You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Tips from the Coupon Queen: Information about E-coupons
Shoppers face an array of coupons in electronic form these days: print-at-home coupons, e-coupons that can be loaded to a store’s loyalty card and coupon apps for smartphones and tablets. Technology can make it easy to access discounts. But some shoppers feel that the rise of digital couponing is leaving them behind.
I need advice. I have used coupons since 1980. I found it easy; get the Sunday paper, clip away and check sales. Now I find myself 55 and disabled, and discounts are sent to shoppers via cell phones. So, my daughter got me a cell phone. I gave my cell phone number out so I could receive discounts but my cell phone does not print or even show the discount code. It’s not a smartphone. My daughter got me a laptop, but I do not have a printer. I have to go to the library to print. Is there a better way? -- Lila G.
I think switching to digital coupons is a conspiracy to take coupons away from people who need them most! We are online but we don’t have a printer. No data plans, no cellphones, can’t afford it. We have a pay-as-you-go phone for emergencies. Companies doing all the switching to high-tech coupons are leaving people like us hanging. We need the discounts but can’t afford all the new high-tech toys to get them. -- Tom S.
Dear Lila and Tom,
The world’s going digital, and couponing’s going right with it. Part of the reason is that most of the world is online. According to an April 2012 Pew Research Center study, 90 percent of Americans making between $50,000 and $74,999 are online. Among Americans earning more than $75,000 annually, that number jumps to 97 percent. Just 62 percent of Americans making less than $30,000 a year are online.
With so many people online in one form or another, retailers and manufacturers are simply meeting people where they’re at -- and where many of them are at is online. Print-at-home coupons have been around for more than a decade now. The website coupons.com was founded all the way back in 1998. Load-to-card e-coupons have risen dramatically in popularity in the past four years. And, smartphones have brought an entirely new element to couponing. According to a May 2012 report from ComScore, a Reston, Va., digital media measurement company, 75 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers use text messaging, and 51 percent of them use smartphone apps.
I understand that the push for digital coupons is leaving a segment of the population underserved. And, I don’t believe companies intentionally exclude anyone from using coupons. They’re simply seizing an opportunity to deliver discounts via mediums that most people are using in today’s world.
Here are a couple of suggestions on how to embrace some of these new technologies. If your store offers e-coupons that can be loaded to your shoppers’ card via a phone app, drop by the store’s website and check to see if it’s possible to load the e-coupons via the web. Many e-coupons can be loaded either way. It’s likely you don’t need a smartphone to load digital coupons to a loyalty card.
Printable coupons are easy to take advantage of if you have a printer. If buying a new printer is out of reach, how about a used printer? I’ve seen used printers at my local thrift store for as little as $2.99. Some resale stores guarantee electronics and allow returns. Buying refilled ink cartridges will help save money over buying new.
Print coupons on the back side of scrap paper, flyers or mailers you recycle. I keep a box next to my printer. Being able to load and print coupons at home will help supplement the coupons you receive in the newspaper -- and save a trip to the library to print.
Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about Super-Couponing at her website, www.jillcataldo.com. Email your own couponing victories and questions to email@example.com.
© CTW Features
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Austin’s oldest museum offers daily tours (June 22, 2016)
Dine out with The ROCK (June 22, 2016)
Esparza reunion planned for July 9 (June 22, 2016)
Free guided hikes at Enchanted Rock (June 22, 2016)
Getting your hands dirty — in the garden with Iris Seale (June 22, 2016)
Men: Pay attention to your health (June 22, 2016)
Movies in the Park (June 22, 2016)
New Pioneer Playroom offers hands-on learning (June 22, 2016)
Old newspaper makes memories ‘Local and Personal’ (June 22, 2016)
Poth church to celebrate 90 years (June 22, 2016)
See Legacy of Leadership exhibit in Washington (June 22, 2016)
SS museum plans meeting (June 22, 2016)
Tips for a safe trip to the beach (June 22, 2016)
Wall pocket (June 22, 2016)
Area seniors invited to Bingo Tuesdays (June 15, 2016)
Art Walk America contest deadline is June 23 (June 15, 2016)
Attend picnic at Dewees-Remschel House June 15 (June 15, 2016)
DRT receives honors at state convention (June 15, 2016)
Hear patriotic tunes in Pleasanton (June 15, 2016)
It’s gone! The Spot is gone! (June 15, 2016)
Join WASP for summer season (June 15, 2016)
Jubilee offers fun for the whole family (June 15, 2016)
Martinez Social Club keeps you dancing (June 15, 2016)
Meet 2016 Stockdale Watermelon Jubilee, rodeo court candidates (June 15, 2016)
Moms walking group invites members (June 15, 2016)
Napoli Glass (June 15, 2016)
Oak Hills Church plans yard sale (June 15, 2016)
Ramirezes celebrate golden anniversary (June 15, 2016)
See free movies at Arcadia (June 15, 2016)
Sutherland Springs seeks volunteers (June 15, 2016)
Vendors needed for Freedom Fest (June 15, 2016)
Witness Summer Solstice performance (June 15, 2016)
Add amphibians to your landscaping (June 8, 2016)
Enjoy free summer movies at Rolling Oaks Mall (June 8, 2016)
Enjoy Pilgrim Opry (June 8, 2016)
Gene Watson in Kerrville (June 8, 2016)
Hear ‘Bach to Luckenbach’ (June 8, 2016)
Hummel plate (June 8, 2016)
June dances in Geronimo (June 8, 2016)
Meet for Play Dates in the library (June 8, 2016)
OLPH names 2016 Mother of the Year, May Queen (June 8, 2016)
Prepare to enter cool creation in Ice Cream Freeze-off (June 8, 2016)
Remember Flag Day June 14 (June 8, 2016)
Running group plans June 11 run (June 8, 2016)
St. Ann Teen ACTS plan 5K Color Run (June 8, 2016)
Take Dad out to FatherFest June 19 (June 8, 2016)
The old Wagenfuehr house in Bleu Casa Village (June 8, 2016)
Tracking an icon in the ‘horned lizard capital of Texas’ (June 8, 2016)
Building communities (June 1, 2016)
Cowboy penknife (June 1, 2016)
Garcia receives Linda West Scholarship (June 1, 2016)
Garner State Park celebrates 75 years (June 1, 2016)
Libraries prepare to launch ‘Reading Is So Delicious!’ summer program (June 1, 2016)
Lutheran Church windows relocated for a little TLC (June 1, 2016)
St. Helena Men’s Club plans picnic (June 1, 2016)
Stockdale’s early beginnings (June 1, 2016)
The progression of the classic ‘koozie’ (June 1, 2016)