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8 Types of Coupons and How They Can Help You Save

There are 8 types of coupons available. How and when you use them can help you keep your own money in your pocket.

If you’re like me, you grew up seeing members of your family clip a few coupons.  Both my grandmas did it, my aunt did it, and my mom did it occasionally, too.  It’s something that I distinctly remember from my childhood.  Back in those days, it was simply clipping the coupons that came in the Sunday paper.  Maybe you’d get a bonus coupon inside a box of cereal, but generally, the Sunday paper was where all the good ones would be.

Nowadays, coupons are obtainable in many more places.  In fact, it’s a little overwhelming – especially if you’re a beginner.  I used to think the best ones were either in the Sunday paper or printable online.  Not so anymore.  Yes, those two places are still excellent sources, but now, we also have all of these, too:

  • eCoupons
  • Catalinas
  • Peelies
  • Blinkies & tear offs
  • Store coupons
  • Rebate apps

For today, I’ll explain the 8 types of coupons that are available and also how you can use multiple coupons to save even more!

Sunday paper coupons

These are the most common coupons, and in my opinion, what everyone associates with “couponing.”  Each Sunday, your newspaper will have a selection of coupon inserts from SmartSource, RedPlum, or Proctor & Gamble (1 per month).  The types of coupons that are included are different by region, so what someone gets in Oregon may be different than what’s provided in Tennessee.  

The coupon inserts in the Sunday paper are generally going to be traditional manufacturer’s coupons.  Some stores will allow you to double the coupon value up to a certain amount, but this is becoming less common.  You cannot use more than one manufacturer’s coupon on a single item.  However, you can use them with other store coupons/programs and rebate apps…more on that later.

Internet printable coupons

For the most part, internet coupons are also going to be manufacturer’s coupons.  You can find them in a variety of places – Coupons.com has the largest database (see below), but Smartsource.com and Redplum.com have a different, but smaller, selection.  Generally, you’re allowed to print a coupon up to two times.  There are caps in place on most websites, meaning that once the allotted amount has been printed, they’re no longer available for new prints.

eCoupons (aka digital coupons)

For people that hate to clip or print coupons, eCoupons make couponing easy!  Multiple stores now have shopper’s cards that you can load eCoupons to – Kroger, Target, Walgreens, and CVS are the ones I use on a regular basis.  In order to clip the coupons you want, you’ll need to log in to your store account, and view the available coupons.  “Clip” the ones you’d like to use onto your shopper’s card and when you check out at the store, they’ll instantly be applied to your purchase.  No paper, no fuss!

Target’s program is the only one that I know of that’s a little different from the other ones I mentioned.  Their app, Cartwheel by Target, has 2 types of coupons – eCoupons as well as general % discount savings (anywhere from 5% to 50% off).  Simply log in to the app on your smartphone, and load the offers you want to use.  When you’re ready to check out, have the cashier scan your Cartwheel barcode after they’ve scanned your paper coupons.  

To give you a great example of how you can make Cartwheel work for you, this week they had a 20% discount on Cottonelle toilet paper.  I was able to load that discount onto my Cartwheel app and also pair it with a manufacturer’s coupon…bonus savings!!  Cartwheel discounts are not posted by the items in the store, so it’s also helpful to use the barcode scanner within the app to see if any discount offers are available.  Target’s Up & Up brand frequently gives 5% off on numerous products.  Never pay full price again – even when you’re buying generics!

Catalinas

These are the coupons that you occasionally receive with your receipt after you’ve checked out at the store, and the ones you receive depend on the items you just bought.  For example, I’ve gotten Gerber coupons on a regular basis because I’ve bought the Gerber meals and pouches for my toddler.  I’ll frequently get a coupon that gives me $1 off a future purchase.  When you redeem Catalinas, you will need to return to the store that they were printed at.  Using a Kroger Catalina at Walmart will not work.

Peelies

These are just like they sound.  They’re the coupons that you “peel” off an item at the store.  I don’t rely on these too much because usually, they either ask you to buy 2 items or I’ve got some other coupon on hand that’s better.  Don’t count them out, though – they can be helpful.

Blinkies and tear offs

Ever notice those boxes that are attached to the store shelf, and they’re blinking to get your attention?  It’s because there’s a coupon there!  🙂  Tear offs are the coupons on pads that are attached to the shelf.  Much like peelies, the blinkies/tear offs are bonus savings that you can use instantly.  

Store coupons

This is where it starts to get fun.  🙂  Remember when I said earlier that you could use multiple types of coupons to save big?  Store coupons are just one of the ways you can do it!  For this section, I’ll use Target because they frequently have store coupons available.  You can find them either in their weekly ad, in a newspaper coupon insert, or through the Cartwheel app.  When you look at the top of the coupon, it will say “Target coupon” instead of “manufacturer’s coupon.”  All stores that have store coupons allow you to “stack” their coupons with manufacturer’s coupons which will multiply your savings!  

You remember the Cottonelle example I used earlier?  Well, in that same transaction, not only did I have the 20% Cartwheel discount and a .50 manufacturer’s coupon, I also had a Target coupon that was $5 off my $25 transaction of select paper products.  To make it even BETTER, I also had an Ibotta rebate (more on that next).  That’s 4 different types of coupons, and they can all be used together!  

Rebate apps

I covered all of the good ones in a post here (along with some other apps that are great to have if you want to save serious $$).  To give you an overview, the #1 app that is a must download is Ibotta (they give you a $10 bonus when you redeem your first branded rebate!) followed by Checkout 51, MobiSave, and SavingStar.  To me, rebates are the cherry on top of an already delicious sundae.  If you’ve been fortunate enough to get an already great deal with coupons, take advantage of these rebate apps and put money back in your pocket.  It’s a total win-win.  🙂

There are 8 types of coupons available. How and when you use them can help you keep your own money in your pocket.

Is your head spinning now?  Did you have any idea that there were so many types of coupons?!  It’s actually pretty exciting because they work just like cash.  If you’re like me, I’d rather hand someone a coupon than cash out of my own pocket whenever possible.  

Now, just because there are so many different types of coupons doesn’t mean that you should use them the first chance you get.  Once you start to use them with regularity, you’ll start to notice when and where you can get the most bang for your buck.  It just takes a little strategy and planning, but it can be done.  You’ll love the rewards.

Tell me about you – are you already a couponing mastermind?  How have you been able to use coupons to save on your grocery/household budget?

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10 Apps That Will Significantly Trim Your Grocery Budget

**This post contains affiliate links that help support this blog.  See my disclosure policy for more information.

What's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.

If you’re like me, you’re frequently looking for ways to cut down on expenses.  This may be for groceries, household supplies, clothing…anything and everything that sucks that bank account dry.  While I can’t help you grow a money tree, I can help you find some easy ways to earn extra money and even get some of your own money back, especially on your grocery budget.  🙂

***

Some people (like me) love to coupon, but it can be hard work!  You have to keep up with a meal plan, then compare it to what’s on sale, then check to see what you already have on hand….  it’s exhausting!  While I’m currently trying to get a better plan in place for myself on all that, I have still managed to coupon for the things that I regularly use.  

I’m no extreme couponer (well, maybe a little), but I do believe it’s silly to not take advantage of the “free money” that you receive in your weekly Sunday paper or from printable coupons online.

But did you know, you can maximize your coupons even more?!  Yes, you can!  

There are apps that you can download on your phone where you can earn even more money back.  They are ah-ma-zing!!!  Even better, if there are rebates available for the same item across multiple apps, you can use all of them.  Say what?!

Most of the recommendations on this list are related to grocery shopping, and with good reason.  Grocery shopping is the one thing we all have to do, and if you’re not careful, the costs can spiral out of control.  It’s difficult to believe that the USDA estimates the monthly grocery cost for my family of 3 is over $600!  I’m at a monthly grocery budget now of $450, but have been gradually chipping away at it.  With the tips I’ve provided in this post, I’m earning back at least $100/mo, and looking for more ways to save every day.

Let’s dive in, shall we?  😉

Ibotta

This is hands down the king of all rebate apps.  Just with this app What's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.alone, I earn back almost a 1/4th of my grocery budget every month!  They have a WIDE selection of coupons in every category imaginable, and a LOT of stores are compatible with their app. They regularly have multiple rebates for any store, any item.  An example of that would be “save .25 cents on any brand of shredded cheese, gallon of milk, bananas, etc.”  So, while .25 is not a lot by itself, if you’re already planning to buy milk, eggs, bread, OJ, etc., those .25 cent savings will add up fast! 

Usually after 3-4 days, rebates that you’ve recently redeemed are reset so if you need to restock on a common item, you can use the same rebate again.  They also have monthly bonuses where you can earn bonuses – eeeeekkkk!!  To download their app, just go through this link here.  You’ll get an easy $1.00 off any item rebate when you sign up, plus a $10 bonus rebate when you redeem your first rebate within one week.  $11 easy dollars just. like. that!!  Once you’re ready to cash out your earnings, you can send them to Paypal or onto a wide selection of gift cards.

Once you’ve downloaded Ibotta onto your phone, I promise you’ll want to tell all your friends.  This is the one club that it’s cool for everyone to be a part of, and the more the merrier.  Every time you refer a friend to Ibotta, you’ll earn a $5 bonus!  (After downloading the app, they’ll have to redeem at least one regular branded rebate within 1 week for the bonus to apply….so not hard to do.)

P.S.  Just in case you need MORE convincing to download Ibotta to your phone, they offer rebates on more than just groceries.  You can earn extra moolah from stores like Best Buy, Joann’s, Hallmark, Toys ‘r Us, and Home Depot to name a few.  Are you finally convinced now?!  If so, just sign up here.  😉

Checkout51

What's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.This is my second favorite rebate app, and they also have a wide selection of offers.  Checkout51 uploads new offers every week on Thursday, and they expire the following Wednesday.  In my experience, some offers are available for more than one week, but don’t dillydally if you want to use a particular one.  Checkout51 has a quantity limit on rebates for all items.  For instance, I wanted to redeem a rebate that I had saved, but by the time I got back to the app to redeem it, it said all offers had been claimed.  Moral of that story – get ’em while you can!  Once you have reached $20 or more in earnings, they will send you a check in the mail.  Click here to sign up for this one.

MobiSaveWhat's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.

This rebate app is not quite as beefed up as the previous two, but it still has some nice offerings.  My favorite thing about it is that you get your money back the second your receipt has been approved.  All earnings are instantly downloaded to your Paypal account.  They have offers similar to Ibotta such as any brand of baking soda, any type of bandage, any type of sliced bread, etc.  You won’t get rich off this app, but it still has some great features that I really like.  Visit this link to learn more and complete the sign up process.

SavingStar

What's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.In my opinion, this app is the smallest of the four in terms of offers, but it’s still been an asset to my grocery budget.  What I like most about it is that it’s perfect to use when you’re stocking up on an item.  For example, they always have offers that say, “Save $5 off a $20 purchase of XYZ laundry detergent.”  So, if your preferred detergent brand is also on sale, you might as well stock up to reach that $20 threshold.  (Even better if you can combine with coupons!)  Here’s the link to sign up for SavingStar.

Shopkick

This is a fairly new app for me, but it has an interesting spin on earning What's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.cash back.  Basically, you earn “kicks” for walking into stores, scanning items, or purchasing items.  Usually, just for walking into a store, you earn a minimum of 25 kicks.  The range of kick points for scanning items is usually between 10-25.  Your real points come when you purchase specific items or refer your friends to sign up.  Once you’ve reached 500 kick points, you can start cashing out rewards onto gift cards.  Sign up today and earn double points when you walk into stores!

Walmart Savings Catcher

What's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.I think this particular app has been around forever, but it is super-duper convenient if you only like to shop at Walmart!  Basically, all you need to do with this app is scan the QR code at the bottom of your receipt.  The app will then scan all the local ads in your area to see if there are lower prices for the items you’ve purchased.  If the app locates any sales that are cheaper than Walmart’s price, you will receive the difference back within 3 days.  Whenever you’re ready, you can request all your savings to be downloaded to a Walmart gift card.  Cha-ching!

Cartwheel from Target

If you’re anything like me, Target is the one store I can get lost in for days!!  I literally love everything they have there!  The baby clothes are super cute (and affordable), the toy section is great, and the grocery options are a step above Walmart/Kroger in some cases.  What makes shopping there even better?  The Cartwheel app.  Simply download this app to your phone, then start adding offers.  The lowest discounts start at 5%, but I’ve seen (and used) discounts up to 50%!  Holy jamoly!  And just like I mentioned in the beginning, if you have an identical offer on multiple apps, you can take advantage of every. single. one.  

What's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.

Recently, I took advantage of a 20% beauty products Cartwheel offer on loofah sponges and mascara.  By the time I used the coupons I had on hand, then combined it with the 20% off AND the $5 gift card I got back after spending $20 on beauty, I got all those items for FREE!  

What are you waiting for?  Click the image above and download this app stat!

LozoWhat's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.

Lozo is the first recommendation I have if you are looking for grocery coupons online.  It’s another new discovery for me, but I’m already a huge fan!  First, you’ll need to set up an account and let it know what items you buy frequently.  It will do a search for coupons, and provide you with a list of everything available that matches those items.  

There’s also a great search feature to help streamline multiple pages of coupons so you can get right to the coupons you need quickly.  Once you’ve set up your account and your list, you’ll get occasional emails letting you know when new coupons are available that match your list.  Talk about a time saver, ya know?!

Coupons.comWhat's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.

When I first started printing coupons online, coupons.com was the first website I visited.  Just about any coupon I wanted/needed to print was there, plus a whole bunch of other ones that I knew I’d need later.  They’ve significantly beefed up their offers since I first heard about it, and I guarantee you’ll find something there that’s helpful for you.  For instance, if you visit their “cash back offers” section, you’ll find local restaurants that will give you cash back when you dine.  Awesome sauce!  To see everything they have to offer, visit coupons.com!

Swagbucks Coupons

I’m planning to cover Swagbucks more extensively in a future post, but for now, they deserve a place on this list, too.

What's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps. Swagbucks offers a ton of ways that you can earn points which will get you cash back.  One of them happens to be with coupons!  Simply visit the Shop tab then go to “grocery coupons.”  Every coupon that you print and redeem will earn you an 10 points back.  Quick tip – it can take awhile for your points to credit, but from personal experience, I’ve seen the points appear in my account about 3 weeks after redeeming.  Don’t have a Swagbucks account?  It’s easy to get one!  Just follow this link to sign up.

What's the one thing that can suck your money dry every month? Yep...it's your grocery budget. Check out how I've slashed mine using these 10 awesome apps.

So, there they are – TEN awesome apps that you can start earning with today!  I’ve personally tried every single one so you can rest assured they’re all legit.  😉  

What about you?  What apps/websites/resources do you use to tackle your grocery budget?

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