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A Valuable Couponing Tip From One Of Our Readers: Be Wary of Digital Coupons

Deborah Hensley left a super comment on one of our blog posts the other day and we thought we’d share it here and maybe give you a little more detail to mull over when you’re drinking your morning cuppa today.

Here’s Deborah’s comment:

Just a note to be careful of loading your Kroger card up with their manufacturer coupons on their website. They are not Kroger coupons. So you can’t stack them. Also, the cash register picks up and gives you credit for the uploaded e coupons first. If you have a coupons of greater value then you can’t use it. Just sharing. According to the manager at our local Kroger store, Kroger has a huge push on right now to convert customers to eCoupons, and it’s coming from the manufacturers.  It costs manufacturers big bucks to print all those coupons, and then they have to reimburse the stores when they coupons are redeemed and they also have to pay the stores a handling fee.  To cut costs, manufacturers are offering stores a larger handling fee for digital coupons so, in turn, stores are pushing shoppers to go digital. Of course, the stores and the advertisers will all tell you their digital coupons are sooooo much better, with “special offers you’ll only find online” and “get this app and save even more money!”  But, if you look closely, those digital Qs are no better than the paper coupons – and sometimes they’re worse.   Sometimes the savings is less or you have to buy in quantity or you have to buy in combination with something else. Deborah’s right.  It’s important to remember that in most cases the grocery coupons you download from your favorite store’s website are NOT store coupons – they’re manufacturer coupons – so they can’t be stacked with other coupons to make the deal sweeter. Let’s say you go to your favorite grocery store’s website and download their digital coupon for $1 off one roll of Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough and you also have a physical coupon for $2 off two rolls of the same product.  You buy 2 rolls because you’re thinking you’re going to use both coupons and save a total of $3.  But, here’s what happens… Read the fine print on the website before you download the coupons.  It will most likely say you need to present your loyalty card at time of purchase in order to use the coupon.  Even the ads say you need a loyalty card to get the special price. When you go through the register, the cashier ALWAYS asks for your loyalty card before she starts scanning your groceries.  You can wait and mysteriously “find” your card after she’s scanned all your physical coupons, but the result will be the same: You can not stack a digital and physical manufacturer’s coupon.  If you have a digital coupon on your loyalty card and you let the cashier scan your card before you hand her your coupons, then the digital coupon will be credited to your cart and she’ll hand you back the physical coupon.  You may be able to pass the cashier your physical coupons first and then let her scan your card.  But, in some cases, if you don’t show the card first you don’t get the special prices for “card members only” on regular products throughout the store.

Tips for Digital Coupon Use

Just like with paper coupons, there are some pretty amazing coupon deals out there in digital land, so you don’t want to ignore them entirely.  But you do want to download wisely. Don’t just download everything – be picky about it.  Take a look at your physical coupons before you download the digital coupons.  Once you download that digital you’re stuck with it until it expires.  Which means you’ll be forced to use that $1 off coupon even though the physical coupon you just clipped is worth $2. Keep a list of the coupons on your card.  Most sites will have an account page where you can look at the coupons you’ve loaded to your card.  If not, see if you can print a list or, if necessary, write it down each time you add new Qs to your card. Remember, digital coupons expire, too, and they automatically drop off your card.  If they’re good ones, use ’em before you lose ’em.  If not, here’s hoping they expire fast! Deborah – Thanks for your Comment!  We love it when our readers jump in and save the day  🙂  We’ll be sending you some free coupons.  Watch your email!    

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Today's Featured Coupon

$5/1 Eckrich products (3/31/21) Lot of 5

Prices range from $3.00 to $10.00. This coupon is good for any variety and any size of Eckrich smoked sausage products. It’s redeemable at any grocery store where this product is available. There is a max value for this coupon up to $5.00. The expiration date is 03/31/2021.