Thanks to the recession and shows such as “Extreme Couponing,” frugal shopping is all the rage these days.
While a lot of the couponers featured on television devote hours each week to gathering coupon flyers and clipping coupons, technology has made things a bit easier for those who want to discount shop but don’t want to make couponing a part or full-time job.
If you want to get into the couponing game and save money on things you need, but don’t have a lot of time to spare, check out some of these (couponing apps.
Yowza might have a silly name, but it’s a great app for getting deals at popular stores in your area. A quick search for Philadelphia turned up 22 pages of results. The coupons included deals at Payless Shoes, The Body Shop, and Fresh Grocer.
When you find a coupon you like with Yowza, you can save it on your smart phone.
If you end up shopping at the merchant, you simply need to show the cashier your phone to save money. There’s no need to clip coupons or print anything out.
Since most of the coupons come directly from the stores or other merchants, the only place you’ll find them is on the couponing app.
The SnipSnap app is beneficial for those of us who love to discount shop using paper coupons. Instead of bringing binders full of coupons to the grocery store, if you use SnipSnap, all you need to bring is your phone.
This couponing app lets you scan in your paper coupons, so that you have a digital copy. The app then reminds you to use the coupons and gives you alerts as expiration dates approach.
If you walk into a store, the app will send you a reminder to use any coupons you’ve saved for that store.
There is one drawback to SnipSnap. While paper-free coupons are quickly becoming the norm, some manufacturers still require a paper copy. Depending on where you shop, you might not be able to use the app for grocery coupons.
Grocery Smarts is for people who take frugal shopping to the next level. The app examines the weekly flyers for a number of popular stores, such as Target and Walmart, and compares the prices offered at each.
It can also help you track down coupons for items in the Sunday paper.
Using this app, you can also email coupons to yourself to print out and use at your favorite stores. Grocery Smarts is designed with the extreme couponer in mind.
If you want to save a lot of money and plan your shopping around sales and coupons available, using the app will save you a lot of time.
Coupon Sherpa is available both as an app and a website.
The app puts coupons for your favorite stores at your fingertips while the website connects you to deals that you can redeem online. A quick browse of the coupons available on the site found deals from stores ranging from J Crew to Babies R Us.
You can also find grocery coupons from Coupon Sherpa. These aren’t coupons you need to print out. Instead, have the cashier scan them right from your phone.
CardStar isn’t for coupons, per se. But, it’s a great tool for those of us who have ended up with discount and loyalty cards for every single store we visit. All those cards take up valuable space in our wallets or key chains.
Instead of constantly toting around a physical copy of the card, you can take a picture of it and upload it to the CardStar app. The app has 1,500 retailers listed and you can easily add a retailer to the list if it isn’t already there.
Once the cards are uploaded to the app, all you need to do is bring up the card for the respective store you are shopping at that day. The cashier can scan the bar code on the app, instead of scanning the bar code on the actual card.
Have you used any couponing apps? What are your favorites?
Kelly Anderson is a financial planner who blogs about financial advice you can use in your everyday life. Connect with her onTwitter, Facebook and Google+.