Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No Clipping, No Mess Couponing

With one income and 6 people to feed, couponing is a must around here.  I am not a crazy coupon person, not like the ones you see on tv who have huge stockpiles or who dig through the dumpsters looking for coupons.  I also don't have the time to drive to a bigger town and hit the sales at every store.  I price match, clip the weekly coupons from the Sunday paper, and occasionally make a trip to the big city if the price is right on an item I can't price match at our Walmart.  I knew there were some couponing type apps that existed for smart phones but since I was the proud owner of a flip phone, I didn't really know much about them.  I also operate on the belief that if I have to invest too much time or too much gas into saving money, then it's really not saving me money because my time and gas matter.  So I wasn't willing to invest the mental energy into sorting out the apps to see if you could use them without a smart phone.  But then the flip phone died.  I ended up with a smart phone.  About that time, Groupon launched a new couponing app and it seemed like a good time to check out the potential of the apps.

It might seriously be one of the easiest ways to save money.  I have four savings apps installed on my phone.  Each one is pretty easy to use and operates on the same basic idea.  Buy an item.  Log into your app.  If the item you bought has a coupon, select that item.  Scan your receipt.  Have your receipt approved.  Wait until you have accumulated the appropriate amount of money in your account, then cash that money out.  Each one is a bit different in that they might have different dollar amounts before you can cash out or different ways to get you the money.  Ibotta and Saving Star require that you shop at specific stores.   Savings Star does say that while they will not prohibit you from using a paper coupon and an app based coupon on the same item, that does not reflect the intent of most manufacturers.  Several of the apps have ways for you to earn extra money by reading informational articles or by referring friends.  I don't really base my shopping lists off of the coupons that are available on the apps.  But I do peruse each one prior to shopping.  Aside from being an easy way to coupon without actually cutting any coupons out, many of the apps offer coupons for produce and milk, which are things I often do not get in the Sunday coupon inserts.  I like it a lot better than the Target couponing app, Cartwheel which requires you to show the cashier the coupon on your phone.  I like that I can scan my receipt at my convenience, also known as "when my children are not around."

Definitely worth checking out-

Check Out 51
Saving Star

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