As smartphones become more and more ubiquitous, we’re seeing all kinds of innovations being designed for mobile technology. One category that is growing is the mobile coupon front, with a lot of people are using their smartphones to snag and redeem deals. Naturally, I will explore any and every new avenue of saving money, so I’ve been intrigued to see this area develop. Last year at the Safeway Just4U event, for example, they unveiled the accompanying savings app that you could use while on the go to load deals to your card. Up until last week, I was using a first-generation iPhone (In true frugal fashion!), but unfortunately Apple doesn’t allow older devices to upgrade past iOS 3.1.3, so I hadn’t yet been able to try any of coupon apps out there. Last week, I received an iPhone 3GS as a gift, so one of the first things I did was install several coupon apps that I’d been anxious to try.
One of the apps I’ve been experimenting with is the Coupons.com app. This is an extension of their website, and basically gives you a hub on your smartphone from which you can browse and select printables. Once selected, you can either email the coupons to yourself for printing later, or if you have a select new printer, you could print them wirelessly. The app also lets you browse through savings card offers, which you can add to your various club cards when you login with your Coupons.com account. You can also browse smartphone-specific offers to add to your iPhone’s “Passbook” app, which you would then pull up on your phone and present to the cashier to scan the screen. This is probably the most unique feature of the app, since these coupons are unique to mobile devices. I have yet to try redeeming one of these coupons, but I’ll report back once that happens! The Coupons.com app is pretty straightforward and easy to use – it’s really just a supplement to the website, another way of making it more convenient to access and save coupons that you want to use.
Another app powered by Coupons.com is the Grocery IQ list app. This app is pretty neat and has a lot of functionality; you can create your own mobile shopping list, search for products to add, browse relevant coupons, use the GPS to pull up local store information, use the voice memo to add products to your list, or even utilize your phone’s camera to scan a barcode for an item you’re running low on to add to your list. You can also sync your list with someone else, which I could see being really useful – a smartphone shopping list is the ideal thing for someone like Jai, who will lose a paper list in 30 seconds. When I go grocery shopping, I usually have a notebook or large piece of paper with me so I can work out the total as I go – I treat my coupon shopping almost like a longform math problem, so my lists have running totals for cost before coupons, after coupons, and so on. I don’t know that I could make the transition to using lists on a smartphone unless maybe they built a calculator into the list (You can input prices, however). I know I’m the minority with that though! However, I will totally use this for outsourcing lists to Jai.
Do you use mobile coupon apps, and if so, which ones?
Click here to “Like” Melt Buttery Spread on Facebook, and then sign up for a free product coupon. You are required to share the offer on your wall and allow limited posting access in order to receive the coupon, which is a printable. FYI, it will display both your full name and Facebook profile photo on the coupon. Not all stores accept printables for free items so keep that in mind when redeeming. I’ve never heard of this product before so I’ll be curious to see where it is sold. Thanks, Free Fun & Fab!
In addition to the pre-prepared meals, we’ll be continuing to supplement with fresh foods as we have been on Nutrisystem. The photo above show an example of the type of things we’ve been picking up – eggs, brown rice, fruit & salad supplies. I snagged some savings on the Minute Rice and Dole Pineapple using coupons from the February issue of All You Magazine – I’ve been getting press copies of the magazine in the mail all year, which has been really handy. Since I run this site, I will often receive promotional items in the mail for review consideration; and I can’t think of anything more frugal than getting free coupons in the mail. I also used the January issue of All You to save on some cream cheese I bought at Walmart for a recent birthday party I hosted. Many of the coupons in All You are for products sold at Walmart – naturally, since the magazine is only sold in Walmart stores! – so it can be hit or miss whether I can use them or not, since I can’t get to Walmart often due to the distance; but I have still gotten some useful coupons from it. And of course it’s always fun reading the frugal articles and recipes!
We’re less than a week away from Valentine’s Day, and whether you’re thinking about a gift for your significant other or just shopping for candy to take to your child’s classroom, it’s likely that many of you will be doing some shopping for gifts this week.
1. Make a Gift:
When I was a child, I remember reading a short children’s story about a farm girl who starts at a new school right before Valentine’s Day. She was upset because she didn’t have the money to buy special valentines like her classmates, so her mother suggested using the resources they had on the farm – eggs, milk, flour – to make a batch of heart-shaped cookies. Her class loved her personalized, yummy cookies better than any other valentine, and the story finished with the recipe to make your own cookies. After all these years, that story still sticks will me, and I think it’s a timeless message! Whether it’s homemade treats, handwritten cards, a bouquet of wildflowers, or a craft idea you found on Pinterest, I firmly believe that DIY presents result in some of the most cherished memories.
2. Give Your Most Precious Resource – Time:
But what if you don’t have the funds or materials to even make a homemade present? Then you can create memories and do something special for your loved one by giving the most valuable gift of all, which is your time. With everyone getting busier and busier, quality time is getting scarcer than ever. Take an afternoon to just hang out and visit the park, watch a movie, go for a walk, play video games – whatever you feel like doing! The time we spend with others is what we remember all our lives, long after the chocolates have been eaten and the flowers have wilted.
3. Use Online Coupons….
If you have a larger budget and are planning on shopping online for something specific, take a few minutes before you place your purchase to do a little comparison shopping, then check for online coupons or rebates that may be available at the vendor you decide on. For example, if you’re shopping for jewelry, Red Envelope has a page of coupon codes including 20% off their jewelry, $30 off your order of $135, 15% off your order of general merchandise, or free shipping on order of $49 or more. Their diamonds aren’t exactly in my budget, but they do have some other more modest offerings. The clearance section had some items around $10 that would be a little more my style if I were shopping for gifts there! No matter how much you plan on spending, a bit of quick research on available coupon codes can quickly shave money off your order.
No, clearance candy probably won’t taste good in 2014, but there are plenty of other things you can find marked down now that can save you some time and cash next year – decorations, craft supplies, or other non-perishable Valentine’s themed items are all good buys for next year if you can pick them up at a steep discount February 15th.
Click here to load an ecoupon for a free 2-liter of Pepsi Next onto your Kroger card. The coupon is valid through February 23rd, however the coupon will only be available to add to your account today, February 8th, so hurry if you want this one! I think this may work at other Kroger stores such as Fred Meyer, but I’m having problems with my Fred Meyer Rewards card/account so I can’t test it myself to verify if my hunch is correct or not.
I have my first noteworthy coupon haul of 2013 to share with you!
Total Spent: $3.98
Total Before Coupons: $13.98
So a few days ago I got a coupon in the mail for $10 off a purchase of $10 or more at Staples. This was a “Surprise coupon” that resulted from being on a variety of snail mailing lists – the coupon mentioned my blog name, so I think I might be on this list as a thank-you for a previous project? Either way, I welcome free money! I decided to go for something practical and pick up two packs of Charmin. After my coupon, I paid on $3.98 for two packs of 16 double rolls.
Total Spent: Free!
Total Before Coupons: $2.06
PetCo is right next door to Staples in my area, so I dropped in to pick up a free can of Purina Pro Plan dog food and Friskies cat food. These coupons were both available as printable coupons from PetCo’s Coupon Page – I don’t see the dog food coupon on there now, but the cat food coupon is still available as of this writing. Note that you’ll need to be a PetCo Pals member to use these coupons – PetCo Pals is their free loyalty card. You can sign up easily and print the rewards card right from their website.
And I know what you’re thinking – “Beeb, you don’t have any pets!” No, but my Grandma has a dog and one of my best friends just had a new batch of kittens, so I picked these up for them.
Happy Friday everyone! Today we’re sending out congratulations to Super Coupon Girl reader Jules on winning our Contessa World Cuisine coupon giveaway. Enjoy your slew of free dinners, Jules!
My free Contessa coupon stash came in really handy over the holidays – we were invited to a New Year’s Eve party at a friend’s house, so as my contribution I picked up 6 bags of these meals so that we could cook them up at his house as a nice dinner/late night snack/carbs to absorb beer. We cooked the Orange Chicken and Mongolian Beef on our friend’s wood-burning stove over the course of the evening, and it was a big hit. I hope everyone else had a nice New Year; here’s to a great 2013!