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Coupons and Savings Apps: Snip it or Skip it?

May 4, 2013 | Coupons & Deals, Ways to Save

If you want to save a few bucks, just type “best coupon apps” into your $400 phone and let results wash over you. You will be pelted mercilessly by link farm content and Top 10 lists. You really don’t need a whole bunch of savings apps to get good discounts; you just need the ones that are right for you. Rent.com has reviewed some of the best coupon and savings apps, and we’re here to tell you if you should snip it or skip it.

Safeway/Vons /Pavilions/Randalls Grocery Stores

Whatever Safeway is called in your neck of the woods, download this app that makes couponing ultra-convenient. The best part of this app is that it is linked to your club card account. It suggests coupons based on what you have already bought; lets you accept or delete them; then adds the winners to a convenient shopping list.

When you punch in my number at the check stand, the discounts are magically subtracted from your total. (Who doesn’t love a little magic?) No need to print anything or show a bar code. Discounts are on pretty much anything you can think of—from drinks to snacks to produce. Plus, every once in a while, you will get a straight money coupon for a few dollars off of your whole bill. If you don’t have a Safeway, hopefully a like-minded store is just around the corner. Snip it.

Amazon Prime

Just pay the yearly membership for Amazon Prime and get to it. Amazon usually has cheaper prices, so you can compare while you shop. When you see an item, scan the barcode with your Amazon app, and see how much it costs there. Amazon has low overhead, so it is probably cheaper online. If you can wait, the 2-day free shipping means you won’t have to lug anything home. For those of us who want to “see it in person,” this is a great option. Use the one-step purchase button and it will be on your doorstep in no time. Snip it.

ShopSavvy

This is also a bar code reader comparison app, but it takes Amazon Prime one step further by including stores such as Walmart and Target. It also gives local pick up options. The one thing that really sets it apart is the wallet feature. When you set up your account, you don’t have to sign i to each individual site; it just purchases it for you. We noticed it did have a disconnect with some stores—Amazon more so than others. For example, the bag of Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies that we scanned resulted in the paperback Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins being added to our shopping cart. It’s not that we don’t like to read at Rent.com, but we really wanted those cookies. Snip it for now and see if it works for you.

The Coupon App

The Coupon App has a 4.5 rating on the Play Store, but we are hornswoggled as to why. Perhaps there are so many coupon apps out there that users have incredibly low standards? It does have some okay deals (most of which you can probably easily find elsewhere), and it also gives you the cheapest gas price in your area. But when you get to seeing the actual coupon, it takes forever to load. Get this: it’s not optimized for mobile, so you have futz around with it to actually see what you are getting. We don’t have time for this. Skip it.

Coupon Sherpa

While some folks really like this app, we don’t get it. Sure, it’s nice to be able to have a coupon hub, but a lot of the discounts need to be printed in order to be redeemed—like in pioneer days. We don’t know about you, but we don’t have printers attached to our phones. Also, the coupons themselves are not optimized for mobile a lot of the time, which makes them hard to read. Finding the actual deal is easy, but the redeeming part is tough. Skip it.

What is your favorite coupon or savings app? Let us know in the comments.


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