We’re all coupon crazy! And for good reason: With so many great sources online and on your smartphone, it makes no sense to buy something without at least trying to use a coupon.
The best sites and apps make finding savings fast and fun. ShopSmart, the shopping magazine from the publisher of Consumer Reports, suggests trying these:
• CouponNetwork.com. This site offers two ways to save. First, print manufacturer coupons that you can tote to the grocery store. Then receive YourBucks vouchers when you purchase featured items, which can be spent like cash on future purchases. You’ll also get additional exclusive coupons at checkout.
• CouponPal.com. Not finding great deals? Head here for online codes that you probably won’t find anywhere else. CouponPal.com partners with thousands of sites to give you exclusive savings. And you don’t need to sign up or give your contact information.
• CouponsForChange.org. This site is a project of Coupons.com. For every three coupons that are printed and redeemed, the company provides one free meal to a child living in poverty via Feeding America. There were almost 300 coupons on ShopSmart’s last visit, some very substantial, including one from DiGiorno (buy two pizzas, get one free).
• Reclip.It. This site is like Pinterest for savings, making easy work of organizing, saving and sharing your favorite coupons. Follow your friends and favorite bloggers to see (and use) their clips. The displayed weekly sales circulars link deals with printable and online coupons.
• ZenDeals.com. It’s a scenario that trips up even the savviest online shopper: You enter a promo code at checkout only to have it rejected. This site aims to make that annoyance a distant memory. Search what it says is the deepest inventory of verified codes on the Internet; the site guarantees that every one will work.
Save on the go
• Entertainment Membership Coupons (entertainment.com). Yep, it’s that thick Entertainment Book gone mobile. And the app does the book one better: It uses your location (or any address) to find nearby spots offering deals. ShopSmart found thousands, including two-for-one museum passes and 20 percent off at a spa.
One bummer: Some companies require coupon printouts. Works on Android, Apple and BlackBerry. (It’s free to download but requires a $30/year membership fee to redeem deals.)
• Mobile coupons by Shopular (shopularapp.com). This app uses “geo-fencing,” which means it serves up special coupons when you’re close to your favorite stores. So there’s no more frantically searching your email account for codes as you approach the register. Stores include Banana Republic and Bath & Body Works. Works on Android and Apple.
• Roximity (roximity.com). This new app alerts you to coupons in your area, including those for restaurants, stores and auto-repair shops. Valpak offers are among the deals. You can specify the types of coupons you want to receive and how frequently. Works on Apple.
• Ibotta (ibotta.com). This app turns your phone into a focus group of one: Take polls, watch videos and read up on products you use. After you shop, take a photo of your receipt.
The company claims you can earn $20 or more for every grocery shopping trip. The money is deposited into your linked PayPal account, or you can donate it to a school. The app works at dozens of stores, including CVS Pharmacy, Dollar General, Family Dollar, RiteAid, Target, Walgreens and Walmart. Locally, it works at Wegmans, but not Tops. Works on Android and Apple.
• SnipSnap (snipsnap.it). Leave your stack of store coupons at home! This app turns paper coupons into digital ones. Just take a photo, and you’re good to go. It alerts you when deals are about to expire and makes it easy to share the wealth with friends (and use their coupons, too).
So far, ShopSmart has found that it’s best for store coupons ($5 off a $35 apparel or accessories purchase at Target, anyone?). It doesn’t yet support manufacturer coupons or supermarket redemption. Works on Android and Apple.