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?