Grocery shopping can take up a lot of your personal – or family – budget, especially as food prices fluctuate. And when your purse strings are tight, even 25 cents off a purchase can add up to significant savings if you do it often enough. But where do you find the grocery coupons to save with? And how do you keep track of them all? We'll give you a hand in this article by outlining:
So, ready to become an Internet-powered supermarket ace? Read on!
Some specific brands will directly offer promotions to buy their products, such as Uncle Ben's rice, Betty Crocker foods and cooking supplies, or Pampers diapers. You may even be able to get discounts on products from their "parent" brands, such as Proctor & Gamble for brands like Crest toothpaste, Bounty paper towels, or Olay cosmetics; or Kellogg's for various breakfast foods, like Eggo waffles or Pop-Tarts pastries.
Your favorite place to shop for groceries may also offer coupons or some other sort of loyalty program. Examples include Target's "Cartwheel" program, Walmart, Safeway's "Just for U" program, and Publix.
There are all sorts of coupon websites out there on the Internet that can help you save money not just on groceries, but also all kinds of other stuff – clothing, travel, event tickets, and more! We'll be listing some of our top picks in a moment, so hold tight!
The name pretty much says it all: Coupons.com is one of the foremost names in saving you money on the Internet. It not only has printable coupons, but coupon codes for online stores, cash back offers, and loyalty coupons you can send right to your favorite supermarket's reward program account. They even have an app for when you're on the go; get the Android version here or the iOS version here.
Another very popular coupon website, RetailMeNot.com has online and in-store coupons, deals on gift cards, cash back offers, a special "free shipping" section, and even some exclusive deals. If you're a Google Chrome user, it also has a browser extension called "Genie" that will automatically search for and apply any coupons or promotions available for a particular store or item at checkout.
A U.S.-based coupon service, SmartSource.com makes it easy to get coupons on several grocery items at once. Just click the "clip" box beside each coupon you want to check it, click the Print button, and you're done! SmartSource also has some direct-to-loyalty-program offers, as well.
In addition to providing a simple way to get grocery coupons, RedPlum.com also offers blogs that contain various recipes, beauty and style tips, home decor ideas, and more. They are also particularly notable for their efforts to locate missing children, courtesy of the iOS app "Have You Seen Me?"
Groupon.com is a "deal of the day" website where you can buy vouchers for various products and services. If enough people buy the same voucher within a certain period of time, you can cash yours in for things like spa treatments, dinners at restaurants, and more for prices way below retail! But it makes this list because it also has a large section with coupons that you can use to save on everyday groceries.
We have a course on Groupon if you'd like to know more about it.
Ibotta is one of the most popular cash back apps around. Start by finding offers on Ibotta for the products you want to buy. Then, use the app to take photos of your shopping receipts, use your store loyalty card, or make a purchase through an affiliated app. Within 2 days, you'll get cash back in your Ibotta account; you can then transfer it to PayPal or Venmo, or convert it into a gift card for one of many different stores. Plus, there are plenty of ways to earn extra, like joining a team of Facebook friends!
Download Ibotta: Android | iOS
Another popular cash back app, Checkout 51 works similarly to Ibotta. You simply pick the available offers that you want to redeem, and then take a picture of your grocery receipts. Indicate how often you want to apply each cash back offer for the particular groceries you bought, and Checkout 51 will credit your account with cash that you can get as a check in the mail. New offers are posted every Thursday, so don't miss out!
Download Checkout 51: Android | iOS
Grocery iQ isn't just a coupons app; it's an all-in-one grocery shopping assistant! Sure, it provides coupons that you can print, email to someone, or add directly to your supermarket loyalty card. But it also lets you build grocery lists from its extensive product database. Add items by scanning their barcodes or saying their names, track items you've purchased before or buy frequently, and more!
Download Grocery iQ: Android | iOS
Forget receipts, points, and coupons – Ebates lets you earn cash back without all the hassle. Simply select the deal that you want to shop for, complete your purchase as normal, and Ebates will give you cash back. Their affiliate links will track all of the necessary information, so there's no extra work for you!
Interested in Ebates? We have a course for it that tells you more about how it works.
Download Ebates: Android | iOS
Shopkick is a way to reward yourself for completing grocery shopping activities that you already do anyways! When using the Shopkick app, you'll earn "kicks" (points) for activities like making purchases, taking pictures of your receipts, viewing or scanning particular products, or even just visiting certain stores! It works both online and at brick-and-mortar establishments, too! Once you earn enough "kicks," you can trade them in for gift cards from select shops.
Download Shopkick: Android | iOS
The websites and apps that we've listed here will sometimes support certain store loyalty programs, but not others. Or, they may offer gift cards as rewards, but only for particular shops. Or they may just not have offers on the brands you want. Or maybe you want cash back instead of just saving with coupons. Use the tool that gets you the right rewards for the right items. Maybe even use more than one!
Many coupons are only valid for a limited amount of time, and some may require you to purchase a certain quantity or dollar value of product(s) before you get a discount. Your local store may also have specific policies concerning coupons, such as that they only participate in certain promotions, or do not allow more than a certain number of offers to be applied to one product or sale. Knowing these things ahead of time will help you avoid headaches and arguments later.
Just because you have a coupon for an item, or that item is on sale, doesn't mean that you should buy it! Only clip coupons for the groceries that you really need, and then stick to them; don't buy anything else that you don't have a coupon for. Of course, if you have a coupon that gives you a bigger discount if you buy multiples of an item that you use regularly, then feel free to pick up a few more of those – especially if they won't be going bad any time soon.
Unless your local store has a really good loyalty program, try comparing prices at competing stores. Often, coupons for a particular brand or product will be valid at more than one chain, so pick the one that has what you need on sale for less so you can save even more.
Look at what products are on sale or have coupons available for them, and then do some research on recipes that you can make with those ingredients. Getting creative can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.
We hope this has been a useful guide to becoming a coupon whiz and saving big at your local supermarket. For more saving ideas, check out our other articles about coupon and discount shopping. Or, if you're new to the world of shopping online, our buying and selling articles have tutorials for getting started at popular online shops!
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