Welcome to Day 7 of the monthly series: Learn How To Coupon!
Yay! We have made it through the first week of the series! If you’re just now joining us, this is a monthly series called “Learn How To Coupon”. Each post builds on the last post, so if you want to read what’s been posted before, then follow the links below:
Day 1: Anatomy of a Coupon
Day 2: Anatomy of a Barcode
Day 3: Types of Coupons
Day 4: Where to Find Coupons
Day 5: Stacking Coupons
Day 6: Coupon Abbreviations
Today’s Topic: Electronic Coupons
Electronic coupons are a great new way for shoppers to use coupons. It saves time, is more green because there’s no paper coupon involved, AND it’s either taken off right at the register, or deposited to an account depending on what programs you participate in.
We talked a little about Electronic coupons in Day 4: Where to Find Coupons. But I just wanted to elaborate a little more on some of the programs out there.
What is an Electronic Coupon?
Electronic or eCoupons, are coupons that you can download to your shopper loyalty card to be used right when you buy that specific product in the store. They are basically Clip-Less and Print-Less coupons.
There are also programs that have eCoupons, but instead of it coming off at the register, the amount of the coupon is deposited into an account for you.
You can also load eCoupons onto your phones at many of these sites if you have the right app for your phone. Some stores like Target participate in using cell phone eCoupons. The coupon is scanned right at the register.
Let’s talk about the different programs for Electronic Coupons:
Cellfire is a coupon company that allows you to load coupons to your shopper loyalty card or to your cell phone!
These coupons are redeemed right at the register, meaning that the coupon amount is discounted once they apply your shopper loyalty card!
Cellfire is also famous for being able to load coupons to your internet-enabled phone.
Here are some common questions about Cellfire:
Can I use a paper coupon with the Cellfire E-Coupon?
Though it may be possible, Cellfire does not promote the use of paper coupons along with their E-Coupons.
How Much does CellFire Cost?
Cellfire is a free service, however when using the mobile Cellfire application, you do need access to the internet.
I have multiple E-Coupons for a product, which one will be applied?
The E-Coupon with the most savings potential will be applied to the product.
What stores does Cellfire participate with?
Currently, Cellfire participates with the following stores: Baker’s City Market Dillons Fry’s Gerbes Hilander JayC King Soopers Kroger Owen’s Pay Less QFC Ralphs Scott’s Smith’s Carrs Dominick’s Genuardi’s Pavilions Randall’s Safeway Tom Thumb Vons ShopRite.
You can keep checking back if you don’t see your store listed, as they are growing!
You can see all the other FAQ on CellFire HERE.
Here’s how to join Cellfire:
-Click HERE. You will see a small link that says “Join Cellfire”.
-Enter your phone number (this will be your account ID), and other information. Then click the “Join Now” button.
-You will then be taken to a new page where you can view offers for the stores in your zip code that you provided. To change the store, simply click “Change Store” and choose from the list. You can also change the zip code if needed.
-When you find a coupon that you like, you can just click “clip”. You will then be prompted to add your shopper loyalty car number or account. If you do not have one, you can request one at customer service or online usually at your particular store’s website.
-Once you have entered that information and clipped the coupon, your coupon is linked to the account and is taken off automatically at the register when you use that card and buy that specific product.
-You can choose to print a list of what you have “clipped” online so that you can have it with you in the store.
-If you want to participate in downloading the coupons to your phone, then go to Cellfire.com on your phone, and they will automatically detect your phone and give you further instructions on how to download the coupons to your phone.
Savingstar is another great resource for eCoupons!
Savingstar is another Clip-less, Print-less company that allows you to download coupons to your shopper loyalty card.
Here’s how they work:
Everyday, SavingStar loads lots of new coupons to their website for you to use. In order to take advantage of them, you have to enter your Shopper Loyalty Card numbers to most of your local stores. That’s how they can track when you have bought a product that they had a coupon for.
Now the only difference between this program and Cellfire’s program, is that when you select coupons, they will NOT be taken off at the register. In fact, when using SavingStar, you will see no change at the register. They instead pay you back the amount of the coupon in an account with SavingStar once you have made a purchase.
That amount is usually given back to you within 2-30 days, depending on when the store sends in there data.
There are many choices for payout including: Direct bank deposit, Amazon Gift Card, etc..
Here’s an example:
When online at SavingStar, if you see a coupon that you would like, you simply click “I want This”, and it is automatically added to your list of coupons. You can do this after you have loaded your card numbers, so that they are able to track your purchases at the stores.
Once you have chosen your coupon, it will say “Activated”
They also have a Frequently Asked Questions Page
Here’s how to Sign Up:
-Go HERE to sign-up or sign-in with your Facebook.
-Create your account. You will have the option to add your store loyalty card account numbers as well. You can enter your zip code to see participating stores in your area.
-Choose the coupons that you like (as demonstrated above) and activate them. When you purchase that specific item and use your store card, then that’s all. *Keep in mind, you won’t see any change happening at the register or on your receipt. It will take about 2-30 days. You will also get an email telling you that your savings have posted.
-All it takes is $5 to be able to “cash out” or receive your savings back to you. You can have it deposited into an acoount, paypal or Amazon giftcard. You can also choose to donate it to various charities.
Shortcuts is another free service, that is provided by AOL. They offer multiple different sources of savings including: Electronic Coupons, Mobile Coupons, Printable Coupons, Online Coupon Codes and CashBack savings.
You can go HERE to see a full list of participating stores.
Shortcuts Mobile lets you add Electronic Coupons anytime, even at the store before you checkout.
You can also review your saved Electronic Coupons and make sure you’re picking up all the products you have coupons for. And, there’s no need to print your shopping list, access it right from you mobile device.
Printable Coupons offer the convenience of printing coupons at home and redeeming them at most stores nationwide.
Cash Back Savings lets earn cash back and redeem online coupon codes when shopping online. With over 1,200 online stores offering over 4000 coupons, there’s something for everyone.
Here’s How to Sign Up:
-Go HERE and fill out the registration form. This is where you will add any shopper loyalty card account numbers.
-Once you have signed up, you can begin to load coupons to your cards. You can add up to electronic coupons to your account at any given time.
-The Cashback lets you save with your online shopping. Earn 2-25% Cash Back at over 1,200 online stores. They tally your savings and send you a check every three months. And, you can even redeem an online coupon code for even more savings. We have over 4,000 to choose from. You can click the CashBack Tab at the top of the page to learn more.
UPromise, is a unique program that is different from all the rest that we have seen so far. It works in the same way where you can load coupons to your shopper loyalty cards.
But the amount of the coupons go into your child’s college savings account! You can also get other members of your family (grandparents, aunts, uncles) to help grow the savings by attaching their cards to the person’s savings account as well!
Everyone can earn money for college- parents with young children, family and friends that want to contribute, or students and graduates with eligible student loans to pay.
Here’s How the Grocery Part of UPromise works:
-Go HERE to Join. On the upper right section of the screen, you will see a simple form to fill out.
-Register your shopper cards
-Pay like normal. Rememer, there will be no change at the register or money into a personal account.
-All the earnings go directly into the UPromise account. Then, you decide if you’d like to invest them in a 529 college savings plan, use them to pay down student loans, or receive a check for college expenses.
-They also have many partners that you can read about HERE. These other partners also help in adding savings to a college account.
Many grocery stores also have their own Electronic Coupon programs. You can go to their sites and load store coupons onto your card to be taken off right at the register.
Also your local stores may offer printable store coupons as well.
FAQ about E-Coupons
Do my E-Coupons double at the register?
This question refers to stores that allow “doubling” at their stores with normal paper coupons. Doubling is when the value of the coupon is doubled for added savings. This isn’t everywhere, just at stores that allow it.
So many people may wonder if their E-Coupons would double? In my experience, this varies depending on the program AND the store itself. ShortCuts answer to that question on their website is that it may happen at stores that allow doubling, and is at the store’s discretion. This is another YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) instance.
If I have multiple E-Coupons for the same product, which discount will come off first?
If you are signed up with multiple Electronic Coupon programs, then you may see that sometimes a lot of the same coupons will be available. As far as I know, if you have multiple E-Coupons available, it usually takes off the highest coupon available to you. This may vary or be different, so don’t count on being able to “choose” which ones you want to use if you have multiples of them loaded at the same time.
Can I use Manufacturer or Store coupons along with E-Coupons?
This is a kind of controversial gray area. Technically, the E-Coupons from most of these sites are considered “Manufacturer Coupons.” (Unless you have store E-Coupons).
Because many of these coupons aren’t “seen” at the store, there is really no way to link them to being used with other manufacturer coupons. However if you read the FAQ’s on many of their sites, they are usually against using paper manufacturer coupons with E-Coupons. It kind of goes against that golden manufacturer coupon rule- One manufacturer coupon per item.
I have also heard that some of the sites like UPromise allow you to use paper coupons in addition to their coupons, but I don’t know for sure.
For me, I won’t personally encourage the usage of these two together.
As far as Store E-Coupons go, as long as there is no restrictions in the coupon policies of the stores, then you should be able to combine store E-Coupons with paper manufacturer coupons.
Yay for making it through Week 1 of our Learn How To Coupon Series! Please stay tuned for more topics, and great job!
See ya for Day 8!