Saving money on groceries? There’s an app for that…

For most families, groceries are one of the biggest costs we have (barring the mortgage or rent).

According to a Canstar Blue survey, the average Aussie spends around $138 per week at the supermarket – so you can imagine what it costs for a family of four or five! It’s perhaps no surprise that Australians are embracing ALDI and reportedly keen for another discount supermarket chain to hit our shores.

If saving money on groceries is on your to-do list, a new app could be just the thing you need. Trolley Saver collates the grocery items that are on special in your area across Coles, Woolworths, ALDI and some small independents to show you how to save the most money on those things that you just have to buy. Canstar Blue caught up with Trolley Saver founder, Sam Lee, to find out more.

Q) What gave you the idea of developing Trolley Saver? Can you explain how it works?

A) The idea for Trolley Saver came about when I realised that I was a habitual shopper. I was visiting the same supermarket every time I needed groceries and was not considering the fact that my shopping list may have been cheaper elsewhere. To change this, I tried (for a short time) to match my shopping list with supermarket catalogues to guide where I should shop, but the 80+ pages of catalogues (from just Coles & Woolworths) made this unbearably tedious. So I designed an app.

Trolley Saver is a shopping list app that automatically links to supermarket specials. Our users enter items in the easy-to-use shopping list and we show them the specials that relate to that item. No more searching or comparing catalogues! Users then select the specials that they want to buy. When they are ready to shop, pressing a button tells users how much they stand to save by going to one, two or more supermarkets. The app also splits their shopping list into the supermarkets the user selects so they know what to purchase from where. Trolley Saver makes it easy for shoppers to have relevant specials information to base shopping decisions on.

The app also lists all the supermarket specials for browsing by category, by supermarket and also has a recommended section, which has our pick of the best specials. Typically these are specials that are lowest price ever, rarely on sale or are simply great deals. Users can click to easily add items they are browsing to their shopping lists.

Q) What supermarkets does your app cover and how often are the specials updated?

A) We currently cover Coles, Woolworths and ALDI’s catalogue specials across Australia. We’re in talks with other major supermarkets and retailers (e.g. IGA, Priceline, etc.) but don’t have an ETA on when they will be in a position to come on board. There are also small independent grocers that are utilising Trolley Saver to advertise their products/specials to users in their location (we are location-based so have the ability to customise specials at a local store level, which also means we can bring on board local independent grocers).

Q) How much would you estimate a typical family could save by shopping smarter for their groceries? Have you had any feedback from users?

A) There are a couple of groups of shoppers:

  • Those that shop for what they immediately need,
  • Those that see great specials and stock up.

We have received feedback that users are saving between $40 and $70 on their first shop. I think on average, however, our shoppers are saving approximately 20-30% each shop – simply by knowing where most of their shopping list is on special or grabbing even more savings by splitting shopping into multiple supermarkets.

Q) What are some of the biggest/best specials you have seen since Trolley Saver has been running?

A) Recently Coles has had some really good specials. Sirena tuna at 50% off and Luv-A-Duck Frozen duck at 50% off are rarely on sale so our users have been stocking up on these. Also some specials are better than half price, like these mobile phone SIM packs on sale (starting this Wednesday March 23, 2016): Amaysim Starter Pack, usually $44.90, now $10 (saving 78%) and Vodafone $30 Prepaid Starter Pack, usually $30, now $10 (saving 67%).

Often supermarkets will have specials on items that we would typically purchase elsewhere (e.g. stationery, pest control, mobile phones and plans, kitchenware, etc.) and these specials make the same items cheaper to purchase at a supermarket than specialty retailers (e.g. Officeworks, Masters, etc.).  So it really pays to watch for these specials and Trolley Saver makes it easy.

Trolley Saver offers both an Android app and iOS app. You can read the Trolley Saver privacy policy here.

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