An app to save money on gluten-free food?

how to save money gluten free food

Grocery shopping is expensive. Gluten-free grocery shopping is EXPENSIVE. Sure…you can stay out of the gluten-free aisles at the grocery stores and simply purchase naturally gluten-free food all of the time. But for the majority of people with celiac disease, that is just not the reality.

Based on this reality, I am considering building an app to help people save money on GF food. It would include over 75 coupon codes to online GF companies; company run promotions; grocery store coupons to GF good; Amazon deals, and whatever other kind of savings we can find. But naturally, this is a big investment of time and money on my end, so I wanted to see if the idea had legs before I proceeded. A few weeks ago, I sent out a 4-question survey to get people’s thoughts on the app. (You can take the survey here.)

So far, we have received 1,461 submissions. I thought today I’d take some time to go over the results and to answer the most commonly asked questions as well.

Survey Results

Question 1: Which features would you find the most valuable in the app?

From most selected to least selected (they could select multiple):

  • Grocery store GF coupons: 1,261 (out of 1,461 submissions)
  • Coupons and discount codes for purchasing online GF products: 1,179
  • Amazon deals on GF food: 1,110
  • Product user reviews: 730
  • General tips for saving money while living GF: 676
  • Ability for users to add a coupon they come across: 642
  • Option to filter by other food allergies/intolerances as well: 599
  • Push notifications when a new coupon is added: 593

Question 2: Based on the above features, how interested would you be in the app?

  • Very interested: 73%
  • Neutral: 23%
  • F**K off Not interested: 4%

Question 3: Which kind of payment option would you prefer?

  • One-time purchase: 80%
  • Annual subscription: 20%

Question 4: Do you have any other suggestions or comments about the proposed gluten-free savings app?

Many people simply said No (or some variation of it) but there were a lot of interesting questions/comments, which I’ll know respond to below.

Answers to your questions and comments

Q: Why a separate app? Why not build this into your current Gluten Dude app, where you already have a section for coupons?

A: We received many varieties of this question. Overall, I get the sense that people are getting pretty sick of apps and they’d rather not add another one to their phone. I completely get it. This app though would have a lot more ways to save than the coupons on the current app, where we ONLY list online companies who provided us with a coupon code. Most experts say an app should do one thing great and the last thing I want to do is make the current app more complex than it needs to be.

There would be a lot of functionality in the new app, and the way the current app is built, it would be extremely difficult to integrate it easily, UNLESS I REBUILT THE CURRENT APP (which I’m considering). I have not made a decision on this yet.

Q: Can you make it free? I really don’t want to pay for another app.

A: Mobile apps are very expensive to build and run. If I told you what my monthly nut is on the GD app, you’d be shocked. So free is not really a viable business option, unless you have a sh*t ton of eyeballs and can get advertising/sponsorship/paid listings, etc. Since GF is a somewhat niche industry, it would be very difficult to cover the costs using just these methods, but not impossible, so we’ll see. That being said, the app would not be expensive (most likely a one-time cost under $10) and there would be a free trial.

Q: Would you be able search by location, since many stores are regional and many companies don’t ship outside the U.S.

A: Yes. The idea is that it would use your current location by default (if allowed) and then allow you to search other locations as well.

Q: Can it include a barcode scanner?

A: I am not going in that direction. There are already a few apps out there that do this. Plus I think label reading is still the best way to keep safe.

So that’s the gist. There were tons more comments that I will take to heart but the above were the most common themes.

What say you? Like the idea? Hate it? Have a suggestion? I would LOVE your feedback. Feel free to leave a comment below.

Many thanks,

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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