Secrets of a coupon maven: 7 money-saving tricks
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With grocery prices ever-increasing, spending a ton on food can feel unavoidable. But thanks to these tricks and tips From All You's Nina Willdorf, you can keep your pantry stocked while saving big.
1. Check out grocery stores' websites
When hunting for savings, a great place to look may be your favorite grocery store's website. Supermarkets like Kroger and Safeway will often list what's on sale, right next to manufacturer's coupons for those items online. To get the benefits, simply register, log on and load these paperless digital coupons onto your rewards card. When you use this card at checkout, the coupons will automatically be applied.
This site is like the superstore of coupons; it features a huge selection of deals on popular brands, for products ranging from hair products to vitamins. RedPlum.com also offers the option of printable coupons (which you don't have to create an account to receive) or load-to-card coupons.
If you look forward to the coupon-laden receipts you get at checkout, Rtui.com — which produces these receipt tapes — is the website for you. By just entering your zip code, you can select the coupons you want e-mailed to you. Simply print, and let the savings begin!
4. Get Ibotta on your phone
This app, which is free for iPhone and Android, has the slogan "Cash, Not Coupon." That's because by creating an account and completing small tasks related to the product you want to save on (like answering a trivia question to get $5 off $50 at Sephora.com), you can actually get money deposited into your Ibotta account. Just submit your proof of purchase for the item, and you can receive your Ibotta earnings in cash or gift card.
5. Sign up for RetailMeNot
Also free for iPhone and Android is the RetailMeNot app, which can locate tens of thousands of retailers' coupon codes for you while on the go, and can be scanned straight from your phone. And since the app is location-based, it can also notify you when you're near a store that has a sale or coupon available.
6. Flip through your newspaper
Though online and app-based coupons are growing in popularity, newspaper inserts still account for more than 90% of all coupons issued. Don't be shy about asking friends and neighbors for unwanted coupons, and be sure to check out the weekend papers —they usually include the most coupons.
7. Peel and save
Essentially the stickers you peel off a product in the store, these coupons allow you to redeem savings simply by removing them and presenting them at checkout. Surprisingly, 78% of these coupons go unused. Don't let this easy way to save pass you by — peel and present to the cashier, rather than assume they've spotted it.