Virtually Clip Coupons for Real Savings
By Shannon M. Medisky
Want to not clip coupons, but still save, too? If you already have a grocery store loyalty card, it’s entirely possible and incredibly easy. In fact, it’s as simple as scanning potential coupons online, loading them to your loyalty card and then scanning your card at checkout. No newspapers, no clipping, no carting around tiny slips of paper. Yes, folks, it’s true. Couponing has officially been ushered into the online age, and nearly anyone with such a loyalty card and an Internet connection can start saving with coupons immediately.
To start virtually clipping coupons and racking up savings of your own, you’ll first need a loyalty card with a specific ID number attached to it. (If you don’t have one, just request one at the customer service desk of your local grocery store.) Then, you’ll need to join a site that offers the ability to download deals to your card. Cellfire.com and Zavers.com are two such sites that partner with thousands of grocery stores across the country. Creating your account at either site is completely free, but each offers a slightly different navigation system so do take a quick look at both to determine which suits your own style best.
Once you’ve created your account, you’ll need to link it to your specific grocery card by keying in your card’s unique ID number. When finished, you’re ready to literally start shopping for savings by browsing for available coupons and saving them to your grocery card. And there they’ll remain until the next time you scan your grocery card to automatically redeem the savings you’ve previously selected. This virtual coupon clipping system is admittedly a snap to use, but it isn’t without its downfalls either. If you don’t like the idea of someone or some company being able to track your purchases and monitor your shopping trips, then this service is most definitely not for you. It’s also worth mentioning that—if you don’t take the time to write down the coupons you’ve loaded on your card—it can be quite easy to simply forget to place the coupon items inside your cart when in the store and then miss out on the savings. (If this is a concern, most such services offer the option to print out a list of your loaded coupons for your convenience.) On the other hand, for busy households who don’t want to have to sift through a newspaper, or even buy a newspaper for that matter, this option fits the bill nicely. Also worth noting, it’s a greener way to save some green as there’s absolutely no paper needed for coupons of this variety.
For those super savvy savers out there wondering if it’s possible to double or triple these downloaded coupons, sadly, no it’s not. Nor is it permissible to use both a downloaded manufacturer coupon and a printed manufacturer coupon for the same item. And if you’re wanting to stock up using manufacturer coupons, this is most definitely not your best option. Usually each card is limited to only one manufacturer coupon download of each kind. If you’re looking to buy multiples of a particular item with a the same number of manufacturer coupons to snag the savings on each one, stick to the traditional paper variety. In this case, don’t fix what definitely isn’t broken.
Photo credit: MissMessie
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