This is how the ‘apps’ work to save on purchases at the supermarket | Your Technology | The country | The USA Print

Food prices have registered record increases. Although this increase lost strength in January with the VAT reduction, it still exceeds 15%. Avoiding the inflationary avalanche may seem like an impossible mission. There are some applications to compare the prices of products in supermarkets and save in the shopping cart. EL PAÍS has tested how SoySuper, OCU Market and Findit App work.

find it app

The FindIt app is designed to compare the prices of thousands of products from supermarkets and gas stations so that the user “saves as much as possible”. The Spanish spent 105,000 million euros in 2022, 9.1% more than the previous year and a record number, according to NielsenIQ. Findit App is only available on the Play StoreTherefore, it cannot be used by mobile users with the iOS operating system. To use it, you have to register or log in with Google. At the moment, it works with Carrefour, Mercadona, Día, Consum, Hiperber, Masymas and BM.

The user can find the products by searching for them by name or by scanning a barcode. Every time you pick one, you can see where to find it and for what price. The app also suggests several related products and allows you to save your favorite lists, products and establishments. Once everything you want is in the cart, you can check how much the purchase costs in each supermarket.

When looking for 1 kilo of SOS rice or a liter of semi-skimmed milk from Pascual, the application pins the price on Carrefour, Día or BM. However, it does not include the closest supermarket from where the search was made, which is Alcampo. “We are working to include new supermarkets and new features that improve the experience of our users,” say its creators. If there is something that differentiates this app from the previous ones, it is that it has a section in which it is possible to check how much gasoline and diesel are at the nearest gas stations.

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OCU Market

OCU Market is a database of more than 150,000 food and drug products. This app, which works in a similar way to SoySuper, is available both on the Play Store like in the app store. If you are not a member of the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), you must create an account. Then, when searching for a product, the application shows in which supermarkets near a location it is possible to find it and its average online price.

The user has two ways to find food: by typing its name in a search engine or by scanning a barcode. Although in the tests carried out by this newspaper with a mobile phone with the Android operating system it has worked perfectly, the same has not happened with an iPhone with the iOS 16 operating system. In the latter case, although the user can search for any product by hand, The scanner has not worked to read the barcode of the products.

  A user scans the barcode of an oil bottle with the OCU Market app.
A user scans the barcode of an oil bottle with the OCU Market app.GO

When searching for how much a bottle of oil costs, the app shows its price in Alcampo, El Corte Inglés, Hipercor, Día and Carrefour. Just below there is a button to view nearby points of sale. When pressed, a map appears showing all of them together with the price that, in theory, the bottle has. In the case of El Día, El Corte Inglés and Carrefour, the price of the product is nailed online, while in Alcampo it is about 15 cents more expensive on the web and in Hipercor, about five cents cheaper. The user can save their favorite products.

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A strong point of OCU Market is that it also offers nutritional information for each product so that the user can opt for healthier options. For example, about how much saturated fat, sugar, salt, or additives a food has. It also includes the product’s Nutriscore rating—a color code associated with letters ranging from green to red according to an algorithm that assesses saturated fat, sugar, salt, calories, fiber, and protein per 100 grams of product—and the NOVA index. , a tool to measure how processed food is.

IM super

SoySuper is designed to compare the prices of various supermarkets with an online sales service in Spain —Mercadona, Carrefour, Alcampo, Eroski, El Corte Inglés, Condis, DIA, Hipercor and Caprabo—. To start using this app, available both on the Play Store (only for older versions of Android) as in the app store, the user has to create an account and indicate his postal code. Depending on the one you enter, one or the other supermarkets appear if they have an online sales service and distribute in that area.

The user must choose a supermarket. In it, you can search for a specific product by writing or saying its name, scanning a barcode if you have it with you, or within categories such as “appetizers”, “pasta, rice and legumes” or “dairy and eggs”. Food is the sector that usually involves the highest outlay for Spaniards, according to the consulting firm NielsenIQ. When choosing a certain product, it is possible to see its price in different establishments. Once the shopping list is complete, the app shows what the price is in that and other supermarkets and what the shipping costs are, and even allows you to place an order.

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From EL PAÍS we have verified if the prices shown in the application of foods such as milk, rice, pasta or tomato and products such as shampoo coincide with those of supermarkets. On the web, in most cases they are accurate, although in some products they sometimes vary by a few cents. It is important to bear in mind that the app is designed for online purchases and not all supermarkets have the same products. So when switching from one to the other, some similar alternative might be suggested. In the physical stores, in the tests carried out by this newspaper, the prices have differed more frequently: cartons of milk about 10 cents more expensive in the supermarket than in the application of olive oil one euro more expensive.

IM super It is designed to make a purchase in a supermarket and then change to another. “You can make two purchases in one day in different supermarkets, but taking into account the current shipping costs (between 6 and 10 euros, depending on the supermarket), from here we recommend making an ‘itinerant’ purchase, every week or every 15 days, in different supermarkets, depending on prices, shipping costs and the needs of the moment”, explain its creators.

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