This year a few companies have introduced electronic coupons, although most of the programs are only available at Kroger-owned grocery stores. However, this September Upromise introduced the first national version of digital coupons that are available at over 21,000 retail locations nationally. You can learn more about Upromise eCoupons at couponmom.com in the Printable Grocery Coupon section.
Electronic coupons are coupons that you use by signing up at a website and entering your store loyalty card information. Once you've established your free membership, you simply select coupon offers and buy the items at participating retailers. Instead of having to present a paper coupon, as soon as you use your registered loyalty card, the coupon value is deducted from your bill automatically.
If you are not a coupon user because you find it too tedious to cut out coupons, you will like these coupons. Even if you aren't good at organizing paper coupons, you can keep track of your electronic coupon inventory easily. All you need to do is print a list of the coupon offers as soon as you select them. Some programs will even send you an email reminder a few days before your selected coupons are due to expire. I like electronic coupons because they are easy to use and are absolutely free. Although they do not replace newspaper or printable coupons from CoolSavings.com, they are one more way to save money on products you are probably already buying.
When you use electronic coupons be aware that their values are not doubled at stores that double paper coupons. However, I have found some of the electronic coupon values to be higher than paper coupons for the same item, so you may realize the same savings as doubled coupons. Be careful to read the coupon item description, size, and variety very carefully because the item must be an exact match in order for the coupon to work.
Other electronic coupon programs are available from Kroger. For Kroger's programs, go to ShortCuts.com to find many coupons for major brands such as General Mills, Pillsbury, and Betty Crocker. You can also get electronic coupons for Procter and Gamble products from the eSaver program at Kroger.com.
Stephanie Nelson is the founder of the free grocery-deals website, www.CouponMom.com with over 800,000 members. She has shared her savings advice on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Early Show, CNN, Fox News and many local television and radio broadcasts.