BY CAIT CARTER
There are few places that students can find flyers and coupons these days, except for online.
“When we lived in residence, we thought we could find flyers but they weren’t delivered to us. So we tried to find other solutions like finding them online, but it was hard,” said Michal Martyniak, co-creator of the reebee app.
The struggle of Martyniak and his fellow students inspired the creation of an app that would make it easier for anyone to find discounts and sales in their area.
Reebee, started by Kitchener’s Tobiasz Dankiewicz and Martyniak, is providing an option for people for haven’t learned how to budget and also enjoy using their phones.
The app takes your location and a range of distance for you to travel, from as short a distance as 10 kilometres. From there, the app gathers all flyers from stores in your area, showing you where all the discounts are.
The app also allows users to search for specific items in the flyers, and also offers the ability to create a shopping list based off of items in the flyers.
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“All students have to do is find a store with price matching … they can take advantage of that. They can go to one store instead,” explained Marc Heroux, content manager at reebee.
The app also encourages price awareness for people who do not have experience shopping on their own.
“Because [students aren’t] used to the whole shopping role, they don’t know if a sale is good or not. You build that experience as you grow, so students are at a disadvantage. Reebee encourages them to be price aware,” said Heroux.
Society likes to portray the student as an instant noodle devouring, mac and cheese consuming creature who spends as little money as possible on food, but in reality, students are always looking for alternatives.
Some people are food-lovers, looking to make exciting dishes they’ve found online. Others are bakers, with a passion for making cookies in their spare time. Students are often trying to eat healthier, and that includes something a little more beneficial than pasta drenched in cheese sauce made from a powder.
What we can admit, however, is that society has become devoted to our phones and tablets.
With the increase usage of these electronics, companies like reebee are seeing great success in simplifying the shopping process. Reebee alone has received more than a million downloads, and has more than100 5-star reviews on the App Store.
Canadian consumers identify food prices as the third top concern they worry about, after the economy and debt and before health according to Nielsen, a market research company.
“I’ve been going from paycheque to paycheque ever since I moved away from home,” said Tim Brandon, 24, who has lived alone for over two years, and has a passion for cooking that often consumes his income.
“I feel like if I’d actually been taught how to make create a budget growing up, I’d probably be in a much better situation now.”
“If I spot something good I go buy it, but usually we stick to one grocery store that has the quality and price of which we like. We take flyers from that store and follow what is new there,” said Elizabeta Stamenković, 23. Stamenković is a mom and also a student, making shopping even more important as she looks for other deals.
“As long as reebee doesn’t rely on data or wifi for me to see my store deals, and I can have them locally on my phone, I’m happy,” said Brandon.
Currently users cannot search for items while not connected to the internet, but can view saved items on their shopping lists on the app.
“I’d find it pretty useful, I’d just be worried that the info was updated properly. I’d hate to show up at a grocery store and find out that it was sold out, or the app didn’t register it,” said Stamenković.