How to Use Digital Grocery Coupons To Save Even More at Checkout

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In this day and age we are getting used to digital everything. Digital books, magazines, music, maps, and now digital grocery coupons. One digital coupon company is called SavingStar. You don’t clip or print their manufacturer eCoupons, but load them on to your store loyalty card.

Currently over 100 store chains with 24,000 stores nationwide are participating. In Minnesota, SavingStar coupons are available at Rainbow Foods, Shoppers, Hy-Vee and CVS./Pharmacy stores. To see which stores near you are participating, type in your zip code on the SavingStar homepage to see which stores near you participate.

SavingStar: You Earn an Automatic Rebate

Although SavingStar’s eCoupons are called eCoupons, they are operate like an automatic rebate more than a coupon. When you purchase a product for which you have a SavingStar eCoupon, a deposit is made in your SavingStar account. You don’t receive a discount at the cash register, but a cash deposit into your free SavingStar account. When you’ve accumulated at least $5 in your SavingStar account, then you can request a payout; payouts can be in the form of cash, gift cards to various retailers or you can donate your money to charity.

Think of the eCoupons as a manufacturer’s coupon. That means you can use a SavingStar eCoupon and a store-issued coupon for the same item at the same time. You should not, however, use an eCoupon and a manufacturer’s coupon on the same item; that’s like using two manufacturer’s coupons at the same time and it’s a no-no across the couponing world.

How SavingStar Works

  1. Create a free SavingStar account
  2. Link your loyalty cards for participating stores into your SavingStar Account when you receive an email confirming yoru new SavingStar account.
  3. Select the eCoupons you like from SavingStar’s website, or from their iPhone or Android apps. Coupons you select are automatically linked to your store loyalty card.
  4. Present your loyalty card at checkout and the money is added to your SavingStar account. You do not receive a discount at the register, but instead receive a cash deposit into your SavingStar account. The deposit will register in your account within 7-30 days depending upon where you shop.
  5. When your SavingStar account has at least $5 in savings, you can get a payout. Your choices incluse a cash deposit to your bank or PayPal account, an Amazon gift card, or you donate your earnings to charity.

Currently, there are over 30 coupons available on SavingStar. Like any coupon site, their coupons change with time and throughout the month new coupons are added.

You will start to see SavingStar eCoupons referenced in relevant shopping lists on Pocket Your Dollars.

Other Digital Grocery Coupon Options

If this concept sounds familiar to you, it may be. It is reminiscent of UPromise. In fact, SavingStar is now operating the grocery coupon component of UPromise. You won’t get double the amount of coupons by having an account with both SavingStar and UPromise; there is a one coupon per loyalty card limit. (With UPromise your instant rebates are deposited into an education fund and not available for cash withdrawal in the short-term)

Cellfire is another legitimate source of digital grocery coupons. Cellfire’s coupons are like traditional coupons where you receive a discount at the register versus this concept where you receive an automatic rebate deposited into your account. I haven’t mentioned Cellfire much because they don’t have any participating stores in my area.

Your turn: Are you likely to use digital grocery coupons of some sort or not? Why or why not?

Comments

  1. Joanna says

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    That's actually not true. Your UPromise instant rebates *can* be linked to and deposited into an educational fund — if your educational fund is one that they are set up to link to (in my experience, Minnesota 529's are not). *Or* you can receive payout checks from them, which I have done in the past.

  2. Mary says

    Unfortunately, none of the stores near us have store loyalty cards. All we have are Coborns, Cashwise, Target and Walmart.

  3. Laura says

    How would one organize themselves to remember what digital coupons were stored on their cards? I mean, without reading it I wouldn't remember if I needed to buy one yogurt or six!

  4. Chris says

    Ok, not sure I have seen it here or not, but SA has a rewards program that works great for me.

    I have a van and when I fill up, it takes over $100 in gas to fill it up every other week. I buy a $100 gift card and then fill up on gas using their rewards program. I then use the gift card to pay for the gas with additional cash for the extra $10 or so.

    The $100 gift card gives me an extra 1500 points and the $110 in gas gives me about 300 points. That gives me a total of 1800 points per transaction. I then cash the points in for a $.10 off of gas coupon and fill up the next time on Tuesday getting $.20 off per gallon.

    So if you have a big gas tank, you can get a nice coupon each time you fill up.

  5. Cheri A says

    I will check this out. I didn't use UPromise much because the coupons seemed to be low in value and for items I don't purchase usually.

    At this point, I would rather be able to double a coupon and get the money off my grocery bill at Rainbow. I guess if I didn't have a coupon to double and needed an item, I would use it, though.

    Thanks for finding another way to save us money!

  6. sheryl says

    Maybe I missed this but can I still use my paper manufacturer coupons at the register along with this? For example, the site says $2.00 digital coupon towards a specific size of Aleve. Can I use my $1.00 off manufacturer paper coupon at the store with it to get that discount at the register?

  7. Amber says

    shortscuts.com is a lot like cellfire.com, another coupon site that works just like a paper coupon, except linked to your store card. My local store is Kroger and they used to allow use of both e coupons and MQ's on the same item, but they recently adopted a "one or the other" policy. Which is fine with me, but as the ecoupons automatically come off before the paper coupons are scanned, the system won't accept the paper coupon which is often higher $ then the ecoupon, as ecoupons don't double. Although I've been told cashiers are supposed to know how to remove the ecoupon and apply the paper coupon instead, I have yet to encounter one that does. Other than that, I've had good experiences with ecoupons.

  8. says

    Hi Laura, When you select the eCoupons, you can either print or email your list of eCoupons. If you have an iPhone or Android, you can also use the SavingStar app to select your eCoupons. Thanks, Josh from SavingStar

  9. Sarah Sonnier says

    Ok, then…didn't know about the stacking issue. I guess I won't be using these anytime soon. It's just not worth the hassle of having to remember so many coupons. I'll probably keep an eye out for something I know I won't have a paper coupon of higher value for, but that's about it. Bummer! :-(

  10. Jessica says

    Just because I am starting to struggle finding time in my schedule to do all of the couponing and deal-hunting. I have two small children at home – are you going to link these deals up on the shopping lists?

  11. Greta says

    I'm wondering, typically, how quickly people are getting credit for their Savingstar coupons at Rainbow. I'm getting kind of nervous that I'm not going to receive credit, as I've been using them on-and-off for about a month! Thanks.

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