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Couponing isn’t just a good idea — it’s a way of life. And online coupons are causing a savings renaissance for smart shoppers.
Using coupons creates a world where instead of being subject to prices retailers and brands set, you have the power to reduce prices thanks to your knowledge of couponing. You’re in the driver’s seat, no longer a victim of price gouging and in a sense, you’re setting your own price points for items.
I’ll show you how extreme couponing is still a thing, but it’s not what you think, and how the pandemic has caused a coupon rebirth. Plus, digital coupons are on the rise, because we’re shopping from our phones (especially Millennials and Gen Z). So, more digital and paper coupons will be showing up in the future and you’re going to use them to save, save, save!
1. KCL does the heavy lifting of matching current coupons with sales so you don’t have to.
When you download the KCL app, you’ll get free access to hundreds of deals and coupons right into your hot little hands.
KCL doesn’t have any of our own coupons, instead we aggregate — or gather — coupons from the internet and newspaper inserts to match them up with sale prices our team sees at the most popular stores. The result? Hours and hours you don’t have to spend matching up the sales with coupons. You’re welcome!
Also, you can set deal alerts inside the KCL app if you’ve got a specific product or brand in mind, and we’ll send you a notification when we see a deal on it.
Here’s an example of a diaper deal:
Buy 2 Huggies Pull-Ups $9 each, when you buy 2, sale price
Spend $25, receive $5 Register Reward
Use Spend $20, receive 10X Everyday Points, (walgreens.com)
And use one $1/1 – Huggies Diapers 10 count or larger (huggies.com)
And use two $2/1 – Huggies Pull-Ups Training Pants from SS
And submit one $1/1 – Huggies Snug & Dry Diapers 19-44 count, Ibotta Rebate (ibotta.com)
And submit two $1/1 – Huggies Pull-Ups 8-38 count, Ibotta Rebate (ibotta.com)
Pay $22, receive $5 Register Reward and 2,700 Everyday Points ($2.70,) and submit for $3 in Ibotta credits
Final Price: $3.77 each, when you buy 3
2. You’ll save 50 – 70% on groceries and household items when you coupon.
Twist your arm, right?!
As I said, stacking discounts like sales and coupons is the way to get these deep savings. And on some items (like laundry detergent), you can get more like 80% savings. To get these super-deep savings, you may need to go into the store to do it. But you can still use digital coupons.
Here are some recent deals we’ve sent users of the KCL app:
Buy 1 Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent, 37 or 40 ounces $4.99, sale price
Buy 2, receive $3 Register Reward
Use one $2/1 – Tide PODS Laundry Detergent 12 or 16 count (walgreens.com)
And use one $2/1 – Tide Laundry Detergent 37 or 40 ounces (walgreens.com)
Pay $5.98, receive $3 Register Reward
Final Price: $1.49 each, when you buy 2 (80% savings)
Use two $0.75/1 – Irish Spring Body Wash, limit 4 (irishspring.com)
Pay $6.50, receive $3 ExtraBucks
Final Price: $1.75 each, when you buy 2 (56% savings)
3. So, is extreme couponing still a thing?
Yes. But let me explain.
You’ll need to banish any thoughts of people running through a supermarket on TV and buying more Cheerios than any human could possibly consume before the expiration date. Ditch the visions of hoarders who have so much stockpile that their basements look like mini-marts. This is not what I’m talking about.
Extreme couponing actually refers to using multiple coupons or discounts on an item to bring the price down so you can save the most money possible while also getting the most groceries.
The way to do this is through “stacking” coupons and discounts. Stacking is combining various discounts. You can stack a sale price with a single coupon, or stack a store and manufacturer coupon — it doesn’t matter what discounts you stack — as long as you’re using more than one type of discount on an item, it’s considered extreme couponing.
Read on for more reasons why I think couponing is here to stay.
4. Coupon usage overall is on the rise compared to last year.
Coupons are far from dead and in fact, more people are relying on them as the economy slows and people are out of work. Historically, coupon usage spikes when the economy falls, since we are all looking for ways to save on items we have to buy (like groceries and household products).
A survey done by Valassis, one of the largest coupon distributors in the world, found that 60% of Americans say they use both paper and digital coupons to save money on groceries. Compare this to the same survey done in 2019, where only 53% of shoppers said they use coupons — a 7% increase!
5. Shoppers are using more digital coupons than they did last year too.
The same Valassis study found that 73% of couponers in 2020 use digital or paperless discounts, compared to just 63% in 2019.
Surely the pandemic has affected this statistic since many people are leaning on digital offers because they’re doing more online shopping — where before maybe they used paper coupons.
6. Gen Z and Millennials use the most digital coupons.
“More than 69% of Gen Z and Millennials use their devices to download paperless coupons and compare competitor prices.” The Valassis report says that youngest shoppers are the most likely to spring for digital coupons. In fact, it’s more like 75% of Millennials!
Retailers are scrambling to meet shoppers where they’re at, and since so many younger shoppers are using their smartphones, we can expect to see more digital coupons and paperless discount opportunities from stores and brands as time goes on.
7. Plus, you can get free stuff.
Affectionately referred to as “freebies,” you can get free items anytime you find a high-value coupon that matches the price of an item on clearance.
What if you find an item that costs less than the value of your coupon? Most stores won’t pay what we call “overage.” This means, if you have a $1.50 off coupon for an item that only costs $1, they won’t open the register and give you $0.50 back. They adjust the value of the coupon down to the cost of the item.
We see this happen at Dollar Tree quite often since you can use a manufacturer coupon on items there. When everything’s a dollar, it’s not hard to get a freebie. Here’s one deal we sent users in the KCL app:
Use one $1.50/1 – Excedrin product 20 count or larger from RMN
Final Price: Free
8. No need to bother with newspaper coupon inserts — they’re available online.
When you see abbreviations in deals KCL posts like “SS,” “PG,” or “RMN,” it refers to the newspaper insert where we found that specific coupon.
Traditionally, couponers get the Sunday paper and pull out whatever coupon inserts are available that week, using actual scissors to cut actual paper coupons out. You can still do this, — it’s the best way to make sure you don’t miss a coupon. But, another way is to print them directly from each coupon insert’s website.
Make a mental note — P&G coupons will expire 24 hours after you print them, so make sure you’re ready to use it if you print it! Here are the three coupon insert websites:
9. The Coupons.com app offers digital coupons so you don’t even have to print anything.
In order to get those low prices on items while you’re couponing, you’ll usually need a manufacturer coupon.
Manufacturer coupons live at Coupons.com, and you can print paper versions from there. But if you prefer the digital route, “clip” manufacturer coupons for your favorite stores inside the Coupons.com app. Just choose which store you’re shopping at, and either link your store loyalty card or take a picture of your receipt in order to get cash back into your PayPal account after your purchase.
The rule of thumb is if the store offers a loyalty program (think: CVS, Walgreens, Vons, etc.), you’ll link the Coupons.com app to it, and if it doesn’t (Target, Walmart, etc.), you’ll submit your receipt to the app to earn cash back.
10. Grocery and drugstores offer digital coupons directly in their apps.
The other component you’ll need for a good coupon stack is a store coupon or two. You can find these inside each store’s app.
Many of these apps also house manufacturer coupons, so if you’re shopping at a store with an app, check for a manufacturer coupon as that’s more convenient than using the Coupons.com app along with a store app.
Here are grocery and drugstores with their own apps:
- Target digital coupons
- Dollar General digital coupons
- Kroger digital coupons
- Walgreens digital coupons
- CVS digital coupons
- H-E-B digital coupons
- Safeway/Vons digital coupons
11. “Rolling” your savings into your next purchase will create breathing room in your grocery budget.
Drugstores like CVS and Walgreens offer opportunities to “roll” your savings to your next purchase. Rolling just means you earn something when you make a purchase and then you redeem those earnings to buy more items.
Take CVS for example. If you pay with ExtraBucks (this is what CVS calls their rewards certificates that you’ll earn when you do certain promotions. It’s like store cash), you can also earn ExtraBucks. Just keep doing that until they make you stop.
Seriously though, as long as you’re buying items that qualify for whatever the current ExtraBucks promotion is, you’ll earn more ExtraBucks.
RELATED: THIS Is How to Coupon at CVS
12. You can apply rebate app offers to your online grocery pickup orders.
If you’re one of 43% of Gen Zers and 51% of Millennials who do this already (Valassis), you can skip this step. For anyone not familiar with this stroke of magic we call a “rebate app,” buckle up.
Usually, you’ll tap rebate app offers that appeal to you and when you’ve made a purchase, scan or upload a picture of your receipt to the app in order to receive money into your PayPal account. This is all done after you make a purchase, not at checkout.
But now, you can use the rebate apps with your online grocery pickup or delivery too. For example, Ibotta offers two ways to earn from your online grocery order. First, some stores (like Target and Walmart) prompt you to link your store account inside the Ibotta app. For Target, you can link your RedCard and for Walmart, link your Walmart Pay account. Other stores, like Albertsons, simply offer a flat-rate cash back offer (like 2% cash back) when you initiate your grocery order through Ibotta.
13. You don’t need a physical receipt to earn points through Fetch Rewards.
With Fetch Rewards, you’re using your receipt to earn points that translate into gift cards once you’ve earned 3,000 points. (1,000 points equals $1, so plan to get 1% of your purchases back in points.)
Here are the online grocery stores that work with Fetch:
- Sam’s Club
- Shipt grocery delivery
- Instacart grocery delivery
- Peapod grocery delivery
- Boxed grocery delivery
TIP: When it’s time to redeem your Fetch points for gift cards, choose grocery store gift cards so you can put more savings back into your grocery budget.
14. What better time than now to start a couponing stockpile of essential items?
When you see a great coupon deal on an essential item, buy two or three of them. This way you’re never at the mercy of “Shoot! I’m out of shampoo and need to run to the store before tomorrow morning” moments. This is how you set the price, like I talked about.
Use KCL’s stock-up price list as a guide to know what a good bottom-line price is for popular items. When you’ve got an extra or two on hand, you’ll never need to pay full price. Just wait for the next coupon deal!
No need to become a hoarder. Buy just enough to share with your friends and family the next time there’s an emergency, but not so much that you’ve got a mini-mart in your basement.
Don’t scroll up! Here are the articles I mentioned: