Friday, June 23, 2017

Digital couponing

In another post, I talk about how I feel about couponing. Here I will talk about digital coupons and digital rebating. Back in the day, there were no digital coupons or smart phones and rebates had to be done by mail. You would find a pad of rebate coupons hanging on the shelf in front of the rebated item and you would have to cut out the UPC symbol off of the package and mail it along with your register receipt to the manufacturer to get your rebate. This has all but gone away for everyday groceries. You can still find a lot of this type of rebates being done with beer, wine and alcohol, as well as non grocery items.

In today's world, we have smart phones and apps like IBOTTA, CHECKOUT 51 and SAVINGSTAR. There are several others that are more niche for organic foods that you would have to go to Whole Foods to find. Probably the biggest of the 3 is Ibotta. If you are not familiar with this app, it works like this: you find a store you shop at on the app, find a product you are going to buy and after doing your grocery shopping, you will take a photo of your receipt after highlighting which products you bought. DONE! It usually gives you the credit for the purchase within the day. After you accumulate the withdrawal amount, which is $20, it will be deposited in your Paypal account or redeemed for gift cards. They do usually have a few generic items, such as a gallon of any milk or some produce. They also have ways to save money on your purchases at other stores, such as drug, sporting good, hardware, clothing, electronic and various online shopping sites. The other apps work the same way, but at this time seem to only have the grocery items. 
Another way to save on your grocery bill is to use online coupons linked to your grocery store's rewards program (and most have them these days). Many large grocery stores have their own app that will allow you to scroll through a list of coupons you can tap onto your loyalty card and they will be automatically redeemed when you buy the qualifying item. Not every store has the same coupons and usually you can only redeem the coupon once. The coupons offered will change regularly, so you will need to check it out before doing you shopping to be sure you are getting all of the savings you can. I have found this to be much easier than remembering to bring my stack of coupons into the store and have to sort through them to find the one I need every trip.

Overall, I have found using digital coupons and rebates is a lot easier than using paper coupons. The time savings alone make them worth the effort and you will have a good visual account of what your savings are.

Affiliate links are included in this post.

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