While technology sometimes offers us entirely new options, it more commonly refines everyday life. Couponing is one example.
People have been saving money with coupons for decades, but the proliferation of mobile Internet offers new opportunities. The ‘drops’ of saved cents can really add up at the end of the year.
Let’s have a look at a few ways you can save buckets of dough with your computer and mobile phone.
Double Your Money With Online Gift Cards
Gift cards are popular with merchants. Selling a gift card means they’re able to take the income from a sale before it’s actually provided. This may be why gift card offers are so popular.
You don’t have to wander far to find double-your-money gift card deals. Google Offers and Groupon serve them up on a daily basis. The idea is simple – you buy a gift card for a set price, but receive double that money on the card itself. It’s effectively 50% off whatever you purchase.
Provided you use the gift card, that is. Some people inevitably forget to use it, which is why these offers can be made so enticing. If you can avoid that trap you’ll save a lot of cash.
Save Money With Online Prices
It’s no secret that online prices are often lower than those that you can find in stores. That doesn’t always save you money when you’re shopping retail, but in certain situations an online price can act like an in-store coupon.
There are two cases where this can happen. One is when a store is running an online deal that’s not being advertised in-store. Simply popping over to the website will reveal it, and this can be done on a mobile phone. Sometimes the online price is not considered valid in-store, but if the online item is available for pickup, you can use that to side-step the restriction.
It’s also becoming more common for stores to extend price-matching policies to online vendors. This probably isn’t true of your local grocery store, but it may be true at your local electronics store. If you see an attractive online price print it out and take it with you or save it to your phone, then show it to customer service at the store you’d like to buy from.
Find Local Coupons And Deals
One of the problems with couponing is its lack of flexibility. Maximum savings is achieved by planning ahead, clipping coupons and then visiting specific stores. Want to go someplace else? Too bad.
Coupon apps on your mobile phone provide the solution. A number of services – some you’ve probably heard of, and some you probably haven’t – now offer location based coupons. Options include:
Location based coupons are also handy because they can often be redeemed with nothing more than your phone. This keeps your wallet full of cash instead of a haphazard collection of coupons you might find useful.
Organize Coupons For Maximum Savings
Keeping track of coupons is always difficult. If you’ve ever tried to redeem more than a few coupons at once – or you’ve been stuck behind someone trying to do the same – you know what I mean. It seems inevitable that a coupon is lost, or expired, or invalid.
A coupon-tracking app can help. The best app appears to be Track My Coupons for iOS. It can provide expiration notifications and sync with your computer to ensure your list is up to date.
Android users should check out Grocery Smarts Coupon Shopper, which automatically provides you with information about current offers at major stores and cross-references them to help you discover those which can be used together.
Finding and organizing coupons on your computer and smartphone is a great idea, but it also can be complex. The apps and tips above help, but there’s no all-in-one solution that works on every smartphone and every computer. You’ll need to use a combination of coupon services, organization apps and retail websites.
Also Read: The MakeUseOf Online Shopping Guide
How do you find and track coupons? Let us know in the comments.