Like any good couponer, I’ve registered my store loyalty cards at all of the e-coupon sites: Shortcuts, Cellfire, Upromise, and P&G eSaver. (Kroger’s e-coupon site, Bringing Hope to the Table, appears to have fizzled and is pretty much blank now.)
There are some e-coupons I know I’ll never use – like the $2.50 off Pedigree DentaStix, which becomes a moneymaker with a sale and the $2.50 off printable coupon. I’ve found that the e-coupons are somewhat unreliable, in that about once in every ten transactions or so, the e-coupon doesn’t come off. So I won’t take a chance with an item I don’t need at all.
But when it comes to items that I would definitely buy if they’re a good deal, I always load the coupon. This is important because I tend to forget about e-coupons when I’m putting together my scenarios.
For example, Pavilions (which is a Safeway store out here in SoCal) often has coupons in the weekly ad that require a minimum $20 purchase after sale and store coupons. This week’s flyer has a coupon for a 12-inch DiGiorno pizza for $3.99. Couple that store coupon with a $1 off manufacturer coupon, and that’s $2.99 for a large frozen pizza, which is an excellent deal on an easy meal when I’m not in the mood to cook. (My family doesn’t like the flatbread pizzas so I got the rising crust variety – but if you like the flatbread, there are $1.25 off coupons out there.) To get to the $20 minimum, I decided to use one of my free Cascade rinse agent coupons (they come in the free Home Made Simple booklet that I told you about a couple of weeks ago). It was only after I got home and checked my receipt that I realized that in addition to getting the full $4.99 off with the free coupon, I also got 50 cents off for a P&G eSaver coupon on any Cascade product. So the purchase, which I made just to keep my out of pocket expenses to a minimum, actually turned into a slight moneymaker (even after our 9.75% sales tax).
The moral of the story is that you should always load every e-coupon you come across for a product that you might buy at some point. Unlike printable coupons, which cost at least a penny or two to print and take up space, e-coupons cost you nothing. (Well, they do cost a little privacy – if you’re paranoid about companies tracking your purchases, e-coupons might not be for you.)
And if you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself saving money without even realizing it!