When you think of “couponing,” your mind might immediately turn to the newspaper coupon inserts that your mom made you cut out for your weekly grocery store trip. Of course, digital or mobile coupons have been a thing for many years, but the couponing world is still rapidly evolving. Today, just 10% of consumers prefer newspaper coupons according to Blippr, a site that provides the latest coupons and promo codes. In 2021, there was a 13% increase in the use of digital coupons as inflation began to rear its head, according to data from Inmar Intelligence, which shows that some 59% of consumers turned to coupon websites for deals last year. Part of this was due to the uptick in online grocery shopping brought about due to the pandemic, while part was due to ever-climbing prices on the basics.
As we head into 2023 with prices for eggs up by 18% and prices for some meat and dairy products up by 36%, more consumers than ever are looking to save. Here’s how you can best navigate the couponing world in 2023 to save time and money.
Where The Best Coupons Really Are
We’ve long known that digital coupons were the future, but now they’ve almost completely taken over, according to Crystal Paine, Money Saving Mom. She says that while paper/printable coupons are still alive, she rarely uses them since she generally finds better deals using digital coupons. Hip2Save Founder Collin Morgan agrees, and says digital coupons are a no-brainer when trying to find quick and simple ways to save at the store. (Plus, you’re saving printer ink, and there’s no need for envelopes or painstaking organization. You can instantly add last-minute coupons to an app, or save a screenshot of the barcode you need. Some of the best apps to find coupon deals include Honey, Rakuten, Capital One Shopping, Ibotta, Dosh, and Coupons.com.
Make it a Game
Many of us may be more inspired to use coupons frequently if we can see how much we’re saving. That’s why it can be a good idea to use digital coupons from stores that have apps that keep a running tally of how much money you save when using coupons. (And websites like Hip2Save show you exactly how much you saved when you make it to the register.) Stephanie Nelson, The Coupon Mom, says that often it’s not about how much you save, but rather how much you spend. If you have the ability to buy in bulk, you often stand to save much more. And it can be fun watching the savings add up. Nelson says she even has her 29-year-old son in on the action: he watches sports on the weekends while clicking on digital coupons he likes. He gets such a kick out of seeing how quickly the savings and loyalty points can add up, he sometimes calls to tell her about his biggest wins. Whatever can get you excited about couponing is what you should stick with, because it will ensure you continue saving as much as possible.
Don’t Pass On Grocery Store Deals
Most grocery store chains, including Target and Walmart, have apps that can reward consumers with loyalty point savings and special deals, and in these apps, coupons are easily accessible and advertised. These coupons continue to refresh every day, and new deals will take the place of older or expired ones. When you’re a part of a company’s loyalty program, you’ll have access to these coupons and exclusive deals at no extra cost. Also, keep in mind that these chains grocery pick-up and drive-up services sometimes have their own deals, separate from what you’ll see in the app. For example, if you do a same-day service at Target (pick-up, drive-up or delivery), there might be special deals catered only towards those same-day services. You’ll see those deals reflected once you add to cart. And according to Money Saving Mom, her readers now prefer to order online so they can take advantage of those same-day deals. Not only does this method save you from impulse shopping inside of the store, but also saves you on gas. We call that a win-win!
The Bottom Line
Once you start to put a little effort into saving when you shop, it quickly becomes a habit, says Hip2Save Founder Collin Morgan. To develop the couponing habit sooner and tap into some of those skills easier, check out coupon sides like Hip2Save, The Coupon Mom and Money Saving Mom. They do they researching, vetting and testing for you, so the only deals they’re sharing are legit. They also recommend apps like Fetch, CoinOut, Shopkick, coupons.com and iBotta that offer rebates through brands and apps.
Of course, going back to coupon basics is always smart, too: know the sales cycles, try not to linger too long in the aisles, create a meal plan based on what is on sale, get those store discount cards, and stick to the list you made before going to the store. Couponing might seem intimidating and time-consuming, but by utilizing free coupon sites and the store deals in front of you, it can become a habit that is quick and easy.
- How To Find Bargains During An Inflationary Year
- The Six Best Coupon Apps To Save Money When Shopping Online
- Inflation And The New Way To Buy Groceries To Save Money In 2022
- 4 Ways Companies Are Passing On Inflation Costs
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