Every savvy shopper knows that matching coupons with sales is the best way to stretch those precious dollars! But the addition of rebate apps has made it a possibility to stack savings on top of savings. Best of all, the apps are right there on your smart phone, and we all know that that is usually even easier than clipping paper coupons. I never leave home without my iPhone, and SavingStar is one of my favorite apps to use! Have you tried it? Are you intimidated by the thought of using technology in the checkout lane? Never fear…it’s not as hard as you think—we promise!
What is SavingStar?
SavingStar is a smart phone app that helps you save money by either scanning your receipts, linking your store card, or making in-app purchases with online retailers. There’s a “Cash Back Mall” that features retailers like Lands’ End and Groupon, and if you’re familiar with eBates, you’ll find it a breeze. Once you reach the minimum threshold of $5.00, you can cash out to your PayPal account, donate to charity, or receive it as a gift card. With 58 thousand participating stores and over 5 million users, it’s a reputable resource and an easy tool that will help you save a little extra cash. Here’s why you should sign up now.
How do I use SavingStar?
You’ll need a smart phone to download their app. On your home screen, you’ll see “offers,” much like other retailers such as iBotta or Snap. Here’s what the screen looks like to the user. To select an offer, click the orange plus sign.
In order to use the app, you’ll have to first select participating stores near you. You can do this by clicking “stores.” There are two types of stores: ones that are linked to your loyalty store card, and ones that require you to scan receipts for redemption (like iBotta). When you load offers to your loyalty cards, they load to all the cards you have registered on the app! How cool is that?! You must register your card by clicking stores that have loyalty cards before you make any purchases. Nothing is retroactive on the app, so if you forget, they won’t honor your purchase.
Near me, I can see that many of the stores where I shop are participating retailers, and I can add more by clicking the check sign next to each store.
We eat a lot of yogurt in our house, so I’m always looking for savings. You can imagine how excited I was to see the Yoplait offer shown below. To check which products are valid, all I have to do is scan the barcode on the yogurt items in the store. Here’s an example of how I can stack the savings for yogurt at my local Safeway (prices vary regionally):
- Buy five Yoplait Yogurts, on sale for $5.00.
- Use two different $1.00/2 manufacturer coupons with doubler, which adds $0.50 per coupon.
- I then receive $3.00 off my total and can redeem my receipt for the “$1.00 when you buy five” offer on SavingStar. My out-of-pocket becomes $1.00 for five yogurts!
Tip: Double check that your receipt prints clearly before you leave the store! If the reciept is hard to read or is faded, smeared, or torn, you may have trouble redeeming your SavingStar offer. You can always ask for a reprint at customer service or at the register where you check out.
One or Many offers
One of the best features of SavingStar is their “one or many” offers. These offers mean you can buy one of the items or all the required amount in multiple trips! You can see an example of one of these offers below. As long as I turn in my receipts before the expiration date, I can earn the whole amount off (if you don’t reach the minimum amount, which is $25.00 of Purex products, you will not receive any rebate amount). This is handy if you do multiple transactions or if you’re spacing out purchases due to a cash-only budget. Keep in mind that offers that state “buy two” to receive the offer are different than “one or many” offers, and that the two items must be in the same transaction in that instance.
If you’ve been using SavingStar for a long time, you know there are some changes to the app that are interesting. Some stores recently eliminated the need for their club cards or loyalty cards. If you already have a loyalty card to Albertsons, for example, you’re golden because you just have to use your existing card to load offers (even though the store doesn’t use the cards for savings, you’ll be qualified for SavingStar offers). If you’re a newbie and don’t have a card, you’ll have to call Albertsons’ customer service at 877-932-7948.
On October 1, 2014, the following stores went from automatic offers (i.e., loaded to a card) to receipt-only offers:
- Fred Meyer
- King Soopers
- City Market
They also offer a new credit card option, which you can read about here. You can earn up to 10% cash back on groceries with that new option, on top of your regular app savings.
If you’re all about convenience when it comes to saving money, SavingStar may just be your new best shopping buddy—it’s definitely won a place in my couponing heart. Sign up now. Then let us know in our Brags section or in the comments below just how you’re saving money with SavingStar.