If you’re looking for a way to save money with minimal effort, two words: digital coupons.
What are digital coupons? They’re coupons you can use just like paper ones, but they come in electronic form. Digital coupons can be store or manufacturer coupons — they can even be rebate app offers.
Most often you’ll find digital coupons inside a grocery store app or in the form of a promo code that you enter to make a purchase online. Many now link to your loyalty card or phone number. It’s so easy!
Digital couponing removes paper from the equation completely. When you add an offer to your smartphone by “clipping” it, you’ll either show the cashier the offer or use your loyalty card to get your savings.
When you’re shopping online, you can add digital coupons to your cart and they’ll be applied to your order automatically when it’s delivered or when you pick it up curbside.
Download the KCL app and you’ll get access to our database of digital coupons galore. And then check out these tips for using digital coupons.
1. Get digital grocery coupons inside each store’s app or website.
How do you get digital coupons? Look inside grocery store apps or on a store’s website. Some of these digital coupons are store coupons, issued by the store itself, and some of them are manufacturer coupons, issued by the brand’s manufacturer. A few stores — like Target and Dollar General — even offer both store and manufacturer coupons inside their respective apps.
Download the store’s app, set up a profile, or create an account and start clipping coupons to apply to your orders. Some stores even allow you to apply a digital coupon to online orders for pickup or delivery.
KCL posts not only deals, but the deals paired with the digital coupons you need.
Here’s a gold mine of digital coupons to get you started on your favorite grocery stores:
- Albertsons digital coupons & deals
- CVS digital coupons & deals
- Dollar General digital coupons & deals
- Family Dollar digital coupons & deals
- Fred Meyer digital coupons & deals
- Fry’s digital coupons & deals
- Giant digital coupons & deals
- Harris Teeter digital coupons & deals
- King Soopers digital coupons & deals
- Kroger digital coupons & deals
- Meijer digital coupons & deals
- Publix digital coupons & deals
- Randalls digital coupons & deals
- Rite Aid digital coupons & deals
- Safeway digital coupons & deals
- ShopRite digital coupons & deals
- Smith’s digital coupons & deals
- Stop & Shop digital coupons & deals
- Target digital coupons & deals
- Tom Thumb digital coupons & deals
- Vons digital coupons & deals
- Walgreens digital coupons & deals
2. Digital coupons are usually the first discounts taken off your total.
Most stores apply coupons and discounts in a certain order. This means if you try to use the same paper and digital coupon for one item, the register will likely beep and reject one of your coupons. It also gives you a heads up if you’re trying to do the math in your head to figure out what your total will be.
Here’s the order stores tend to use:
- Digital coupons
- Minimum-purchase-required coupons
- Manufacturer coupons
- Store coupons
- Catalinas for a dollar amount off
3. The Target, Kroger, and Walgreens apps are a few of the best coupon apps.
Certain stores are just easier to coupon at. When it comes to digital coupons, I look for what’s the easiest to clip and apply at checkout. If you’re going to start using digital coupons, I would use Target, Kroger, and Walgreens.
All three of these stores have a very convenient feature where you can scan the barcode of the product and it will show you any eligible digital coupons. They’ll also allow their digital coupons to be applied in store, online, and curbside pickup (where available). Select coupons may only be available in store or for online orders only, but those will be noted.
Target Digital Coupons
If you’re going to start somewhere, try out the Target app. It’s one of the easier places to use digital coupons. They offer Target store issued coupons and manufacturer issued coupons in the Target app or site. Target digital coupons can be used on up to four items per transaction — unless the fine print states otherwise.
Prefer Target Drive Up? The majority of digital coupons are available to be applied to your pickup order too! It’s that easy.
Kroger Digital Coupons
The Kroger app offers two different types of digital coupons. The first one is your standard store digital offer, like $1 off Wonder Bread. The second is “Weekly Digital Deals.” These coupons, when clipped, will give you a sale price for the item. Kroger digital coupons normally have a limit of up to 5 times in a single transaction.
Kroger digital coupons apply in store, curbside, and for delivery orders. Look for exclusive pickup and delivery coupons like, “$15 Off Your First 3 Pickup or Delivery Orders of $75 or more.”
Walgreens Digital Coupons
Using digital coupons with the Walgreens app is similar to Target. They have store coupons and manufacturer coupons. The great thing about Walgreens digital coupons is they can be attached to more than one of the same product in a single transaction. Some Walgreens digital coupons can be used online too.
Using Walgreens digital coupons is extra nice when you can apply them to curbside pickup orders. That’s my favorite way to coupon.
4. Look for weekly digital coupon freebies like Kroger Free Friday.
Once a month on Fridays, Kroger stores (like Fry’s, Fred Meyer, King Soopers, etc.) offer a digital free-item coupon that can be added to your loyalty card and redeemed within two weeks (you must add the coupon to your account the Friday it’s offered). In the past, Free Friday Download coupons have been good for bread, yogurt, pet food, candy, and more.
Plus, you can use Kroger Pickup to redeem your coupon.
5. Go ahead and stack digital coupons, but regular coupon stacking rules apply.
“Stacking coupons” refers to using more than one discount on a single item in order to get the biggest savings possible. Learning how to stack coupons is its own adventure, but digital coupons make it pretty easy.
Make sure you’re following coupon rules that apply to paper coupons too when stacking with digital coupons. Here’s what I mean:
- Stack a digital manufacturer coupon with a digital store coupon. It depends on each store’s policy, but in general, stacking manufacturer with store coupons is fair play.
- Stack a paper manufacturer coupon with a digital store coupon. It doesn’t matter if it’s two digital or one digital and one paper coupon. Stores aren’t looking at the form of coupon (digital or paper); they’re looking at the type of coupon (manufacturer or store).
- Stack a digital manufacturer coupon with a paper store coupon. Paper store coupons are more rare than digitals, but smaller, local stores often still have them.
- Stack two manufacturer coupons, digital or not. You’re seeing a pattern here, right? You can’t stack two like coupons — it doesn’t matter what form they are.
- Expect to use multiple of the same digital coupon in one transaction. If you have paper coupons, you can typically use up to four in one purchase (or transaction) if you are buying four items (one coupon per item). But digital coupons tend to only offer one use.
6. Redeem an unlimited amount of digital coupons as long as it’s only one per item.
Every store has its own coupon policy, but in general, stores that offer digital coupons inside their app won’t place limits on how many coupons you can use in one transaction. Stores like Dollar General and Kroger will let you use as many digital coupons as you want. But other stores, like Target, limit how many digital offers you can use at once.
Don’t be confused — this is not the same as “stacking” coupons. When you stack coupons, it’s multiple coupons applied to a single item. Using unlimited coupons means you can use a single coupon for Tide, a coupon for Clif Bars, a coupon for Colgate, a coupon for Purina dog food, etc.
If you buy the item, you can apply the coupon. In fact, stores are hoping the very presence of coupons will lure you into pulling the trigger on something that’s not actually on your list, so watch out for that.
For example, if you stuck to your list and found coupons for everything, party on. But if you didn’t plan to buy Clif Bars and got swayed into spending $6 because you saw a $0.50 off coupon, you won’t save money overall. Instead, wait until you can stack a sale and a coupon for Clif Bars before you buy them.
7. Download the Coupons.com app for all the digital manufacturer coupons.
While some stores offer digital manufacturer coupons inside their store apps, you can also access them through the Coupons.com app.
When you link your Coupons.com account to your store loyalty cards, you’ll get access to digital coupons to use at your favorite stores.
Enable location services on your phone so Coupons.com can list all the stores in your area. Tap a store you’re interested in and then tap “Link Card” so you can see all the digital offers for that store.
8. Redeem even more discounts with rebate apps like Ibotta and Fetch Rewards.
While rebate apps don’t fit neatly in categories like “store coupons” or “manufacturer coupons,” they offer savings that have been known to rival traditional coupon savings, plus they’re so easy that even the laziest couponer can get excited.
Plus, you can redeem these offers even if you’re using coupons, because rebate apps offer savings after you make a purchase, after the cashier has taken all your coupons, after you get into your car and breathe a sigh of relief (and after you pat yourself on the back for being a badass smart shopper).
Pull out the receipt from your shopping trip and take a picture of it or upload it to the rebate app of your choice — go ahead and use one receipt to redeem offers from multiple rebate apps if you can.
You’ll earn either cash back that goes into your PayPal account (Ibotta and Checkout51), or you’ll earn points you can redeem for gift cards to stores like Amazon (Fetch Rewards and Shopkick).
Get all of these rebate apps:
9. If your digital coupon doesn’t apply correctly, don’t give up!
Just like paper coupons, sometimes digital coupons won’t apply to your transaction correctly. You can troubleshoot most couponing user errors by asking yourself these questions:
- Did you purchase the right product as stated on the coupon? Did you get the correct size, brand, and quantity?
- Did you add the digital coupon to your “wallet” inside the store app?
- Is your phone screen bright enough for the cashier to successfully scan the coupon barcode?
I know these seem like no-brainers, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve marched up to the checkout and gotten something wrong. Like thinking I had a Buy 1, Get 1 Free coupon when in reality, it was a Buy 1, Get 1 50% off coupon. It happens!
If all else fails, head to customer service to find out why your coupon doesn’t seem to apply.