Have you guys ever watched the show Extreme Couponing? A whole cart of paper towels for $3! Twenty cans of soup for 50 cents! The deals on that show were unbelievable. I went through a phase where I tried to recreate their hauls by combing through my weekly Red Plum circulars, but I quickly realized that it would take a LOT of time to be able to get a whole cart of food for a few dollars. I decided that couponing wasn’t for me and resolved myself to a life of paying full price forever.
Until now, that is. I somehow managed to stumble upon three easy-to-use apps/websites that make couponing fun again. All you need is your smartphone and about five minutes per app to make this work! Read on for the details!
Kroger Digital Coupons
I may be a little late to the game, because I had no idea that digital coupons were a thing. I thought everything had to be printed out and scanned at the register in order for it to work, but the world is changing. Kroger has a digital coupon program that is super easy to use and even syncs to your Kroger card so you don’t need to remember to bring anything extra to the store with you. The Kroger digital coupons work just like regular coupons, with expiration dates and size restrictions (e.g., no trial size in most cases), except that they can only be used at Kroger.
To take advantage of digital couponing at Kroger, the first thing you’ll do is log in on the Kroger website (or create an account using your Kroger rewards card). Then, click “Digital Coupons” at the top of the page to get started. You’ll be able to browse coupons by category and sort the results by category, relevance, date added, or value. When you see a deal that you like, click “Load to Card” and the coupon will be added to your Kroger card! When you’re in the store and want to check out, you don’t have to hand over 30 little paper coupons. Nope–just have the cashier scan your Kroger card like normal, only this time all of the coupons that you preloaded to your account will also appear! The computer will magically take off any applicable discounts based on what you bought that day and the rest will remain on your Kroger card for you to use later (or until they expire).
The Kroger coupon site has a few helpful features such as allowing you to print your coupon list (so you don’t have to keep pulling up the website when you’re in the store) and telling you in bold red font the number of days remaining until a coupon expires. The system also allows you to filter by “new coupons”. I think this will only show you the coupons that have been added since the last time you logged in, but I haven’t tested this, yet.
Target Cartwheel is a digital coupon program specifically for Target that you can use via the Target app or the Target Cartwheel website. It has many of the same features as the Kroger program, with a few major differences.
First, you are only allowed to have 50 coupons in your Target Cartwheel account at one time. So, although there are hundreds of coupons available for you to browse through, you will have to be selective about which 50 discounts you want to take advantage of on a given shopping trip.
Second, the Target coupons are a simple dollar amount or percentage off of one item, so you’re probably more likely to use them. This is different than the Kroger coupons, which are more like traditional coupons in that sometimes you have to buy two or three of a particular item in order for the discount to apply. If you do end up buying more than one of an item, there is small print on many of the Target coupons that allow the discount to be applied to up to six times per transaction!
Third, you can use the Target Cartwheel coupons over and over again until they expire. This is so much better than paper coupons that you had to hand over to the cashier after using them!
The biggest difference between the Kroger and Target programs is how to redeem the coupons in store. You’ll need to either print out your Cartwheel barcode at home before you go to the store, or pull up the barcode on your phone when you are checking out. The cool thing is that your barcode never changes, so once you print it out you can just leave it in your car. Your latest Cartwheel coupons will automatically pull up whenever it’s scanned!
Pampers has a rewards app that gives you points every time you buy a pack of Pampers. The points can then be redeemed for coupons for Pampers or for one of their partners. The more Pampers you buy, the more/greater value coupons you’ll get.
You can start by downloading the Pampers Rewards app from the app store. Once you open up the app and create an account, you’re ready to start earning points!
What I love about this app is how easy Pampers has made it to earn points. After you’ve bought a box of Pampers and want to add the points to your account, all you do is click the plus sign on the bottom of the app (they even make it red so it stands out!) and allow access to your camera.
Use the camera to take a picture of the code(s) from your diaper box. On the big boxes (125+) that we buy, there are two codes per box. Each one is on the inside of the clear plastic diaper bags. The app will magically convert your code to points and your balance (which you can find at the top of the app home screen) will be updated.
To redeem your points for coupon, press the little gift box icon to the right of the plus sign. That will take you to a “store” where you can browse through prizes at various point levels. Right now, the first Pampers coupon is available at the 500 point level (you’ll get $3 off a Pampers purchase). However, there are coupons for other items available for as low as 30 points (e.g., $30 off your first Hello Fresh order). There are also a lot of good Shutterfly coupons available (e.g., 50 4×6 prints for 600 points!) if you’d rather use it on that.
I found out about the Pampers app when my son was five months old and I’m embarrassed I didn’t know about it sooner. Think of all of those unvalidated codes, just sitting in a dumpster or recycling center somewhere! It’s always fun to get rewarded for things that you buy anyway, and since we’ll be buying diapers for at least another year, I’m excited to see how much value we can get out of this.
We usually go grocery shopping every Saturday, so sometime during the week (usually during while bottle feeding my son), I take about five minutes to go through the Kroger and Target apps to see if there is a coupon for anything on our list. It makes the feeding times even more productive and lets us save a few dollars at the same time.
I hope I’ve left you with some easy couponing methods that you didn’t know about. What other ideas would you add to this list?