Have you ever caught one of those extreme couponing television shows? I truly — truly — dislike them. Everything about couponing gives me a stomach ache, from the hours spent clipping coupons, to organizing a load of junk I probably don’t need on shelves in my basement and garage. Ugh. Life is too short.
Inflation has us all looking for ways to save money on groceries. And that helps explain why I gave in and downloaded a couponing app called Flipp.
The first time I opened the app, I was asked to enter my ZIP code and choose the stores I regularly visit. I’m told there are over 2,000 stores from which to choose, but as someone who does not care for shopping, I stuck with a handful. The process took me less than two minutes. Then, via an array of cute graphics, I was asked to touch the icons of products I most commonly buy. That took less than one minute.
And that’s when the circulars came into play. Along the top of the app are product categories, like groceries, home and garden, and pharmacy. For grins, I tapped “fashion,” and up popped stores like Old Navy and TJ Maxx. Then I tapped TJ Maxx and the retailer’s circular appeared, far cleaner and easier to read on a mobile app than one might expect.
I needed new tennis shoes, so I found a pair on sale for $24 and tapped on them. The moment I touched the screen, the shoes were circled in yellow and placed in my shopping cart. That didn’t mean I was committed to buying them, but if I decided to make the purchase before the coupon expired, I would automatically get them at the discounted price.
If I decide I don’t want something, I take it out of the cart by tapping it again. The yellow circle disappears and we all pretend it never happened.
How it works for us
The Flipp app prevents me from having to comb through circulars and store websites for deals. Instead, when the products my husband and I use go on sale, it shows up on the app. And coupons are not from obscure places I would not normally shop. Coupons come from places like Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and other familiar retailers.
I’m a list-maker, so this part gives me a thrill. I make a list (on the app) of what I need — from baby carrots to dog treats and eyeglass wipes.
Normally, I’m not wild about driving around town to find the best deals. Still, if the price of something I buy every week seems unusually steep (like iced coffee these days), I use the search feature to see if I can pick it up at a lower price. And that’s one of the coolest things about the Flipp app. You can search for any product and it automatically shows you all the stores in your area running a sale on that item.
My husband and I spend around $150 a week on groceries (not counting paper products). This app allows me to save around $25. Our savings occur in three ways:
- Using digital coupons on the products we need and/or routinely purchase.
- Being inspired by items I see on sale, and changing my shopping list. Let’s say I plan to make chicken breasts for dinner on Wednesday, but notice a sale on strawberries and walnuts. That reminds me of how much we like a good summer salad, and I’m likely to replace chicken on the weekly menu with a big salad.
- Stocking up for upcoming events. To reiterate: I do not like buying and organizing items I probably don’t need, but if we have friends or family coming to visit, I like knowing I can use Flipp to find the best price on things we’ll use a lot of while they’re here.
If we save $25 a week, that means we’re saving around $1,300 a year, and that’s just for the two of us. I imagine families with more mouths to feed can do even better. Since it takes little effort to use the app, it’s one of the easiest ways I’ve found to put extra money into our savings account each month.
Paying with digital coupons
When I was very young, I remember being fascinated watching the old ladies in front of me in the check-out line take their time to count out exact change. Now that I’m approaching a certain age, I remember the sweet old ladies counting change, and I try to have coupons ready to go by the time I reach the cashier.
That process is as easy as opening the Flipp app (if it’s not already open), and tapping the “Clippings” section. That’s where the coupons I’ve used are stored. All the cashier has to do is scan my coupons, and I’m good to go.
Not only is Flipp a good way to save money, but I find that it’s pretty great for keeping me organized as I head out to shop. And the more organized I am, the less likely I am to make impulsive purchases. There’s no desktop version of Flipp available just yet, but it is available for iOS and Android smartphones.
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