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The Realistic Coupon Guide for Everyday People
Extreme couponing may work for some people, but for most, it’s just not worth the time and energy. Fortunately, there are many easy ways to use coupons that don’t require a lot of work.
From mobile coupon apps to online coupon clipping, technology is changing how we use coupons — making it easier to save (no coupon binders required). In this guide, we’ve highlighted ten of the best, easy-to-use coupon apps for everyday purchases. Plus, you’ll get a clear and simple breakdown of where to find coupons – and how to use technology to make couponing an effortless part of your shopping routine.
Best coupon apps for everyday purchases
The best mobile coupon apps are easy to use — and unlike an old-school coupon binder, you’ll always have your coupons with you when you need them. Below are ten of the best mobile coupon apps for saving money with minimal effort.
Mobisave is one of best coupon apps out there for rebates. It deposits your rebates of any amount, usually within 24 hours, to your PayPal account. This is a major plus because many other apps make you wait until you reach a certain dollar amount to get your coupon payouts. Just select the offers you want to redeem and snap a picture of your receipt to get paid. Mobisave also offers a wide array of coupons for fresh produce and unprocessed foods, a feature you won’t find in many coupon apps. Download Mobisave for iPhone or Android.
Checkout 51 features coupons for grocery stores around the country. This includes discount grocers like Aldi and wholesale clubs like Sam’s Club that don’t accept manufacturer coupons in-store. The app features rotating coupons for fresh foods, too. To get your rebates, clip mobile coupons and submit a picture of your receipt for those items. Once your balance reaches $20, cash out your balance to your PayPal account. Download Checkout 51 for iPhone or Android.
Flipp compiles all of your weekly circulars in one place, making it quick and easy to compare offers. It also shows you how to combine mobile coupons with local deals at your favorite stores. Link your various loyalty cards with Flipp, and say goodbye to fumbling around with coupons at checkout. Just scan your loyalty cards, and your savings are automatically applied. Download Flipp for iPhone or Android.
Ibotta pairs really well with other coupon apps, allowing you to easily combine offers. For example, pair it with other rebate apps like Checkout 51 and Mobisave to find the most savings. You can also use an app like Coupons.com that get you discounts at the time of purchase, then use Ibotta to get additional savings by submitting a picture of your receipt. You can withdraw your cash payouts with PayPal or Venmo once you reach $20 in rebates. Ibotta also offers cashback when you use the app to shop at select online retailers. Couple this with a cashback credit card and the savings will add up fast! Download Ibotta for iPhone or Android.
Walmart Savings Catcher
Walmart’s Savings Catcher cuts out uncertainty over whether you’re getting the lowest price. Just scan your Walmart receipt using the Savings Catcher feature in the Walmart app, and the app will scan local competitors’ advertised prices. If it finds a lower advertised price, you’ll get a refund for the difference loaded onto an electronic Walmart gift card. Combine this app with other mobile coupon apps to get extra savings on top of those already low prices. Download the Walmart app for iPhone or Android.
The Coupons.com app makes it easy to collect and redeem mobile coupons. Load your coupons to store loyalty cards and collect your savings at the time of purchase. For stores without loyalty programs, just clip your offers and submit a photo of your receipt to get your savings via PayPal. If you don’t mind printing coupons, Coupons.com also has printable coupons you can save to print later for more in-store savings. Download Coupons.com for iPhone or Android.
SavingStar frequently features savings on niche products, not available with other coupon apps. You’ll also find high-dollar coupon offers redeemable in one shopping trip or over multiple trips. Connect your loyalty cards to redeem offers at checkout or submit pictures of receipts from featured stores without a loyalty program. Once you’ve collected $5 in your account, you can cash out your savings. Download SavingStar for iPhone or Android.
Shopular is a must for online shoppers looking to earn some extra cash back. Compare your favorite store’s weekly ads right in Shopular, then launch your online shopping experiences from the app. You’ll collect cash back on every purchase you make and get access to special bonus cashback offers. Pair this app with the best cashback credit cards to increase your overall savings. Download Shopular for iPhone or Android.
Snip Snap lets you create and share coupon bundles. You can search for digital coupons or snap pictures of paper coupons to digitize the information. This eliminates the need for cumbersome coupon binders because you can organize your coupons into bundles right in the app. When you’re ready to use a coupon, you can easily pull up its scannable barcode to redeem at many stores, restaurants, and more. Download Snip Snap for iPhone or Android.
RetailMeNot aggregates online and in-store deals for your favorite retailers and restaurants. As you select coupons, the app learns your preferences and presents more customized offers over time. Turn on location services to find coupons for restaurants and stores near you, no matter where you are. Download RetailMeNot for iPhone or Android.
Where to find coupons
Coupon apps will help you start saving right away without a huge time commitment. However, if you want to find additional easy coupon savings, you’ll need to know where to find and how to use online coupons and promo codes. If you have paper coupons lying around, there’s technology to help organize those into digital bundles.
Some of the coupon strategies below require a little more planning, but others, as you’ll learn, require as little work as simply installing a plugin in your web browser.
Mobile coupon apps make it easy for you to clip coupons for later use, similar to how you clip coupons online or from your newspaper. Just download the apps to your smartphone and clip coupons whenever and wherever you decide. These apps make it easy to manage your coupons and help to ensure that you always have your coupons on-hand when you go shopping.
Some mobile coupon apps also have a website where you can find and clip coupons using a coupon finder. This gives you flexibility to choose the platform — mobile or desktop — that’s most convenient for you to search for coupons.
Clipping mobile coupons
The way each app stores your coupon differs, though. Apps like Flipp let you load your coupons to your favorite loyalty cards. By loading coupons to the loyalty cards you already use, these mobile apps make it easy to redeem your savings at the time of purchase.
For featured stores without a loyalty program, apps like Coupons.com and SavingStar offer the ability to submit a picture of your receipt to collect your savings after you’ve already made the purchase.
Other apps like Shopular and Groupon store your coupons within the app. When you want to redeem the coupon, access your coupon on your smartphone to show it to the cashier or get the information you need to use it online.
Clipping mobile rebate offers
Some mobile coupon apps like Mobisave, Checkout 51, and Ibotta offer rebates after you’ve purchased an eligible product. With these types of apps, you submit a picture of your receipt, select the rebates you want to receive with each receipt, then receive money back, most often through PayPal.
You can now find most coupons online. Even the coupons you’d typically find in your local newspaper or weekly mailers like RedPlum and Valpak are now available online. There are many ways to use online coupons, and some are easier than others.
Here’s a breakdown of the types of online coupons you’ll find in the wild:
Clip Online, Load to Loyalty Card
Clip online coupons are the digital version of traditional coupon clipping. You clip these coupons to save them for later use at your favorite stores. Some websites like P&G Everyday allow you clip coupons online and link them to your store loyalty cards. This is convenient because your clipped coupons are automatically applied to your purchases when you swipe your linked loyalty card in-store.
Clip Online, Print Later
Websites like Whole Foods offer clip online coupons that you must print out. To redeem these coupons, you must present the coupons you’ve printed out at the time of purchase. While this isn’t the most convenient option, it may be the only way to save at some stores. Though, remember the coupon app Mobisave can get you post-purchase savings at any grocery store.
Clip Online, Use Online
Clip online, use online coupons are redeemable online, rather than at a physical store. These coupons typically require you to sign in to your online account in order to clip the coupons for later use online. Amazon.com/coupons is one example of this.
Lots of online retailers use promo codes instead of digital coupons. Typically, you enter promo codes when you’re checking out online. Every promo code comes with its own set of rules: some can be used multiple times, while others are valid for one-time use only. Some companies use promo codes to drive referrals, which means you get rewarded for sharing your promo code with friends and family.
Promo codes are easy and tricky to use at the same time. If you have a promo code on hand, you just type it in when you checkout to get your savings. But it’s also really easy to forget to enter your promo code at checkout time. There’s the risk, too, that a better promo code deal is out there and you simply don’t know about it.
The solution? We like Honey, a free browser extension that helps you find the best promo codes for every purchase you make online. It automatically finds and inputs promo codes for you when you checkout online, always searching for the best deal on your purchase. Honey also offers cash back rewards to its users, among other perks.
To download the Honey extension for Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Opera, visit JoinHoney.com.
Paper coupons are harder to keep track of and require more time to organize and manage. It’s easy to forget your coupons at home, or accidentally let a coupon you planned to use expire. However, if you’re okay with some of the downsides of using paper coupons, then there are definitely savings to be had. You can even use an app like Snip Snap to help you organize your paper coupons. Combine paper coupons with mobile coupons to get even more savings.
How to combine coupon offers
There are lots of really easy ways to increase your coupon savings without having to dedicate lots of time and planning. For example, you can use the Flipp app to discover ways to combine coupons with the lowest prices at your local stores. Then, check for additional savings on your purchases with rebate apps like Mobisave, Ibotta, or Checkout 51. You’ll increase your overall savings with just a few taps.
Here’s one example of how this works:
Step 1: Recently, Checkout 51 offered $2.00 cash back on the purchase of two packs of Scott® paper towels purchased Walmart.
Step 2: At the same time, Ibotta offered $1.00 cash back on a pack of Scott® Choose-A-Sheet™ paper towels. To get these savings, all you had to do was submit a picture of your receipt in each of the apps.
Step 3: Since you had to make this purchase at Walmart, you could also use the Walmart Savings Catcher to check and make sure that you paid the lowest advertised price for your paper towels, and possibly get another refund there.
The Bottom Line
Take advantage of the technology available to get effortless coupon savings. It’s up to you how much or how little time you want to invest in saving money with coupons. You can spend more time planning your purchases to combine in-store and mobile coupon offers if you chose; or, you can simply remember to snap a picture of your receipt with your favorite coupon app to save a little bit here and there. It’s that easy.