How to Save $1,000 Per Year Using Apps

Learn how apps on your phone can help you save over $1,000 a year!

Amanda Thomas
5-minute read
Episode #225

I’m not a huge technology person. I don’t have cable, am horrible at video games, and barely know how to use our Roku. I don’t use my phone for much more than taking pictures, emailing, and texting, but I do use it on a regular basis to save money. I like to save money every chance I get! Today I’ll tell you how I used a few of my favorite apps to shave $1,000 per year from our household shopping budget.

I’d like to start by saying that none of these apps are sponsoring me or paying me to recommend them (though one of them, Ibotta, has sponsored my show in the past!). These are simply the apps that I have on my Android phone and use on a weekly basis. 

Grocery Store Apps

Let’s start first with a generic category of apps, which is grocery store apps. I have a few of them on my phone including Fry’s (the local Kroger brand), Sprouts, and Target. These are the three stores I shop at most often, so being able to have the information about what each of these stores has on sale each week is necessary for me to save on our grocery bills. As I’m doing my meal planning each week, I open up these apps and figure out which items are on sale at each store. I don’t plan all my shopping around the sales, but I do plan my weekly meals around which meat is on sale. Because it’s the most expensive item on the menu, it’s important to take advantage of sales on this costly item. Using the apps is quick and easy to see what’s on sale, and most times I can click to add an item to my grocery list at each store.

Another thing that the grocery store apps have started to offer is mobile coupons. When we started traveling more, I stopped our newspaper subscription which means that I was no longer getting coupon flyers each week. Luckily most grocery store apps have mobile coupons built in to them. Kroger makes it super easy by connecting my app with my loyalty shopping card. Once I click the button to add a coupon to my app, it will automatically apply to my grocery bill when I enter my loyalty number at the checkout. Other apps store the coupons in the app itself and require you to scan a barcode at checkout. It’s an extra step, but it only takes a quick moment. You can also use additional paper coupons if you buy multiples of an item, or you can leave your coupons at home if you only need to buy singles of items. Either way, the grocery store apps have a lot of savings built in to them.

Savings: $1,040 per year ($10/week by shopping sales + $10/week in coupons from $100 in groceries)


I love going to Target because I can use two apps to save money there. Not only do I use the Target app to find sale items and mobile coupons, but I also use their Cartwheel app to get additional savings. Cartwheel discounts are in addition to other sales and coupons, so they can really add big savings! Plus, Target has gotten nice about putting signs up in the store on the largest discounts. For example, last week C9 workout gear was on sale, and also had a 25% discount available on Cartwheel, and both signs were up in the workout wear area. They don’t post signs for all the discounts on the app, so you want to make sure to go through and make sure to add the discounts to your app before you check out.

Savings: $208 per year ($4/week on discounts)