NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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The New World of Couponing

The New World of Couponing


Couponing has long been a consumer’s way to save money in the marketplace. But today’s couponing has stepped it up and gone high tech.  Coupons are available at our fingertips instantly and are easier than ever to use. We have more coupons at more businesses in more forms, from paper to online codes to smartphone apps. Paper coupons still are the most popular, but their use is decreasing as digital couponing increases. Coupon lingo has also changed.

Catalina: Coupons that print out at the register after your sale is complete. This can be a separate coupon or it can be coupons printed on the back of the register tape. Businesses pay to have their information printed on the back of register tapes. The individual coupons that print out are targeted just for you and your buying history.

Peelie: A coupon that is stuck on a product. The consumer peels it off and uses it when purchasing that product.

Blinkie: A box sitting next to a product on the shelf that dispenses coupons for the product. These boxes often have a little light that blinks to attract the consumer.

Hangtag: A coupon that is hung on a product. The consumer removes it and uses the coupon when purchasing that product.

Tearpad: Coupon pads in stores to promote products and encourage consumers to purchase that item with a coupon.

Stacking store coupons: Some stores allow consumers to use a store coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon. This is called stacking coupons. Although you never can use two manufacturer’s coupons on the same product, you can, in most stores, stack a store coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon.

Printable online coupons - Many companies post their coupons online. You can search for them, print them or send them to your smartphone. Do you have a product you really like? Search the Web for a coupon when the item is on sale and you want to stock up. You may need to download a coupon printer program to ensure bar codes are printed correctly.

Email coupons- Many companies will send you coupons by email. Actually, they would love to get your email address and send you regular promotions, advertisements and coupons. Beware, though. This promotional material can fill your inbox. Consider setting up a separate email account to share with businesses that want to send your promotions.

Text message coupons - Businesses invite you to sign up for coupons or discounts sent through text messaging. You can use the coupon that has been sent through a text message by presenting your phone at the checkout counter.

Coupon database online - This is a searchable listing of available coupons. For printable coupons, you will be directed to the site where you can print the coupon. If the coupon was printed in a circular, you will be told which circular it appeared in and when.

Coupon matchups - Matching a coupon with items that also are on sale can be a big win for the consumer. Some couponing websites have coupon matchups to do the work for you. For example, the website will provide weekly coupon matchups for a list of chosen businesses.

Coupon apps for smartphones - Couponing apps allow the consumer to search for the coupons or browse categories to find the best offers available. Save coupons for later and access them from the mobile app when ready to shop. Simply show the coupon on the phone app at checkout to save.

Coupons and social media - You can choose to “like” or follow a restaurant, grocery store or company on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest and the business may post coupons, promotions and discounts for you to access.

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