Mobile technology has helped people in many ways as it has grown more ubiquitous in the last several years, and now it's starting to reach more aspects of consumers' everyday lives. One way in which this is growing increasingly true is at the grocery store.
A large and growing number of smartphone applications are being developed to help people organize their shopping lists and save money on the items they were going to buy anyway, according to a report from ABC 13 in Houston, Texas. While people have long been aware that they can significantly cut the costs associated with buying food for their families each month, the prospect of actually taking the steps to do so is not often an appetizing one; very few people want to spend hours obsessively searching for and clipping coupons for the items their loved ones like to eat.
Good news for cost-conscious shoppers
That's where apps come in, the report said. A number of free and independent offerings now grant people the ability to find the best deals possible on the items they already plan to buy, comparison shop to see which stores have the most affordable items on their list, and so on. Many grocery chains are likewise getting into this game so as not to lose business elsewhere.
"A lot of this is being driven by the millennial generation," Nancy Childs, a professor of food marketing who has conducted studies about how these apps are used. told the station. "They're becoming householders and taking charge, but they're also influencing their parents."
Childs further adds that many of these app developers aren't doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, but rather because the personal data people enter into the apps, as well as the shopping habits they display, can be sold to grocery chains and others in the industry, the report said. However, concerns about privacy are often trumped by the fact that people really do like saving a potentially large amount of money, and in many cases people have already given similar data to other apps anyway, so those concerns are largely out the window.
The ability to save a little more money each month on groceries can quickly lead to a more solid fiscal foundation for consumers overall. That cash can then be devoted to paying down debts or building up savings, both of which could go a long way toward ensuring a better financial situation in their lives.