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The 5 Most Useful Free iPhone Apps

No. 3: Safeway

Safeway (SWY) owns and operates several grocery store chains including Safeway stores, Vons and Tom Thumb. You can download the same app under any one of those brand's names.

I shop at Von's offshoot Pavilions.

If you patronize a Safeway store, a checkout clerk has likely asked you to sign up for the "Just 4 U" program. To opt in, you download the iPhone app and link to the rewards card account you already have or simultaneously create with the store.

The app looks at your purchases -- past and present -- to provide "Just 4 U" deals. It's personalization at the grocery store. It also lists deals available to all other club card and weekly ad shoppers. You can take any of the deals, add them to your "card," and then add them to a shopping "list" in the app.

Positive: The Just 4 U feature is legitimate. I get regular and meaningful savings on items I actually use.

Negative: Safeway hasn't figured out how to provide a road map so you can put your list in some logical order as you navigate the store.

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