Grocery Shopping apps – what’s available?

We all love saving money on groceries – and there are a few handy sites and apps to help you do just that. Here are three to have a look at  – and some pros and cons of each.

The weekly cost of food and other grocery items takes a big chunk out of the budget of most people (or those that have moved out of the parental nest, at any rate). There are a few online resources that can potentially help you to save money – or at the very least, refine your weekly shopping habits – and Canstar Blue spoke with Channel 9 about the pros and cons of the main ones.

Trolley Saver – Mobile App

Overall this is an incredibly easy app to use, which displays a huge number of specials across the three major supermarket brands (Coles, Woolworths and ALDI). A very useful tool to take to the shops! Some specific observations about its functionality include:

Site Navigation

Pro – Very simple to navigate, grocery items laid out by category, large number of categories means that user will have little to no problem locating what they’re looking for. In the case that they can’t though, a search bar is provided.

Con – None to speak of in terms of navigation. Items are easy to find, and simple layout makes navigation easy and intuitive.

Range of Supermarkets

Pro – It has the big three: Woolworths, Coles, and Aldi.

Con – Anyone looking for the inclusion of minor chains such as IGA, or the local greengrocer,  may be disappointed.

Geographic Location

Pro – the TrolleySaver app allows you to set your location (eg. your postcode), and then allows you to determine the distance you’re willing to travel from this point, from 1-50km. This area is then shown on a map, so say you’re willing to travel 10km from your current location; the app will show you that distance on a map so you can see which suburbs and areas are within that distance.

Con – The aforementioned map doesn’t display where the actual supermarkets are within your travel area. To elaborate, there are no Google Maps-style pins or markers to note the location of the various supermarkets.

Fresh Food Specials

Pro – The TrolleySaver app does list specials on fresh food and produce

Con – The app doesn’t have a specific category for fresh food; you’ll have to look through other categories (fruit and vegetables, meat etc.) to find the fresh food specials.

Can you save your shopping list preferences?

No

Check out how other shoppers rate our major supermarkets

Grocery Cop – Website

The Grocery Cop website is less of a money-saving tool and more of a third-party way to do your grocery shopping online. There is no real focus on deals or specials, making it less useful for those trying to spend less money. However that being said it’s still a well-laid out site, easy to use, and some may prefer it for online grocery shopping.

Site Navigation

Pro – Lays out groceries by category, making it easy to find what you’re looking for. In the case that the categories provided aren’t specific enough, the search bar will solve any issues you’re having locating a product.

Con – The number of categories is limited, meaning that there are a lot of products per category. People probably don’t want to trawl through a category if it has thousands of products in it. More categories with less products per categories may be preferable to a majority of people.

Range of Supermarkets

Pro – Grocery Cop shows products from both Coles and Woolworths, and even displays a useful price comparison under each product if it’s offered by both supermarkets. When you check out, you can choose to check out with either Coles or Woolworths if all products in your cart are offered by both supermarkets.

Con – The website doesn’t show products from Aldi or IGA. They say they’re planning on adding more vendors in time, but no word on when this will be or which vendors they’re planning on adding. Also in order to check out with Coles or Woolworths, you need to have an account with that supermarket’s online services and use that account’s details to check out with Grocery Cop. This means that if you’re not already signed up, you’ll have to first sign up to Grocery Cop, and then sign up to Woolworths and/or Coles, which may be more hoops than some are willing to jump through.

Geographic Location

Grocery Cop doesn’t display specials or certain products based on your geographic location; your location is        only relevant when checking out for delivery purposes.

Fresh Food Specials

Grocery Cop doesn’t display specific specials for fresh food; as with Trolley Saver, you’ll have to search for them yourself by going through the various categories. Also worth noting that Grocery Cop doesn’t focus on specials and savings; it seems to be more a way of grocery shopping online that allows you to shop the ranges of both major supermarkets without a focus on savings or specials.

Can you save your shopping list preferences?

No. No shopping list function so to say; you put items in your cart and check out, with no way of saving preferences or items.

Online grocery shopping: how consumers rate it

Lasoo Catalogues – App & Website

Lassoo essentially replaces the catalogues that you might otherwise get in your mailbox, with the convenience of having lots of catalogues in one place. Not being able to search by product can be rather annoying though…

Site Navigation

Pro – Catalogues for individual stores are reasonably easy to find. There’s a separate category for stores and store information.

Con – Unlike the other sites/apps which lay out products individually in categories, this app simply displays scanned versions of store catalogues, making it harder to search for individual grocery items. While you could theoretically type ‘apples’ into the search bar if you were looking for apples, the results are far from exhaustive, and unlikely to show you what you’re after due to the fact that this app isn’t just for groceries, but pretty much every store you can think of. Type in ‘apples’ and the app will show you iPhones and MacBooks before it will fresh fruit.

Range of Supermarkets

Pro – Has the largest range of supermarkets on this list. Woolworths and Coles are there of course, but so are Aldi, Foodworks, and IGA, which are far less common in these apps.

Con – None

Geographic Location

Pro – Uses your location to only display catalogues relevant to you, eg. the Woolworths catalogue for QLD rather than the catalogue for NSW.

Con – None

Fresh Food Specials

Due to the catalogue-based nature of this app, fresh food specials aren’t specifically promoted, but there were specials on fresh food in the catalogues displayed by the app. No way of   navigating specifically to specials on fresh food though, so you’re stuck with flicking through catalogues on your phone/tablet looking for fresh food specials.

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