Hopefully, by now, you have all your club cards and we're ready to discuss our third point in our Road to Savings.
Step 3: Electronic Coupons
I LOVE using electronic coupons. First off, you don't need to clip them or make room in your coupon orgainzer for them. Second, you don't need to worry about forgetting to use them, they come off when you scan your club card.
So, what are electronic coupons you ask? They are manufacturer coupons which you are able to load to your club cards from various websites. You will need to register with these sites and add your club card numbers so make sure you have them handy when you are signing up. Not all stores are participating in the use of e-coupons though, so make sure you check to see if your store does or not.
Once you sign up for your accounts and register your cards you are ready to start loading your e-coupons. Just check or click on the ones you want and that's it! Very simple to use. It may be helpful if you print out a list to know which ones you have loaded onto your cards to help you out when planning your shopping trips. When the time comes for you to check out and you are purchasing the items from the ecoupons just scan your club card as usual and your savings will automatically come off. Ecoupons are good for one use only though. They are taken off your club card after use.
One good thing about using ecoupons is that you can use both an ecoupon and a paper coupon on the same item. For example let's say you are buying Betty Crocker fruit snacks that are on sale for $1.50 per box. You have a coupon for $0.50/1 box and an ecoupon for $0.50/1 box of fruit snacks. When you check out and scan your card your transaction will look like this:
Fruit Snacks = $1.50
- .50 ecoupon
- .50 manufacturer coupon
= $0.50 for the box of fruit snacks.
If you are in an area that doubles coupons (like Ralph's and Vons do) then your $0.50 MQ will double to $1.00 and you will pay nothing for the box of fruit snacks! They will be completely free!
Now here's the best part for all you Vons shoppers...when you have loaded multiples of the same coupon whether from different or the same websites ALL of them will come off. (Ralph's does not allow for multiples to come off only Vons.) I'm going to use the fruit snack example from above to explain. Let's say you were able to load a $0.50 ecoupon from Cellfire and a $0.50 ecoupon from Shortcuts onto your club card. Then your transaction would look like this:
Fruit Snacks = $1.50
- .50 Cellfire ecoupon
- .50 Shortcuts ecoupon
- $1.00 (.50 MQ doubled)
= -$0.50 overage!!
Now the store won't hand you any money so you need to make sure you have other items like a candy bar or something small to absorb the overage you are going to get. I have been able to get tons of overage because of this and have used it to pay for other groceries lowering my out-of-pocket expense.
Below are the different companies that offer ecoupons:
Cellfire : Cellfire adds new coupons every two weeks. Each coupon is good for four weeks. This allows you to get multiple of the same coupon and get extra savings. Just fill out the form and you'll be able to start your savings. Don't worry about providing your cell phone number just make sure to uncheck the box for text messages. I have never received any unwanted messages or anything like that from them.
If your an iPhone user there is an app for this under the same name. Look up Cellfire and you should find it. This makes loading coupons and knowing which ones you have loaded so much easier.
Shortcuts : Shortcuts adds new coupons every couple of weeks as well. Occasionally they will add one or two throughout the month so be sure to check back so you don't miss any good deals.
P&G eSaver : This is for P&G brand products only. Like Tide, Gillette, Pampers, etc. This is only available to Vons / Safeway affiliate stores.
Albertsons : Albertsons does not participate in Cellfire or Shortcuts ecoupons but they have their own on their website. Click on the link above, add your zip code, click on Personalized Savings, then input your club card number. These ecoupons are usually only good for a week but you can check again at the end of the week for more offers.
Ralph's : Ralph's does allow the use of Cellfire as well as Shortcuts ecoupons but you need to load P&G coupons as well as store coupons from their site. They do not allow multiples to come off. Click on the Sign in/Register link on the top right hand side under the word Welcome to register your club card.
Vons : To be able to use your ecoupons form the Vons website first you need to register on coupons.com here. Afterward you can go back to the Vons website through the link above and click on "Load to Card" you will see a link that says "Sign up Today", click on that and a small window will pop up where you will fill in your email and club card number for the password use the same one you used to register at coupons.com. Afterward you will be able to load both manufacturer coupons as well as store coupons onto your club card.
There are two apps for the iPhone for coupons.com. First, there is the Coupons.com app this allows you to load ecoupons to your card or print them out as well. If you don't have a wireless printer you can just email the coupons to yourself and print from your home computer. Second, there is the Grocery IQ app. This one allows you to make shopping lists as well as load ecoupons to your card. Note: you cannot load the Vons store ecoupons to your card with these apps that is only available on the Vons website
Tonights homework: Sign up and register your cards with all these sites and load all your ecoupons.