E-Coupons: Savings evolved

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Coupons have always been a great way to save cash when you checkout. Nowadays, consumers are using them a lot more.

"Especially with the economy now, it's very important to save money on every little thing you can," said one shopper.

Too many consumers, however, hate all the work involved in searching for, clipping, and carrying the coupons they need.

"I do clip them and try to use them. Then I get frustrated because it's not the right brand or the right ounce," said Karen Skinner of Montgomery.

"I use them occasionally when I have time to grab them. I don't always think to get them before I come," said shopper Leighann Romack.

Now, numerous online websites like smartsource.com allow you to search for the same coupons found in the paper. The website presort coupons by brand. You simply print them at home.

If that's too much work, other sites like shortcuts.com let you create a shopping list and the site will find coupons for you--alert you--then automatically load those coupons onto your rewards card at dozens of chains.

"For the average person, you could save about $12 to $15 a week just by loading on those coupons," explained coupon expert Laura Thornquist.

Thornquist says cellfire.com works with rewards cards, too.

"Wait for a couple of days to make sure it has downloaded," she suggested.

You can even request the site to load coupons onto your mobile phone.

Other applications are also available for smartphones. Many list offers for name brand items and local deals.

You simply email or print them from your phone.

There is a catch, though. Because of some counterfeit e-coupons circulating in stores, some grocery chains no longer accept them.

Make sure you check with the clerk before you load up your cart.

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