College and university students don’t have it easy, what with loans, homework, and most of us living on our own for the first time. Budgeting, aside from the small section glossed over halfway through high school, isn’t a natural thing to do for most of us, let alone making and planning a grocery list. Forget scouring pages upon pages of flyers; reebee, one of the first mobile flyer apps, is an eco-friendly way to locate all your grocery needs and more.
Founders Tobiasz Dankiewicz and Michal Martyniak were in the same boat when they studied at the University of Waterloo in the early 2010s.
“[The creation of] reebee came out of personal need,” says Dankewicz. “When [Martyniak and I] moved out to university, that was the first time we were doing our own shopping. We were on a budget—a really tight budget—and we had to do groceries, but didn’t have the tools to save on groceries.”
With a bright, white and blue homepage, reebee syncs to your location and finds flyers in your area using your postal code, keeping the data updated as new flyers are released each week. Exclusively Canadian, the app already has over two million downloads—and the numbers keep climbing.
“We also focus on local stores—the mom-and-pop shop that might not be as noticeable,” says Daniewicz. “Out west there’s a lot of unique grocery stores.”
While many people rely on flyers to make up their grocery lists on a weekly basis, it can be hard for students as businesses tend to cut out residences and apartment buildings. With the fall of the Canadian dollar in the past year, budgeting becomes crucial.
“Flyers can save you a lot of money,” says Daniewicz. “Just by using the app, you’re automatically going to be saving because you’re strictly looking at the sale items.”
The app has come far since its debut in the summer of 2012. Moving from simple flyer browsing, the app now has shopping lists, a search bar, and will soon have a sharing feature within the next few months—great for those living in dorms or for roommates sharing a shopping list.
“When I was in university, I lived with three others,” says Daniewicz. “We split the grocery bill. You can have shopping lists on your phone and keep it updated.”
Though the app’s most popular use is for groceries, it also caters to a variety of other types of shopping, from department stores to clothing and furniture. “A lot of stores are starting to support delivery and free shipping,” adds Daniewicz. “Especially if you don’t have a car and have to bus everywhere. You can actually buy things directly through the app, which is super convenient.”
Though budgeting in itself can be daunting, there are other ways you can try to save money in combination with planning. Marc Heroux, reebee’s Content Manager, offers three tips to help keep a balanced budget in these tough economic times:
- Awareness: “When you’re building your shopping list, the price of each item is included in the title,” Heroux says, “so you’re aware of how much you’re spending.” Having that awareness when it comes to budgeting is key, he says.
- Price matching: Go to one store, preferably part of a chain, that honours price matching, and show them a competitor’s flyer. “Thousands of Canadians use [price matching],” says Heroux. “It saves on travel time.”
- Price competition: By using the app’s search option, finding sought-after products for the cheapest price is right under your fingertips. “You can see who’s selling [the item] for cheaper, even if price matching isn’t an option, which it sometimes isn’t. The old economic principle of price competition holds true with the app.”