In the last 2 years, using coupons has become even easier. No longer do you need to clip coupons, look for them in the store or remember to bring them with you.
There are coupon apps available on your smart phone or tablet. In my experience, I have found that these apps are made available for iPhone first, then Android and sometimes Blackberry. (sorry blackberry users!)
The current apps available in Canada are Checkout 51, Cartsmart, Snap and Zweet.
These apps all work generally the same way.
Manufacturers make coupons available weekly, you shop, and then take a picture of your receipt. You check which item you bought from the list of coupons and hit submit. You will then get an email back when your submission has been approved and you get that coupon amount added to your account. You can see in this first picture that I have used the Lipton tea coupon so that is why there is a check mark beside it. Once you have $20 accrued in your account, you can request a cheque. It's that easy!
Some of the apps will only give you credit for 1 item, others may give you credit for 2 or more. For eg. - let's say we have a $3 Advil coupon available for one week on Checkout 51. If you buy 2 bottles and submit a picture of your receipt, you will only get a $3 credit in your account, not $6.
Read the fine print on the coupon before you make your purchase.
Lately, Cartsmart has had some really fun and different coupons available.
Earn $1 when you buy a $15 iTunes card
Earn $1 when you buy a magazine over $5
Earn $1 when you submit a Costco receipt over $25
Earn $1 when you submit a movie receipt over $10
Quite often you will get an extra $1 added to your account if you claim $5 in one week.
Of course, I have to find a way to maximize these coupon apps. Here are a couple tips that I've learned:
1) If there is a $3 Clear Shampoo coupon in the app and I have a $3 paper Clear Shampoo coupon - I can use both. So let's say I find the shampoo on sale for $3. I use the paper coupon when I buy it. Get the shampoo for free and also submit my receipt. I have now made $3 by buying shampoo!
2) Always look over the new coupons on the apps when they come out. For Checkout 51 and Cartsmart - that is Thursday morning. For Snapsaves - they add new coupons everyday. For Zweet, they post new coupons on Wednesday.
If it's a popular item - buy your item and submit right away, there are only a limited amount of coupons available.
3) Occasionally the same coupon will be available on 2 apps at the same time. A couple months ago, Panabello pizza was on sale for $2.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart. Panabello was on Snapsaves and Checkout 51 for $1. I bought the pizza for 2.99 and then I submitted the receipt to Checkout 51 for $1 and SnapSaves for $1. Both submissions were approved and I got a pizza for .99c!
I usually take a picture of my receipt as soon as I get in my car, or I will forget. There is nothing more maddening then finding the receipt in your pocket a week later and it's too late to submit or realizing you threw it out when you unpacked your groceries!