Christa Geraghty | 

Flashfood: Can This Free App Really Save You 50% on Groceries?

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If you’ve heard about the Flashfood app but are skeptical about how much you can really save by using it, you’ve come to the right place. I’m here to explain everything you need to know about why this free app deserves a spot in your phone (right alongside The Krazy Coupon Lady app, of course).

Here’s the quick rundown: Flashfood lets you buy close-to-expiring food from nearby grocery stores at a deep discount. The app basically serves as the middleman between you and the stores, letting you browse and purchase items through the app and then pick up your goodies at your grocery store. In some cases, you can find food for more than 50% off! So what’s the catch? And how do they make their money? Let’s break it all down.

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1. Flashfood is a free app that lets you buy discounted food from participating grocery stores.

person looking at the flashfood app on their iphone

Grocery stores often have to throw away unsold produce and meat that’s close to reaching its “Best By” date. With the Flashfood app, you can step in and buy that food before it’s thrown away at a deeply discounted price. Once you download the app, you’ll see a map of participating grocery stores near you.

And there’s another perk besides the discounts. When you buy food through Flashfood, you’re also helping to reduce food waste.

Related: Have you ever shopped at a discount grocery store? We can show you how they work.


A quick overview of how Flashfood works:

  1. Download the Flashfood app (iOS / Android).
  2. Create an account with your email address, Facebook account, or your Google or Apple ID.
  3. Select a participating grocery store near you and browse their items.
  4. Add items to your cart, then tap “Checkout” when you’re done.
  5. Enter your payment information.
  6. Confirm the grocery store location where you want to pick up your food.
  7. Head to the store for your pickup!


2. More than 800 U.S. grocery stores are on the Flashfood app.

Flashfood is offered at over 800 grocery stores across several U.S. states, including Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin. They also partner with grocery stores in Canada, too. Use their website to find stores near you that participate.

Here are some of the stores that you can shop through Flashfood:

Flashfood recently partnered with a chain of pet stores in Canada, so here’s to hoping we’ll see U.S. pet stores pop up on the Flashfood app soon!

Tip: If you’re looking for discounted foods from restaurants and bakeries, check out the Too Good To Go app.


3. You can save up to 50% on fresh and frozen foods like meat, produce, dairy products, snacks, and more.

With the deals you find through the Flashfood app, you can usually save up to 50% on a range of both name-brand and private-label foods.

For example, here are a few of my recent buys that saved me half off their regular prices:

  • Homestyle Stuffing, 12 oz, $1.99 (reg. $3.99)
  • Rondele Gourmet Spreadable Cheese, 6.5 oz, $2.64 (reg. $5.29)
  • Total Cluster Fudge Chicks Mix, 12 oz, $3.24 (reg. $6.49)
  • Up North Teriyaki Meat Sticks, 16 oz, $3.24 (reg. $6.49)
  • Dietz & Watson Provolone Cheese Slices, 8 oz, $3.99 ($7.99)
  • Meijer Whole Boneless Ham, 9.6 lb, $19.15 (reg. $38.30)


4. Items you buy through the Flashfood app are usually less than a week away from expiring.

person looking at the expiration date on a box at the grocery store

Usually, the food you find through the app is less than a week away from expiring. However, at my local Meijer, I have found several items months away from their best-by dates. For example, when I checked the app in early March, I found these deals:

  • International Delight Creamer, Almond Joy Flavor, 32 oz, $1.92 (reg. $3.85), April 20, 2023
  • Daniele Portofino Salame Genoa Stick, 7 oz, $3.14 (reg. $6.29), Aug. 1, 2023
  • Meijer brand Drizzled Caramel Popcorn Bowl, $3.49 (reg. $6.99), Nov. 1, 2023
  • Leonard Fancy Assorted Christmas Cookies, $4.49 (reg. $8.99), June 1, 2023
  • Columbus Charcuterie Tasting Board, 12.5 oz, $7.19 (reg. $14.39), March 31, 2023
  • Total Chocolate Fudge Sweet & Twisted Party Tray, $8.99 (reg. $17.99), June 1, 2023

TIP: None of the foods sold through the Flashfood app are expired. Any frozen foods were frozen before their best-by date.


5. You won’t pay extra fees with the Flashfood app.

The Flashfood app is free to use, and there are no fees added when you pick up your Flashfood order at the grocery store. So how do they make their money? By taking a cut from grocery stores.

Basically, Flashfood has a fee-based model that gives them a percentage of every order. But they take this fee from the grocery store, not from you. And since you’re handling the pickup, there’s no delivery fee either.



6. But the selection of foods and stores may be limited.

While it makes sense to use Flashfood any time you want discounted food, you may not find exactly what you need because the selection and quantity of individual items will change every day. However, if you want to pick up a few cheap groceries and whip something up, the Flashfood app will most definitely help with that.

TIP: Unlike stores that require a minimum spend for pickup, Flashfood doesn’t have a minimum threshold to place an order.


7. You can only pay with a credit card or Visa debit card — or EBT card if you’re shopping through Meijer.

a person looking at their credit card while holding their phone

The only forms of payment accepted through the Flashfood app are credit cards, Visa debit cards, and EBT cards (but EBT cards are only accepted at Meijer locations right now). Flashfood will display SNAP on approved foods.

TIP: See all the latest locations that accept EBT in Flashfood’s Help section.


8. You can pick up your Flashfood order at the grocery store right away.

No need to wait for an email or text notification saying your order is ready. Just head to the grocery store. If this is your first Flashfood order at a particular store, be sure to check with their customer service counter on how their Flashfood process works, as it may vary.

Once you’ve shared your order number with a team member, they’ll check you out through the app and help you get your items from their Flashfood section — typically in the front of the store.

TIP: Anyone with access to your Flashfood account can pick up your order — no need to show a photo ID.


9. Pickup hours can vary, so check with your store’s customer service desk.

Like the pickup process, your individual store’s pickup hours can vary. However, pickup times typically coincide with the customer service desk hours.

At my local Meijer, I can pick up Flashfood orders any time between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily.



10. If you don’t pick up your Flashfood order, you’ll still get charged.

person loading groceries into a car

The “pick up by” date Flashfood gives you is the earliest expiration date from an item in your order. So if you have two items and one expires March 10 and the other July 22, your last day to pick up your order will be March 10. But picking up your order earlier gives you the longest opportunity to eat your groceries before their expiration date.

If you don’t pick up your Flashfood order by that date, you’ll still get charged for your order. And once food passes its expiration date, it’ll get thrown out.


11. Flashfood offers refunds on a case-by-case basis.

Although you can’t get your money back for missed pickups, canceled orders, or if prices drop, you can request a refund from Flashfood within 14 days of your purchase. Flashfood says they handle refunds on a case-by-case basis, but if you’re not satisfied, it’s worth reaching out to them.

Don’t bother asking your store for a refund, though, as the transaction is handled through Flashfood.


12. Refer a friend to earn $5 in rewards.

When you refer a friend using your unique referral code and they spend $10 on Flashfood, you each get $5 in rewards that you can put toward your next order. You can find your referral code under the Rewards tab of the Flashfood app.


13. There are a couple of cons to the Flashfood app.

Overall, I find the Flashfood app useful for saving serious money on groceries. However, there are a few issues with the Flashfood app:

  • It isn’t available for desktop computers.
  • EBT is only accepted at select locations.
  • They do let you enter your store loyalty card, but you don’t earn any points with Flashfood orders.

Another drawback is that they don’t offer delivery — but this is probably a good thing. If Flashfood delivered your discounted groceries, you’d likely have to pay for the service or add a tip, potentially reducing or eliminating all of your savings.

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