Smart Coupons: Savings Where and When You Want Them

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

It's dinner time. You're in the mood for Mexican, or maybe it's pizza. But you're on a budget and forgot your coupons on the kitchen table.

"Unfortunately I don't always remember to put them in my purse and when I get to the store, pull them out or have the ones that haven't expired," said shopper Kay Herrow.

We asked Herrow: "How often do you have your phone with you? Your mobile."

"Oh, I have it all the time," she said.

Most people do -- which is why mobile coupons are so convenient.

"Because we're attached to these, you have that access right in the palm of your hands," said David Regan, instructor of advertising at MSU.

And it doesn't have to be a smartphone. You can either get a text or download an ap and the coupons come straight to your phone . And the best part is you don't have to worry about printing them out. The phone is all you need.

"Oh that'd be great!" said Herrow

"That's less work for me," said Mindy Woolman, another shopper.

Woolman is a busy mom, so sometimes coupons are the last thing on her mind.

"Rremembering them is a big thing. I have 3 kids altogether and I just try to remember to bring them and cut them," she said.

Well you can forget that hassle. Meijer's just one place you can use mobile coupons. Their's is called Mperks. You sign up online, and just as you would with paper coupons, "clip" the ones you want. But no need to print them out. Just enter your pin at checkout and enjoy the savings. Meijer will also text you special deals. For other stores -- download an ap like Valpak or Where. These will pinpoint your location and find you nearby offers.

"You can be traveling around a city and almost use it like a social tool, with your GPS ap on that," Regan said.

Around here you can get a 60 dollar massage for 30, or a couple bucks off your drycleaning order. Some aps separate your coupons by categories; others list them all and you save the ones you like.

"This truly is driving traffic. This truly is generating sales. It's another very innovative way of getting the buzz out," said Regan.

And all you have to do is show your phone, and enjoy the savings.

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