The Modern Way to Save:
5 Tech Tips to Celebrate 125 Years of Couponing
The coupon turns 125 in 2012, and according to a recent survey, consumers are celebrating with savings! Almost 70 percent of American women “love saving money and getting great discounts” and now use coupons more than ever before, citing the coupon craze as trendy and more socially acceptable among their peers. It’s also easier (more accessible), say 40 percent of women, thanks to technology.*
Leah Ingram, personal finance expert and author of Suddenly Frugal, shares her top 5 tips to save money in today’s digital age, including:
1. Keep your grocery-shopping list on your tablet or smartphone notepad.
Rather than writing your shopping list on a scrap of paper that you might lose, keeping track of your grocery list digitally helps keep your shopping information organized in one place, and helps to avoid overspending or impulse buying. Better yet, many supermarkets keep a map of their aisles on their website so you can cross-check your list with the store's layout, all on one device, making your shopping easier and more efficient.
2. Use money-saving apps
Download the latest money-saving apps for your smartphone or tablet, such as the new Valpak app offering local coupons and deals, sorted by ZIP code, anywhere@anytime on everything from the drycleaners to carpet cleaning to groceries.
3. Always search for coupon codes.
When shopping online, you should never click over to checkout before scouring the Internet for coupon codes or ways to save extra money. Use your favorite search engine to search using the phrase "coupon code" and the name of the site where you are shopping to see if you can find a discount code you can apply to your purchase. You can find Savings.com codes on Valpak.com as well.
4. Monitor your spending
Monitor your spending through online banking or one of many free apps available for your smartphone. Many banks will even allow you to set up alerts to indicate when your balance hits certain amounts, when payments are due, and when transactions are posted.
5. Watch out for rebates and refunds!
Don’t throw away extra money – be sure to file for rebates and refunds when applicable to purchases. Many today are rewarded via gift card, pre-paid debit cards and PayPal deposits. File the paperwork online, right after purchase with your smartphone or table to ensure you don’t lose the information or forget to file!
About Leah Ingram
Leah Ingram is a lifestyle and frugal-living expert, and the author of two books that focus on living more on less: Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier on Less (Adams Media, 2010) and Toss, Keep, Sell: The Suddenly Frugal Guide to Getting Organized and Making Money from Your Stuff (Adams Media, 2010). The latter book focuses on getting cash for your clutter while organizing your house. She's also the creator of the nationally syndicated money-saving blog called Suddenly Frugal (http://www.suddenlyfrugal.com) and a regular contributor of frugal-living segments for the local Philadelphia news, including segments on grocery shopping, gift buying and saving money.
A frequent TV guest and expert on family-related topics, you can find Leah writing her blog or articles for national publications, including All You, Continental, Executive Travel, Good Housekeeping and Parenting, and blogging daily on Home Goes Strong, the NBC Universal platform on home-related topics, including entertaining. She is also the author of a dozen other books, such as Gifts Anytime! How to Find the Perfect Present for Any Occasion and The Everything Etiquette Book: A Modern Day Guide to Good Manners.
*Data from the 125th Birthday of the Coupon Poll, sponsored by Valpak.com, conducted in January 2012. Survey methodology available by request; additional results of the survey can be found here.