Thursday, August 22, 2013

Grocery Gadget

I am probably one of the worst grocery shoppers. Even when I actually make and remember  to bring my list, I still manage to walk out without stuff on it. I am easily swayed by sales or coupons and end up spending money on something I won't eat or use, justifying it by saying, "But I saved 50 cents!"

Now that I am grocery shopping for more than just myself and I live at least 20 minutes from the nearest grocery store, I have to get better. And when J and I have tried to plan a budget and think about what this year will be like financially, I realize I have no idea how much I spend on groceries every week or month. I also shop at several different stores but have no idea how the prices compare. Sometimes one feels cheaper, but I've never tracked it closely enough to know if it's true. I'm not trying to be a crazy coupon lady, but I'd like to make smarter decisions in my weekly shopping.

In the age of the iPhone, I figured there must be an app that would help me do that. I asked for suggestions on social media, and just got one tip. I didn't really like that option, but by reading the reviews, I found Grocery Gadget. I'm still getting used to it, and it is taking time to build the database of what I buy. But overall, I think it will help.

I am able to create a weekly grocery list using a list of products or by adding new ones. Then I can get on before I shop specify quantities of stuff I need to buy and leave off stuff I don't without eliminating it from the master list. When I shop, I can scan barcodes to add specific item information to the database and put in the price of each item. The first time I used it, I added that info as I shop. It helped at checkout because I knew how much stuff was supposed to be. But I can also add the info when I unload groceries if I'm crunched for time at the store. I can add prices for items at each store I shop at, so I will actually know if I got it cheaper somewhere else or if I'm getting a good deal and should buy more at the cheaper price.

On the website, it tracks my spending by month, so I can actually account for what I spend on groceries and maybe I'll even start to see a difference. I'm also using it to track buying gas and even those 3 or 4 item trips to the store since those add up after a while.

We'll see if I can keep up the work required to continue to track it.

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