Smart Buying

Lower Your Grocery Costs

A trusted app now has mobile grocery coupons, and a new site helps you save money by providing recipes that use ingredients you already have.

Coupon Sherpa, one of our favorite free iPhone and iPod Touch applications, has added grocery coupons to its line-up of mobile coupons for hundreds of retailers, restaurants and services. This is good news for those of us who like the idea of coupons but don't always have the foresight to find and print them before we head to the grocery store.

The app now has coupons for 28 grocery chains, including Kroger, Lowes Foods, Ralphs and Safeway. You can enter your zip code to locate participating stores near you and see what coupons are available in your area. Then you can check the coupons you want and save them directly to your store loyalty card (by entering the card number). The coupons will be applied automatically when you swipe your card at the checkout. It's that simple.

As with most grocery coupons, the ones available on the Coupon Sherpa app are primarily for brand-name, prepackaged items -- such as cookies, snack foods and frozen meals. But I don't buy a lot of these items. That's why I've found another new Web site to be more beneficial for me. It's called Gojee.com, and it helps you find ways to use food items you already have so they don't go to waste (and you don't just throw away money).

The recently launched cooking site lets you enter ingredients you have then generates recipes that use those items and clearly lists other ingredients that are needed for the recipes. You can also list ingredients you're allergic to or don't like to narrow your search results.

Other sites, such as Allrecipes.com, offer similar ingredient-search options. But what I like about Gojee.com is that it's easy to navigate, isn't cluttered with ads and looks like a cookbook with page after page (that you can scroll through like a slide show) of large, mouth-watering images of each dish. All of the recipes are handpicked from the blogs and Web sites of food writers and screened for tastiness.

I've already saved some zucchini and eggplant from going bad in my fridge with the help of recipes from Gojee.com. Give it a try and let me know what you think of it (or the new Coupon Sherpa mobile grocery coupons) by posting a comment below.

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