How To Coupon: Couponing Goes Digital
On a recent shopping trip, a staff person greeted me at the door to tell me about a new app for smartphones. She explained the app would save time by transforming my phone into a handheld scanner, and I agreed to try it out. (For more on how to use handheld scanners to save money, click here.)
Unfortunately, my review is not good — for now. Start-up took far longer than just grabbing a scanner. Wifi is required, and long minutes ticked by as my phone tried and tried to get on the store network. When it was finally successful and I started to shop, many of the items I wanted weren’t found when I scanned them. I’d already wasted so much time getting started that I didn’t want to wait in line at the service desk to resolve this, so I just gave up and bought less. (From that perspective, I guess the app did help me save money!)
I won’t use the app again unless these problems are fixed, but if they are, I think the app would be convenient. I’d certainly rather hold just my phone than juggle my phone and a scanner.
Fortunately, there are other apps out there that are helpful. Recipe.com’s shopping list app is brilliant. When I empty, say, a bag of sugar, I scan its bar code, and it’s added to my list. The app then tells me where sugar is on sale in my area — far better than my old method of repeating the word sugar to myself three times and hoping I’ll remember to pick it up next time I’m at the store.
I also love mobile coupons, which appear on my phone various ways. Target’s website invites visitors to register for a weekly text, which contains a link to their mobile coupons; other stores offer an app that, once opened, displays coupons. These coupons display a bar code on the phone’s screen, which is scanned at the register. Check our your favorite store’s website to see what apps and digital savings are available — and keep checking back, as these offerings are updated frequently.
Shop smart and save! Check out more tips on couponing and savvy shopping!