8 Smartphone Apps to Help You Reduce Waste and Save Money at the Grocery Store

World War I Era Poster, Committee of Public Safety, Department of Food Supply, South Penn Square, Philadelphia, PA World War I Era Poster, Committee of Public Safety, Department of Food Supply, South Penn Square, Philadelphia, PA

Americans waste a shocking amount of food. In this 2014 USDA Food Waste Report 133 billion pounds of the 430 billion pounds of edible food produced went uneaten. This translates to about 1,249 calories per person per day going to the landfill when 50 million of our fellow Americans are struggling to afford to eat. Your Food Bank does its part to help keep food out of the trash and in the hands of those who need it by rescuing more than 13 million pound of perishable, nutritious food items from the food industry including supermarkets, farmers, distributors and manufacturers.

Unfortunately, we can’t rescue food that is in your personal garbage bins. That’s where you come in.

When you waste less food at home, not only does it help the planet, but it helps all of us to get food in the right hands. Now there are smartphone apps to help you be part of the solution. Check out these apps below to learn how you can help end hunger, one emptier garbage bin at a time.

222 million tons

Inspired by the estimated amount of food that is wasted each year by industrialized nations, this app aims to do something about it by helping you make weekly meal plans with zero waste. App users simply select a meal plan and the number of people in the household and the app provides a custom shopping list and recipes. This free app is designed for iPad users.


Figuring out how to calculate the best deal at the grocery store can get tricky when products have different serving sizes and unit measurements. The Apples2Oranges app helps you easily compare the cost of two items by converting the price per item or serving into equal measurements. You’ll shop smarter and save at the checkout. It’s free and available for the iPhone.


How many times have you come back from the grocery store only to realize that you just purchased a food item that you already have and will now probably expire before you eat them both? With FridgePal, you’ll be able to keep your pantry inventory in your pocket and right where you need it. Create and share shopping list with your favorite frugal foodie and search for recipes using a combo of ingredients. Fans rave that they end up throwing away less food because the app keeps them organized. It’s free and available for iPhone and iPad.

Leftover Swap

This app patches folks with leftovers with folks who need something to eat and fast. Share your leftover by snapping a picture with your phone and wait for someone to claim your meal. They post basic courtesy tips such as “don’t give away any food that you wouldn’t eat yourself” and encourage food recipients to handle food properly and use their street smarts. It’s free and available for iPhone. Android version is in development.

Love Food Hate Waste

When your leftovers can use a new life, check out the recipes and shopping tips with this app. Created with the intention of reducing food waste, this handy app will help you get the best bang for your buck on all of your upcoming grocery shopping. It’s free and available for both iPhone and Android.


When the sniff test leaves you a little uneasy, you may want to use the StillTasty app to help you figure out when to throw food away. Not only will you know how long you should keep your food but you’ll also get an alert notifying you when you should throw it away. This app is $1.99 and only available for iPhone.


If you want to eat healthier or need to stick to a special diet and you need a little help in finding the best prices at your local grocers, Zipongo can help. Using this app you can compare prices on healthy food items from major retailers including Target, Walmart, Costco, Whole Foods, Trader Joes and more. It’s free and available for both iPhone and Android.

Coming Soon: PareUp

PareUp matches retailers with extra food on their hands with consumers looking for a good deal. The app will be free for consumers and retailers. PareUp makes their money by taking a percentage of the sale price. According to this interview with the app creators Margaret Tung and Jason Cheng, food banks and other nonprofits may get their own version of the app to match them with retailers.