As a seasoned couponer, I know that a coupon value is increased when used to purchase an item that is on sale. This means every Sunday morning I get my newspaper, clip coupons, organize them and then match them to the sales in my local stores' circulars.
There are other ways to get savings — or additional savings, as the case may be — without clipping coupons, because both your smartphone and the Internet can help you find ways to get savings. Here's how:
1. Ibotta. Ibotta works at over 100,000 locations and at over 80 different retailers, including Kroger, Walmart, Target and many more. Before you head out to shop, browse through all of its different product offers. To earn cash, you'll need to purchase these specific products. But first you have to unlock those money-earning offers by watching quick videos, viewing recipes, taking polls, posting to your Facebook wall and then going to the store to purchase the specific items. The best part with this is you get additional cash back on your purchases and you can use manufacturer's coupons to lower your out of pocket expense.
2. Checkout51. Every Thursday this app updates its offers, which are good until the following Wednesday. Browse the offers to find products to save on. Then head to the store, buy the products and keep your receipt. Be sure to buy products and upload your receipt while the offers are live. Use the app to upload photos of your receipt. It will process your receipt and add the savings to your account. Once you have $20, cash out and you will be mailed a check.
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3. Snap by Groupon. Browse through the different offers available. Each offer's redemption limit is clearly noted on its details page. And some offers can be redeemed as often as you like. Upload a photo of your receipt using the app or website within two days of purchase. When your account reaches $20, you can request payment.
4. Target Cartwheel. This is Target's in-store savings program. The best part with this program is you can use one manufacturer coupon, one Target coupon and one Cartwheel offer per item purchased at Target. Find an offer you like, click on the offer image and select the add button. You'll know when an offer is on your Cartwheel when a red check appears in the corner of the card. When you're ready to purchase your items at a Target store, you can either print your Cartwheel barcode from your desktop at home or you can use the app on your smartphone while in the store to access your barcode. Target Cartwheel offers are deducted after all Target store coupons but before manufacturer's coupons. Don't forget to have your mobile Target coupons sent to you via text messages. I also do not promote buying items on credit but if you sign up for the Target's REDcard you will receive a five percent discount on your purchase every time you use your card.
5. Ebates.com. This is a great place to start when ordering an item online. Sign up, then enter the store you would like to purchase from. Ebates has over 2,600 retailers and is growing. Ebates will direct you to a website and you will earn a percentage back of your purchase. Each store offers a different cash back percentage. I have earned over $500 by going through Ebates first when ordering online.
6. Retailmenot.com. When ordering online, at checkout there is always a place to enter a promotional code. With a database of more than 65,000 stores, this site has a deep collection of promotional and free shipping codes.
7. SavingStar. Choose the stores where you shop. Then click the offers you want and they will be linked to your registered store cards, such as your Kroger card. For automatic savings stores, your savings are automatically added to your SavingStar account. For receipt-scan stores, you'll need to save and submit your receipt through the SavingStar app or website. Once you accumulate savings, or your SavingStar account reaches $5, you can pick your payout from a deposit into your bank or PayPal account or make a donation to American Forests.
8. Savings Catcher. If a local competitor offers a lower advertised price on an item you purchased at Walmart, you will receive a Walmart gift card for the difference. Enter your receipt number or scan the barcode by downloading the Walmart App.
-- Free disposal day for household waste is January 17 from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1505 Old Frankfort Pike, Lexington. Normally the cost is $63.53 per ton to dispose of household waste. Participants must have a valid Fayette County driver's license. All loads must be level with the bed of the truck. All loads must be covered by a tarp. Only household waste will be accepted. No more than four small truck or automobile tires off the rim are accepted.
-- Free shredding up to five pounds at Staples. Just print out the coupon.