grocery shopping phoneThere’s more to your phone than just a way to keep your kids busy in the grocery store! By now you’ve likely heard about extreme couponing, and you may even print coupons online or from the newspaper and save a few bucks. But saving money while grocery shopping or at the drugstore can be much easier with paperless coupons -- right from your phone. You don’t even really have to plan ahead -- you can do a lot of your saving while you are shopping! Here's how:

  1. Mobile Coupons: While you are online (or waiting at the deli counter), you should go to the store’s website and look for the “Coupons” tab. There may be some great deals there that your cashier can scan -- right from your phone!
  2. Texting Yourself Money: Both products AND stores often have mobile coupons that they will text to you if you text to them! Often these offers are right on the box. When the text comes in, you can just show your phone to the cashier or read off the code they sent you. For example, I used a $1 Glad storage product mobile coupon to get Glad storage bags for just 50 cents each (regularly priced at $2 or more) by texting GLAD to 28767, as instructed by the store website. At Target.com you can sign up to receive mobile coupons automatically each week -- the Family Dollar too!
  3. Paperless Coupons: Visit your store website from your computer or phone to select paperless coupons for hundreds of name brand items. The coupon value is added to your store loyalty card and is deducted automatically from your bill when you purchase the item. Most grocery stores including Kroger, Safeway, Giant Eagle, Publix, and more now have paperless (or “clipless”) coupons on their websites. These cost nothing to download them to your card -- just swipe and save! 
  4. Automatic Rebate Programs: National drugstore chains eliminate the hassle of mail-in rebates with paperless programs. When you buy a participating item, cash or points get added to your store loyalty account which you can use in the form of store credit on a future order. All you have to do to get the rebate is remember to swipe your store loyalty card when you check out. Look for Balance Rewards at Walgreens, +UP Rewards at Rite Aid, and Extra Bucks at CVS. 
  5. Cash Back Apps: The newest apps on the market give you cash in an account when you purchase selected items and submit a picture or your receipt to the app. These cash back offers can be used along with sales and coupons. Grocery shopping apps include Savingstar and Ibotta, which work at most retailers, and Checkout 51 and Shopmium, which work almost everywhere.
  6. Store Apps: Download the store’s app right to your phone. There may be special deals there -- as well as an easy way to store your store loyalty card info (those key chains get heavy!), clip paperless coupons, check loyalty account balances, browse sales, and get special offers only available on their app. Look for the free Cartwheel app on Target’s website that gives you additional discounts on many items, on top of sale prices and coupons. 

Now the hardest part of shopping is going to be getting the phone back from your kids!

Do you already take advantage of last-minute deals? If not, will you now?