also be able to set notifications for these coupons so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to use them before they expire.
One of my favourite features of Flipp is that it allows you to build a shopping list while also incorporating your selected coupons.
The app even offers a search feature that allows you to search through hundreds of flyers to locate specific coupons for items and brands that you may want.
On a side note – Flipp is a great way to be more eco-conscious about your shopping, as it essentially eliminates the need for paper flyers that contribute to garbage waste.
- Try It Out: Caddle app
- Best For: Finding brand-name deals and earning cash back
Caddle is a very similar app to Checkout 51 and offers a similar user experience. If you’re not finding the deals you’re looking for on Checkout 51, Caddle can be a great place to check next, as the two apps are direct competitors.
The Caddle grocery app compiles the best coupon offers available at any given time so that you can browse through weekly offers (which renew each Thursday).
All the discounts you get through the app accumulate within the platform. When your account balance reaches $20 or higher, you can cash out and get a paper cheque mailed to your home address.
The one downside here is that Caddle doesn’t offer PayPal credit or gift cards as compensation, which means there’s a higher risk of your cheque getting lost in the mail.
In addition to coupons and cash-back deals, Caddle periodically sends out brief paid surveys and video ads that you can complete and watch in exchange for additional account credit.
- More Ways To Earn With Surveys: Top Paid Survey Sites In Canada
4. Amazon Prime + Whole Foods
- Try It Out: Amazon.ca
- Best For: Getting deals on organic groceries and produce
In 2017, Amazon purchased Whole Foods Market. Since then, Amazon has integrated the Whole Foods shopping experience into its online shopping app.
Whole Foods is an excellent place to find high-quality produce as well as organic snacks, meats, dairy, and even skincare products.
While many items come with a premium price (due to their higher quality), Whole Foods frequently offers sales and flash deals that can make some items even more affordable than discount grocers like Walmart or FreshCo.
Here’s where you can really save, though.
As an Amazon Prime member, you’re entitled to additional discounts that can be applied on top of any other sales being offered at Whole Foods.
So if Whole Foods is offering 25% off a particular item, you could get an additional 10% off (for a total discount of 35%) with your Prime account.
To cash in on your deals, you just need to scan your Amazon app at the Whole Foods checkout counter.
Whole Foods also offers same-day delivery for most grocery items through Amazon, which is great for saving time.
The only downside of this is that you’ll have to pay the recurring bill payments for your Prime membership. If you shop at Whole Foods often, though, it’s definitely worth it.
- Read More: Is Amazon Prime Worth It?
- Try It Out: Reebee app
- Best For: Building a shopping list and finding local grocery stores with the best deals
Reebee is very similar to Flipp and functions as both a grocery list app and a coupon-finding app.
The app collects all of the weekly deals and coupons offered by participating stores. You’ll find the same discounts that you’d find after hours of flipping through circulars. Once you find deals that you like, you can save them to your profile and use them to create a shopping list.
If you’re looking for specific items (i.e. “milk” or “cereal”), you can use Reebee’s search feature to find deals on those items being offered by local grocery stores in your area. This can help you plan your grocery shopping trip ahead of time by directing you to the stores that are currently offering the best discounts.
- Try It Out: Flashfood
- Best For: Getting last-minute deals on food items
According to the UN Food Waste Index, Canadian households waste an average of 79 kg of groceries each year. The amount of food wasted by restaurants and grocery stores is astronomically higher.
Flashfood aims to combat food waste by offering a competitive platform where grocery stores and retailers can offer last-minute “flash deals” on grocery items that are close to expiring or that they have extra backstock of.
For example, your local Save-On-Foods might have a large selection of produce that will go bad by the end of the week. So, they’ll post an ad on the Flashfood app, offering a 50% discount on select produce items. All you have to do is show up and scan the coupon in your Flashfood app to get the deal.
It may not be as good as getting free groceries, but it’s a great way to reduce the cost of your overall grocery purchases. Just make sure that you have a plan to cook, use, or freeze the groceries before they expire!
7. Receipt Hog
- Try It Out: Receipt Hog
- Best For: Earning cash back on grocery and gas purchases
Similar to Checkout 51, Receipt Hog allows users to earn cashback rewards during their everyday shopping. You snap a picture of your shopping receipts, whether from a grocery store, restaurant, or even a gas station and earn coins.
These coins can later be converted into cash or gift cards.
While it doesn’t specifically offer coupons, its reward system is straightforward and easy to use. For every receipt, you get closer to cashing out.
- Try It Out: Join Drop
- Best For: Getting deals on name-brand items
Similar to Receipt Hog and Checkout 51, the Drop app lets users effortlessly earn points for shopping with their preferred brands, both online and in-store. By linking your credit or debit card, every purchase made at participating brands adds points to your Drop account.
But here’s the twist: instead of snapping receipts, it’s all automated.
There’s one major downside to Drop, though. Unlike some of the other grocery coupon apps I’ve mentioned, Drop caters more to retail clothing and home goods shopping than it does to groceries. While you’ll find the occasional grocery or snack item on Drop, it’s not as common.
- Try It Out: Join Swagbucks Today
- Best For: Earning cash back and getting rewarded for paid surveys
Swagbucks is a great all-around resource for frugal shoppers. While this app is primarily known for being one of the best paid survey apps in Canada, it also offers cashback deals for grocery and retail shopping.
When it comes to groceries, Swagbucks partners with a variety of stores to offer cashback on purchases. Users simply shop through the app’s portal and earn Swagbucks points (SBs) for every dollar spent.
Your “Swagbucks” grocery cash (SBs, for short) can be redeemed for gift cards or even cash via PayPal.
- Try It Out: Ampli by Avion Rewards
- Best For: Earning cash back on name-brand groceries
Ampli has teamed up with a selection of popular retailers and big-name manufacturers to help your grocery runs turn into potential cash-earning opportunities.
By linking your debit or credit card, you can earn cashback on grocery transactions without the need for manual receipt uploads.
Unlike most other grocery apps I’ve mentioned on this list, Ampli lets users cash out their rewards directly to their bank account, which is more secure than a mailed cheque and more tangible than a gift card credit.
The downside is that Ampli isn’t partnered with many grocery stores. Although grocery offers periodically come around, they’re not as common as Ampli’s retail offers.
- Try It Out: MyPoints
- Best For: Saving money on retail items and home goods (sometimes groceries too)
Unlike some of the other apps on this list, MyPoints is primarily a web-based platform (although you can still use it on your smartphone). Once you create an account, you’ll be able to start earning points by shopping online with MyPoints’ partner brands, which include Home Depot, Best Buy, and others.
The downside of MyPoints is that it’s not a grocery-centric site. Most of the cashback deals are for home goods, electronics, and clothing/shoes.
Nonetheless, it’s a good money-saving platform to add to add to your repertoire.
- Try It Out: Rakuten
- Best For: Earning gift cards that can be used at grocery stores
With over 15 million global members, Rakuten is, by far, one of the biggest coupon and cashback apps in the world and operates multi-nationally. Similar to MyPoints, though, Rakuten doesn’t offer a lot in the realm of grocery savings.
However, you may be able to save on some non-perishable items offered by online retailers that have partnered with Rakuten.
Here’s a better way to use the app to save on groceries.
Once you’ve accumulated enough Rakuten points, you can cash out your points for gift cards. Instead of getting a gift card to a clothing store, consider getting a gift card to a store that offers the grocery items you’re looking for.
13. Great Canadian Rebates
- Try It Out: Great Canadian Rebates website
- Best For: Finding rebates and coupons on groceries
Great Canadian Rebates is a Canada-centric cash-back platform that’s similar to Rakuten.
The main difference is that while Rakuten offers deals with global brands, Great Canadian Rebates offers rebates and cash-back deals with Canadian brands. As you accumulate points, you can redeem them for gift cards.
Similar to both Rakuten and MyPoints, though, this platform doesn’t offer as many grocery rebates as I’d like to see.
- Try It Out: RebatesMe website
- Best For: Getting rebates on name-brand groceries and retail items
RebatesMe is a desktop extension that you can add to your browser. As you shop online, the extension will automatically identify and apply rebates and coupon codes that can allow you to save big on your online purchases.
For purchases where RebatesMe can’t find applicable coupon codes, you’ll be able to accumulate points that can later be redeemed for gift cards or cash-back credit.
As you’ve probably surmised, it’s not great for grocery shopping. However, the gift cards you receive in return can be used for grocery shopping, which is where this app’s true value comes in.
- Try It Out: GoCoupons website
- Best For: Getting coupons you can use at local grocery stores
GoCoupons is a grocery shopping app that’s partnered with various grocery stores across Canada to offer coupons on name-brand and generic items alike. Similar to Flipp and Reebee, you can browse through local coupons in your province, save them to your app, and scan them at the register to save money.
It’s a simple, straightforward way to save money without the hoops and hurdles of using online cash-back apps.
Hack Your Shopping By Combining Grocery Apps
The three key platforms I’ve mentioned on this list (grocery coupon apps, list apps, and cash-back apps) can significantly enhance your savings if you combine them.
Grocery coupon apps provide discounts on select items offered by local grocery stores and convenience stores. Before shopping, I suggest reviewing these deals and planning your purchases accordingly.
Grocery list apps (which are often included in coupon apps like Flipp and Reebee), allow you to create a curated grocery list that makes the most of your saved coupons and helps you find the grocery stores that have the best deals of the week.
Finally, cash-back apps offer a further layer of saving. Checkout 51, for example, allows you to upload receipts and automatically apply cash back to your account (even after you’ve applied other coupons).
Are Grocery Delivery Services Worth It?
The surge in popularity of grocery delivery services prompts the question: are they truly worth it?
For many, the convenience of having groceries delivered right to their doorstep is undeniable. For those with busy schedules or limited mobility, these services are game-changers.
However, selecting the best grocery delivery service requires you to compare costs carefully – particularly the advance delivery fee, which can add up over multiple orders. Sometimes, these fees make the service costlier than traditional shopping, especially if you don’t buy in bulk.
You also have to consider the fact that it’s harder to apply coupons and find deals when using a grocery delivery service, as they often don’t support coupons and cash-back rebates.
Lastly, there’s the matter of freshness. Not every delivered item matches the freshness of handpicked ones. The workers who are shopping in your place aren’t as motivated to pick the best produce as you would be.
That being said, grocery delivery services can save you a lot of time that you’d otherwise spend shopping yourself. If you’re hourly time is valuable, then they can be a no-brainer.
What Are Some Of The Cheapest Grocery Stores In Canada?
Looking for the cheapest grocery stores in Canada? Here’s a quick overview of some of the best places to find deals.
- No Frills: A value-focused supermarket chain, No Frills offers a simplified shopping experience with a focus on low prices for basic grocery needs.
- Shoppers Drug Mart: Primarily a pharmacy chain, Shoppers Drug Mart also offers a selection of grocery items, health products, and beauty essentials, often with convenient hours.
- Walmart: Walmart provides a wide variety of products, from groceries to electronics, all under one roof, known for its “everyday low prices.”
- FreshCo: Owned by Sobey’s (which is considerably more expensive), this discount supermarket chain emphasizes fresh produce, meats, and essential grocery items, all offered at competitive prices.
- Superstore: Owned by Loblaw Companies, Superstore is a large-format store that offers a vast range of products, from groceries to clothing, and often includes a pharmacy.
- Costco: Costco is a membership-only wholesaler that sells products in bulk, often at lower prices, ranging from fresh groceries to electronics, furniture, and more.
Conclusion – What’s The Best Grocery Shopping App Overall?
Overall, my favourite grocery shopping apps are Flipp, Reebee, and Checkout 51. Flipp and Reebee are great for finding local coupons and building your shopping list, while Checkout 51 can apply cash-back deals retroactively by scanning your receipts.
One of the best ways to save on groceries is to buy in bulk by shopping at Costco. Keep reading to see everything a Costco membership can offer you and why it could be a great investment.