Keep Up to Date With Penny Pinchin’ Mom’s Deals

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Keeping Up withWith the constant changes in algorithms on social media, it can be difficult to keep up to date with your favorite pages.  That can mean you might miss out on a great deal or money saving tip!!!   In order to help make sure you NEVER miss anything, there are some easy ways to stay up to date with all of your favorite pages!!

 

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FACEBOOK

If you still want to stay on Facebook, there are some things you can do to ensure you don’t miss out on a deal.

Set up Notifications.  You can add your favorite pages to your notifcations button.   This is the globe image at the top of your page.  When you have this turned on, you will see an update whenever your favorite pages make a post.  You click on here and receive a drop down letting you see the pages at a glance and can click through to the post to learn more.

notification

Turning this feature on is very simple to do.  Head to Penny Pinchin’ Mom on Facebook and under the header, find the LIKED button.  Once you click on here, you will it says Get Notifications.  Make sure that you have a checkmark next to this button so that you keep up with all of the posts.

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Join the Facebook Group and add it to your Favorites.  We actually have a group set up where the posts will go on Facebook.  You can join for free HERE.  Once you join, you can then add that group to your favorites so that you see it in your sidebar each and every time you log in!

To add it to your favorites, simply click the pencil next to the group name, when you see it under your Groups.  Click to Add to Favorites and you will see it move up under your favorites, directly under your profile picture!

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favorites

 

Create an Interest List and Add to your Favorites.  You can add all of your favorite pages to an interest list and then make that list accessible in your favorites.  This keeps all of your favorite pages in one place, so you can catch up with them all at once!

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Click on the wheel button from the Facebook page and then select Add to Interest Lists.  Then, click on New List.

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On this screen, you will see that the site comes up and is already selected for you.  Just click on the blue NEXT button at the bottom of the page.

Here, type in the name for the list.  You could call it just Penny Pinchin’ Mom, or Money Saving Sites (whatever you would like).  You can then decide if you want anyone to see this or not.  If it is public, anyone can subscribe to the list, so if you want to get the word out about this great list you’ve created, you could select this option.

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You can add additional pages to your list and every page you follow will be in one location.  Once you do this, you want to add this to your favorites so that you can find it quickly.   Just find the List under Interests in your sidebar and click the pencil next to the list.  Check Add to Favorites and you are done!

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Now, this group will also be at the very top of your profile so you can find it quickly!

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PINTEREST

There are several great boards set up on Pinterest to help you narrow down the types of deals or savings tips you might need!  We’ve got ALL of our best tips in our Money Saving Tips Board.  If you want to get out of debt, you’ll love all of the articles (which will be added each week this year) in the Getting Out of Debt Board.  Of course, it would be simpler to just follow my Pinterest page so you get all of the pins we share from my site as well as others I’d recommend!  Visit the Penny Pinchin’ Mom Pinterest page so you can follow it!

 

 

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GOOGLE+

Google+ may seem like a ghost town, but it really isn’t.  In fact, this is the #2 social media site, ahead of Twitter.  The great thing about Google+ is that you can create your own circles to keep certain pages grouped together to check them quickly (as you would using a list or favorites on Facebook).  Even better than that, G+ doesn’t censor the content, you will always see everything on all of the page you are following!

You’ll want to head to the Penny Pinchin’ Mom Google+ page and make sure you +1 it by clicking that image on the main page.

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Once you have done that, you will want to create your circles.  This is easy to do.  From your Home button, scroll down and click on the People button.

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Then, click on Your Circles in the menu bar

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Next, click the + in the circle.  In here, type in the name of the circle.

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It could be something like you would use on Facebook, like Money Saving Sites.  Click on the Add a Person Button and start typing Penny Pinchin Mom and you will see that it comes up.  Just click to add it to the list and then click on Create Circle Button to finish.  You’ve just created a circle!

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Your circles are all visible from your home page, but you can decide WHICH ones have a shortcut on your menu.  Drag your circles to reorder them to put those you will use the most at the top of the list.  You just literally click drag and drop!  The first circles in your order will be the first ones you see in your menu.  Here is how mine looks:

circle2Main Menu

 

circle1Circles Order

So now, when I am on G+, I just click Money Saving Websites from the main menu and the posts are there!

I can tell you that we put all of our posts on Google+ just like other social media, so this is a great alternative to Facebook!

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TWITTER

We are also on Twitter!  This is can be a simple way to keep up with your sites as well.  There are different platforms out there which you can use to create custom streams and lists to personalize it for yourself.  I personally love using Tweet Deck!  You can create custom streams for your favorite hashtags, sites and more!  You’ll find me on Twitter under @PennyPinchinMom.

You can create a List easily on Twitter just like you do the other sites. Just click the Lists button from your profile page and then Create a List.  Add the profiles you want to follow and then you’ll have one easy list at your fingertips!

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create

 

 

 

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EMAIL DIGEST

There is also one final way to stay up to date.  You can sign up for the FREE daily email newsletter. We actually have options which allow you to taylor the newsletter to receive just what you want!  You can get all updates, just coupons or even only Target store deals!  Head HERE and sign up — make sure that you confirm your subscription!

Beginner Coupon Tip: Use 2 Envelopes To Keep Track of Your Coupons

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Coupon Tip To Use Envelopes When Shopping | www.pennypinchinmom.com

 

If you are new to using coupons, one thing that can be difficult to do is to remember to use your coupons!  You might go through the hard work of finding the coupons you want to redeem and then you forget to hand them over when shopping.  You can use this same tip, which my husband uses (a.k.a. The Penny Pinchin’ Dad).  Here is how he shops with coupons:

  1. Make your shopping list.  Make notations of which items have coupons you want to redeem.  (You can download a free shopping list right here).
  2. Get out two envelopes.  One one of them write:  “COUPONS TO USE.”  On the other one you will write:  “GIVE TO CASHIER.”
  3. Place all of the coupons you want to use into the coupons to use envelope.
  4. As you shop your list and place items into your cart, find the matching coupon and move it into the give to cashier envelope.
  5. When you get to checkout, just hand the cashier envelope over and you’ll make sure to redeem all of your coupons!

You can find more Beginning Couponing Tips right here, on Penny Pinchin’ Mom!

A Beginner’s Guide To Using Coupons – 5 Simple Tips

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Beginners guide to using coupons

If you are new to coupons, you may feel overwhelmed reading all of the articles and information available.  It can be a lot to take in if you’ve never used coupons before.  I’ve got five simple tips which any new couponer can follow to get started on the path to learning how to save money!

STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO USING COUPONS

1.  Getting Started Understanding Coupons.  Before you can redeem coupons, you need to understand some basic principles regarding them.  Understand the general rules and guidelines when it comes to using coupons.

2.  Understanding Coupon Language.  The wording on the coupon tells you how you can use them (and possible restrictions).

3.  How to Read a Coupon. There is a lot of information on a coupon which can be overwhelming.  Here’s a breakdown of the various parts of the coupon, so you can read and use them!

4.  Abbreviations Used on Coupons and Websites.  Many website use abbreviations to simplify how they relate deals to readers.  Learn what the abbreviations are and what they mean.

5.  Finding Coupons.  It can be overwhelming to know where to look for coupons.  Learn the resources available to help you find your coupons.

Once you have mastered HOW to use coupons, you can put those savings to work by saving at your favorite drug stores.  Some of the best deals can be found here, helping you save on your household items (often times getting items for free)!

Shop at CVS

Shop at Walgreens

There is a lot to learn when it comes to using coupons, so you might check out all of these tips and articles.  If you have questions, ask by sending us an email (tracie@pennypinchinmom.com) or even leave a comment on Facebook!

Three Reasons Why Coupons Have Limited Prints

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Why coupons have limited prints | www.pennypinchinmom.com

I am sure it happens to you.  You print your coupon and go back and try to get another one and it says LIMIT REACHED.  Why are you limited to the number of coupons you can print?  There are actually reasons why you can’t print as many as you’d like.  In fact, here are THREE reasons why:

 

PART 1 – WHY DO COUPONS HAVE LIMITED PRINTS?

 

When a manufacturer wants to release a printable coupon, they have to pay for the prints (just as they do in the weekly newspaper ads).  For this reason, they have to establish a budget.  That budget will allow for “x” number of prints across all sources.   That in turn sets the number of allowable prints allowed by consumers.  As we all print, the number counts down and when the last coupon is printed, the coupon disappears from the list.

PART 2 – WHY AM I PERSONALLY LIMITED TO THE NUMBER OF COUPONS I CAN PRINT?

 

The manufacturers want to make sure that the coupons can reach as many consumers as possible.  Since the budget will allow only a select number of coupons to be printed across all sources, they want to ensure that everyone has a chance to get one.  For this reason, they put a limit of 2 prints per computer or IP address.  This is actually built into the agreements between the coupon source and the manufacturer, to ensure that one person will not be able to print an excessive number of coupons.

PART 3 – WHY CAN’T I PRINT THE SAME COUPON AGAIN?

 

Many times, a coupon will run out of prints only to return again.  Sometimes, these returning coupons fall under the same original agreement — they have simply increased the budget to allow for additional prints for consumers. Since it is still part of the original agreement, the same limits apply per consumer.  For that reason, you may not be able to print it again.  There is no way for anyone to know when it has been reset (meaning everyone can print again as it is a new printing contract) or if it is the same coupon returning for a second chance printing.

So there you have it!  The reasons coupons prints are limited for all of us.  Hope it answers some of the questions you might have!!! 

Coupon Policies for Craft Stores: Michaels, Hobby Lobby and JoAnn

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craft store coupon policies | www.pennypinchinmom.com

 

Do you shop at craft stores?  Did you know that they have coupon policies?  Even better — did you know that some of the accept competitor’s coupons?  Below you will find the policies for these stores:

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Do they accept competitor’s coupons?

Yes.  JoAnn Fabric accepts coupons from Michael’s Hancock and Hobby Lobby.

Are there limits on the coupons you can use?

  • You can use one coupon per day (this includes both store and competitor).
    Example — use 1 Michael’s + 1 JoAnn Fabric & Crafts + 1 Hobby Lobby coupon
  • If the store coupon bar codes are the same, you can not use more than one coupon.
    Example — You can not use 2 30% off coupons in a single transaction.
  • If the store coupon bar codes differ, you can stack them.
    Example – You can use a 30% off of a single item + a 25% off of your purchase.  Keep in mind that the 25% discount will apply to all other items and not the one that already had the 30% discount applied to it.

Are there any exclusions?

You can not use a coupon on a product which is not carried in the store.  For example,  you can not use a Hobby Lobby coupon to save 25% off of a fabric purchase.

 

Michaels

Do they accept competitor’s coupons?

Yes.  Michael’s accepts coupons from A.C. Moore, JoAnn Fabric and Crafts, Ben Franklin, and Hobby Lobby.

Are there limits on the coupons you can use?

  • You can use one coupon per day – TOTAL (this includes both store and competitor).
  • If the store coupon bar codes are the same, you can not use more than one coupon.
    Example — You can not use 2 30% off coupons in a single transaction.
  • If the store coupon bar codes differ, you can stack them.
    Example – You can use a 30% off of a single item + a 25% off of your purchase.  Keep in mind that the 25% discount will apply to all other items and not the one that already had the 30% discount applied to it.

Are there any exclusions?

They will not accept competitor coupons for discounts off of entire purchase – only off of single items.  Example:  You can’t use a Hobby Lobby coupon to save 25% off of your entire purchase; however you could use a Hobby Lobby coupon to save 25% off one item.

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Do they accept competitor’s coupons?

No.  They do not accept them at this time.

Are there limits on the coupons you can use?

  • Coupons can not be used on sale items
  • Limit of one coupon per customer per day.

Do You Pay Sales Tax Before or After Coupon Savings Are Determined?

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sales tax when using coupons | www.pennypinchinmom.com

A while back, I had a reader send me an email asking me this question:

“I was shopping at CVS and ended up getting my items for free, but yet, I ended up having to pay a small amount.  They told me that I still had to pay sales tax.  Is this true?”

This is a very good question and the answer is — it depends.  First of all, if you read a coupon, the fine print says that the customer must pay any sales tax.   That is why it is always important to read the fine print on everything.

Secondly, each state sets it’s own rules as to whether you will pay sales tax pre-coupon total or post-coupon totals.  That can actually make a difference on the final amount you have to pay to the store.

It is important to find this information for your state.  Since I live in Missouri, I know that our state charges sales tax on the post-coupon value, whereas the neighboring state of Kansas charges based upon pre-coupon totals.   The majority of states do charge sales tax on your original purchase price, but definitely do your homework before you.

 

STATES TAXED ON POST-COUPON TOTALS

 

Connecticut
Massachusetts
Missouri
Pennsylvania
Texas

 

Keep in mind that some states do not charge sales tax on certain products (such as food and other items).  So sales tax is not applicable on those items and none is required either pre or post coupon savings.

Seven Tips On How To Coupon Ethically and Honestly

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How to Coupon Ethically  | www.pennypinchinmom.com

With more and more people wanting to save money, it is important that you know how to not only properly use coupons, but to also do so ethically.  When everyone follows the rules, it helps us all save.  Those who do not do so end up causing changes in coupon redemption and even policies at your favorite store.  Have you noticed the policies changed?  Many times, those changes were implemented due to the manner in which coupons were being redeemed.

Whether there is a policy in place at your store or not, there are some things you should do to make sure you are couponing and saving money ethically and honestly.

1. Only use a coupon as intended.   Most coupons include size limitations or restrictions.  If the coupon states it is valid for a 24 oz product, do not use it on a 16 oz item.  If it says that is valid only for Huggies Diapers, do you use it towards the purchase of Huggies Wipes.  If the coupon is item specific, such as Honey Nut Cheerios, it is not OK to use it on Original Cheerios.

If a coupon says it is good on 2 products it is not ok to use it on just one product. Manufacturers issue coupons for products to attract consumers to those specific products. Just because a coupon will scan for an item, that does not mean it is ok to use it on anything other than what it was intended for.

Make sure you only use the number of coupons allowed in the fine print.  Many times, coupons are limited to 2 in a single transaction.  In this case, do not try to purchase 3 products and use 3 coupons.  Instead, make multiple trips to the store or run different transactions.

2. Expired coupons are just that, expired. Just as coupons are issued for specific products, they are also issued for specific ranges of time. When you use a coupon outside of its expiration date, it is considered fraudulent coupon use. Remember, you can always donate your expired coupons to overseas military families!

3. Follow store coupon policies. I know this is frustrating when the policy doesn’t make much sense.  Keep in mind that it is at the store’s discretion to even allow coupons to be redeemed.  If you find that the policy is confusing or you need to see if they will make a change to it, just speak to the manager (the cashier can not help you).

If you run in to a cashier that seems to be making up their own policy as they go, that is a much different story. Always go by the store’s printed coupon policy.  At this point, it is always wise to get a manager involved.

4. Know what a fraudulent coupon looks like.  It is sad, but true.   People will always make fake coupons to try get items for free.  A good rule of thumb is if a coupon is emailed to you from a friend, it is  usually fake.   If you need to ever find out if a coupon is valid or not, you can visit The Coupon Information Center as they have a list of the known fraudulent coupons out there.

5. Making copies of internet printable coupons is illegal. This is one of the most frequent newbie couponer mistakes out there.  I mean, you printed it out and if you ran it through the copier, who would know if it was real or fake?  Well, the store would ultimately pay the price.

When coupons are released, they are done so in a certain quantity.  For example, if a coupon is released with 50,000 prints, but 60,000 coupons get turned in, the last 10,000 turned in do not get paid!  That means they are all out the savings you claimed and eat that cost.

It is not only that, but if you are caught making copies of coupons, you can actually be banned from printing them.  When you print a coupon, information including your IP address is coded into the print.  When they are redeemed, they can find out if you redeemed 1, 2 or more of the same coupon.  If you are found to have submitted more than the allowed number, your IP address can be blocked from printing from their site.  You can read more about how to read the coupons you print HERE.

6. Shop honestly.  We all want to get a good deal.  It is frustrating when you go to the store to find out that the shelves were wiped clean.  Most people will just pick up one or two items when they find a bargain, but there are those who will walk in and take every item from the shelf.  That doesn’t make for fair couponing.

I’ve had people say that they are clear shelves to donate to those in need.  While I LOVE that people want to pay it forward with coupons, doing so prevents those who can’t visit those centers for donations, from purchasing the items they need.  If you find a good deal and want to make a donation, just pick up a few items and leave some for others.  Of course, if you pick up the last 2 on the shelf, that is different and not deemed “shelf clearing.”

Others just say “I got there first and it is my right.”  Sure, you did get there early and picked up more than you probably needed, but doing so can result in that store’s policy changing.  They could reduce coupon redemptions, limits and more – all because people cleared a shelf.

If you find you need more than the quantity on the store shelf, talk to a store manager about what you could do to get more ordered so you can purchase them.  That allows you to get the items you need, while still leaving product for others to purchase.

7. Don’t be rude.  When you go to the check out, there are times when coupons will not scan, prices do not ring up correctly or the deal doesn’t work the way you thought it would.  The first thing to remember is NOT to yell at the cashier.  They are doing their job.  Stay calm and try to work with them to resolve the issue by reading the coupon together and/or even reviewing the store’s coupon policy.

We had a reader suggest one more – so our list is now EIGHT!

8.  Don’t take all of the coupons in the store.  When you see coupons in the form of booklets, on products or anywhere else in the store, take them in the right way.  Here are tips:

  • If it is a booklet or coupon pad, take no more than 2 coupons.
  • If it is a hangtag, meaning it is attached to the product, do not take it without purchasing the item.
  • If it is attached to the product, do not remove it unless you are purchasing the item.

If you find that the cashier is the issue, of course, then you should immediately ask for a store manager.  Discuss the issues with him or her (rationally and calmly).  There are times when a manager can push through prices and coupons which cashiers can not.  This is one of those instances where you certainly can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

As couponers, it is our responsibility to ensure that we are participating in honest coupon use. I hope that this post has helped to shed some light on some areas that you may have been confused about. Also, I want to add that I was confused about some of these items when I first started to coupon, so if you’ve made one of these mistakes don’t be too hard on yourself!

Red Plum Inserts No Longer Available in Some Newspapers

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Red Plum Inserts No Longer in Some areas | www.pennypinchinmom.com

Bad news folks!  Starting this Sunday, June 1st, Red Plum Inserts will no longer be available in some markets.  That means you will no longer find it in your newspaper each weekend!  It seems the area most highly affected are those of you who reside in areas in Florida.

To find out if your area will include these in your weekly paper, you can head to Red Plum and enter your location information.   If you find out that you can only receive it via mail, make sure you sign up and they will send one to you each week, so you won’t miss out on those great coupons!

Keep in mind that most coupons in this insert are available every Sunday morning on their website, so that is another way to get those coupons!

 

 

How To Print Coupons From Wireless Devices

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Tips to Print Coupons From Wireless Devices

Most of us have wireless devices which we use to go online, stay up to date with friends and family and even, find coupon!  If you are using one of these devices, you can print coupons directly to your wireless printer.  However, there are a few things you will want to make sure that you keep in mind.

1.  Your printer must be compatible.  If you are using an Apple Device, your wireless printer must include AirPrint.  There are several brands which offer this service, just make sure that it is the case before you make your purchase.  You might need to set up your wireless printer with it’s own email address so that you can send the item to the printer via email, where it will print.

Note that if you are printing from Coupons.com, the only compatible printers at this time are Hewlett Packard products (some others have been able to work, but this it the oly one they advise works at this time).  If you have any other brand, you will need to email the coupon to yourself (or your printer) to have them print from there.

2.  You will need to install the coupon software.  This seems to be a concern for many people as they don’t like to install software.  Rest assured that this is safe, but is required in order for the barcode and required encoded data to print on your coupon.

3.  Your device must allow you to print.  The type of device you have determines if you can print the coupons or not.  If you are using an Apple Device, you just need the coupons.com app from the iTunes store and you just follow those steps and it will print (taking into account Steps 1 and 2).

If you are using a Android based product, you should be able to print, but you will have to do a little more in order to get it to work.  You will first need to download the Grocery IQ app from Google Play.  You will then need to download either the PrinterShare App for $12.95 or PrinterShare for free.  Keep in mind that free apps often have limitations, so sometimes it is worth an investment in order to gain access to your coupons.

While these steps should work, there are instances where they will not.  If that happens, you will need to find a desktop or laptop and print your coupons from there instead.

Question: How Can I Redeem Coupons Without Printing Them?

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how to use coupons without printing them | www.pennypinchinmom.com

With the increase use of wireless devices and smartphones, there are becoming options where you don’t have to print your coupons to redeem them.  However, there are also coupons which still always require them to be redeemed in paper format.  I’ve broken this down for you below so you know which coupons can be shown on your phone and which you have to take with you in hard copy.

 

COUPONS / SAVINGS REDEEMABLE WITHOUT PRINTING

 

There are some stores/options out there where you do not need to print your coupons (or clip them from the paper) to use them.

Target Cartwheel.  This is a an app you can install onto your phone.  You simply add the offers you want to redeem to your list.  Then, when you shop, you make sure you purchase them.  At checkout, you show the barcode on your phone to the cashier and save instantly.  If you’ve never used this service before, make sure you read more about How to Use Target Cartwheel.

Target Mobile Coupons.  You can sign up for these to be sent to your phone.  You simply show the code to the cashier and your savings will be applied to your purchase.

Cellfire.  Some stores allow you to load these manufacturer’s coupons to your store rewards card.  Since these are manufacturer’s coupons, you can stack them with any store coupons for more savings.  The stores which offer these coupons are limited.

Ibotta.  This is a rebate site.  You claim the offers (can increase by doing more).  Then, you purchase at the store listed (or one of the available stores).  Once you make the purchase, take a snapshot of your receipt and then upload it. Nothing to print or even show to the cashier!!! Within a few days the money is waiting in your account!!! Download the Ibotta app to get started.

Checkout51.  This app is similar to Ibotta.  You make the purchase for the items listed and then upload a photo of your receipt.  Once you do that, you get the money deposited into your account and can cash out and get that money back! Learn more about Checkout 51 HERE.

SavingStar.  This is another clipless app, which is connected to your store card. You add your card to your account.  Then, “clip” the offers you want to redeem.  When you use your store’s rewards card you get that amount deposited back into your account.  Read more about How To Use SavingStar.

Store Coupons.  Many stores offer digital coupons which you can download to your card.  You will need to check where you shop to find out if this option works or not.  One such store is Walgreens and you can read more about that here.

 

COUPONS WHICH MUST BE PRINTED TO BE REDEEMED

 

Most coupons are still required to be redeemed in print or paper format.  Here are those you need to keep in mind:

Printable Manufacturers coupons.  These coupons do not offer a paperless option.  They must be printed to be redeemed.  They also do not allow you to request a coupon be mailed to you instead, so  printer is required.  These sites include:

Coupons.com
SmartSource
RedPlum
Hopster
Common Kindness

Store coupons.  Many stores still required coupons to be printed in order to be redeemed.  These include the Target Store coupons.

 

If you do not have a printer, you can purchase one at an affordable price, here are a few ideas (as of the date of this post):

There are things you also need to know when it comes to printing your coupons from your Wireless Devices.  Make sure you read more about that HERE.