Supermarket shopping can be stressful enough at the best of times – there are other shoppers to fight off, not to mention resisting the lures of the junk food aisle.
In recent months, it seems like saving money on groceries has never been more important for households.
Annual grocery inflation for the quarter of September 2022 came to:
- 13% for breakfast cereals;
- 10.5% for bread; 9.3% for beef and veal;
- 12.1% for dairy and 16.2% for milk specifically;
- 16.2% for fruit and vegetables; 10.4% for eggs;
- and a massive 19.3% for oils and fats.
This is compared to an overall annual inflation rate of 7.3%, according to ABS figures.
So, no you're not going crazy when you come away from the shops with three bags' worth of groceries that somehow cost $100.
Read more: How to save money on groceries.
Arming yourself with a shopping list is one way to stop yourself from making unnecessary splurges – but let’s be honest. How many of us actually bother writing all that stuff down?
That’s where the beauty of apps come in. With so many of us pressed for time these days, there are plenty of great grocery budget apps on the market aimed at simplifying your weekly shop – and save you money along the way.
We’ve rounded up some of the best apps on the market that could help you save big bucks at the checkout.
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Frugl tracks more than 5,200 grocery shops nationwide on its app, updating it weekly with more than 60,000 products compared.
It claims its GPI - Grocery Price Index - is more acute and in-depth than the ABS' grocery inflation data, which is released quarterly and often out-of-date by the time it's published.
Frugl updates weekly with the best prices from retailers and scans catalogues for you.
The app also allows you to: create lists for your fridge or pantry for when there are sales; shop smarter by automatically finding the best places to shop; and look at price updates every week from Coles, ALDI, Woolworths, IGA and more.
You can also set your user with dietary concerns or allergens to highlight products to meet your preferences.
Frugl CEO Sean Smith said being a savvy shopper is only half the equation - having a good app is the other half.
"Being flexible with your shopping and switching to what’s in-season or trying cheaper cuts of meat can save you big, while using price comparison apps like Frugl to look for specials can help keep costs down," Mr Smith said.
Frugl is available on both iOS and Android.
- In-depth price analysis of more than 5,000 shops across 60,000 products
- GPI - Grocery Price Index provides holistic view of grocery inflation
- List sharing feature
- Find out what's on special, updated every week
2. Half Price
Half Price is essentially an online catalogue and as its name suggests, tracks down everything that’s 50% off at Coles and Woolworths.
Liquorland and BWS specials are included too, and the specials get updated every Wednesday morning.
While it’s not the prettiest app, it has over 100,000 downloads and an average 4.5 star rating across 2,136 reviews, so they must be doing something right.
- Get the latest half price specials from Coles and Woolworths
- Build up your half price shopping list
It doesn’t matter which supermarket you visit, because Grocereaze has a number of features to help you with your weekly shop.
You can create multiple shopping lists and the app will track the price of every item in your cart and give you the running total, so there won’t be any nasty surprises once you hit the checkout.
If you’re guilty of doubling up on things you already have in your pantry (hands up me!) the recipe and pantry function tracks what you already have.
- Tracks the price of every item in your cart and gives you a running total
- Email your shopping lists
- Keep track of items you already have in your pantry
- Offers recipes based on what you’ve got in your shopping list
- Meal planning feature
4. Out of Milk
Whether you’re fresh out of home and you’re navigating the supermarket solo for the first time or you’re an old pro, Out of Milk makes supermarket shopping easy.
Share grocery lists across multiple devices and add items to your list from your recent search history – perfect if you want to retry a recipe.
If you’re on a budget or like shopping in bulk, Out of Milk lets you add the quantity and price of items.
- Quickly manage shopping lists
- Add items to your list by typing, scanning or speaking
- Organise your list into categories
- Manage items in your list by adding price, quantity, notes, and coupons
- Share your shopping list with others
- Sync your list across devices
- your pantry and keep track of what you already have
WiseList lets you make a grocery list and then compare the prices of the items on your list against all the major grocery stores (currently only Woolworths and Coles are available on the app) to find the lowest price in your area.
Got a rewards card? You can add your Flybuys or Woolworths rewards card to the app and scan with your phone.
- Create grocery lists by manually searching items or by viewing Coles or Woolworths catalogue specials
- Add items to temporary or weekly needs list
- Compare prices against the major grocery stores prices
- Add and scan your rewards cards (Flybuys or Woolworths rewards card)
- Share your lists through Facebook, Wechat, email, or send them the link
Even though most of the apps above can be used anywhere, sometimes it’s better to have an app that’s specific to your favourite store. Below are the three top apps being offered by the big supermarket chains.
If Coles is your ride or die supermarket, downloading their app is a kind of a no-brainer if your goal is to save money.
Available for both iOS and Android devices, the app lets you save time and money when it comes to supermarket shopping.
- Link up your flybuys card
- Quickly build your shopping list by accessing what you’ve bought before
- Add your favourite items to your Watch List so you’ll be instantly alerted when they go on special
- View and add products to your list from the Coles catalogue
- Shopping list sorts products by aisle
- Add recipes to your shopping list
Whether you’re in a last minute rush or doing your weekly shopping trip, the Woolworths app can help you find exactly what you’re after.
Products in the app are listed with their aisle number, so you’ll never have to run around the entire supermarket looking for that one thing ever again. Users are also alerted to the weekly specials.
- Create shopping lists
- Track your orders and see when they’ll be delivered
- Add your Woolworths Rewards card to earn, track and redeem points
- View recipes and add the ingredients to your cart
- Find the location of items in store with aisle information for everything on your list
- Browse all the specials, which get updated every Wednesday
With a reputation for special deals, the Aldi app lets you keep track of all the upcoming specials from staples like bread and butter to vacuum cleaners and TVs.
Browsing the Special Buys (the middle aisle) is also fun. One week could be a chainsaw; the next could be camping gear - you just never know!
Available on both iOS and Android, the Aldi app is a handy tool to keep in your back pocket – quite literally.
- View weekly special buys and create reminders
- Save your special buys and grocery items to your shopping list
- Store locator menu
Article first published 7 November 2019 by Emma Duffy.
Image by Kampus Production on Pexels