Wednesday, January 13, 2010

eCoupons 101 Updated!

I have learned a few new things about eCoupons over the past several months of using them, so I've decided to update my original post and share it with all of you!

What are eCoupons?
eCoupons is just another term for paperless coupons that you load electronically over the internet to store loyalty cards.

How eCoupons Work:

There are several different sites that you can obtain eCoupons from.  All of them work pretty much the same way, with only a few minor differences. After you sign up and register your store loyalty cards, and then are allowed to load those cards with coupons for various products.  When you go to purchase these products at the store, the coupons are redeemed when you swipe your loyalty card.

eCoupons are especially good for people who don’t have the time to spend coupon clipping or deal seeking. For those who do, eCoupons offer the added bonus of even more savings!

General Tips for using eCoupons:

  1. Load as many coupons as you think you will use.  I have never hit a limit personally when loading eCoupons. 
  2. Give eCoupons time to load before heading to the store.  Most sites recommend waiting at least one hour before attempting to redeem.
  3. If you do coupon match-ups before shopping, make a note of what eCoupons are available on your shopping list.  Printing off a complete list of eCoupons from each site wastes a lot of ink which becomes expensive.
  4. I mentioned in my previous post that you should hold off loading eCoupons that are a lesser value than paper coupons you may have.  I no longer recommend this.  I have been able to use both manufacturer paper coupons and manufacturer eCoupons every time at check-out.  That has made for some great deals!
  5. Many sites have duplicate coupons.  All coupons are deducted at Safeway affiliate stores when you swipe your card, even if you have duplicate coupons from different sites.  At Fred Meyer, unfortunately only one loaded eCoupon will be deducted if it is a duplicate.
Here are the sites I am using:

Shortcuts: This site offers easy to load grocery coupons that you can use at both Kroger and Safeway affiliates. You will notice that there isn’t an option to load your Fred Meyer card, which is the Kroger affiliate in my area. I was able to load my Fred Meyer Card by typing in my loyalty number under the Kroger Plus store option.

Cellfire: You register with your cell phone number and year of birth, then load grocery store coupons onto your loyalty cards the same way you do with Shortcuts. Once again, both Kroger and Safeway affiliates participate. In order to load eCoupons to your Fred Meyer loyalty card you must use a zip code that has a Kroger Plus store. I had to enter a different cell phone number to register, but it worked using the Fort Worth, Texas zip code of 76137 (where my mom lives).

P&G eSaver: This site lets you load coupons for Proctor & Gamble products to Safeway affiliate loyalty cards. (They used to allow you to load Kroger cards also, but recently stopped.)

SafewayYou can load all eCoupons from the above listed sites here.

Fred Meyer: Fred Meyer has started its own eCoupon program. It is very new, but as far as I can tell, it works the same as all of the other eCoupon sites.

Upromise: You also register your store loyalty card for e-coupons on this site, but instead of taking money off your purchase, it puts the amount of the coupon into an account for college savings. I have heard mixed reviews about this site, but in my opinion every little bit helps so I am giving it a try. Please leave me a comment if you have more experience with this site!

Hope this helps anyone who is new to using eCoupons or needs a little more clarification.  If you have more information about using eCoupons please share it with the rest of us by leaving a comment! :)

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maygan said...

Great post! The reason for the difference between Safeway and Fred Meyers is that Safeway allows doubling, so as many ecoupons as you have loaded will come off. QFC also only allows for one of each kind from each site (usually).

Kim said...

Thanks Maygan. I haven't tried to use at QFC before. Good to know!

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