Grocery ecoupons are coupons that are loaded onto your store card. When you purchase the specified item and scan your store card, the ecoupon amount should come off your total automatically during checkout – no paper coupon is needed. Not all stores offer ecoupons, but they are becoming more common. Here are steps to getting and using ecoupons:
- Have a store loyalty card. These are the cards that you scan at checkout to get the special store prices. For example there’s the “Safeway Club Card” or the “Giant Eagle Advantage Card”, etc. Get one at your grocery store, from a cashier or at customer service.
- Find an ecoupon service. You can go directly to ecoupon websites, like Shortcuts, Cellfire, or Procter and Gamble. These companies have contracts with many different grocery stores, and when you register, you will have to select your grocery store. Another way to find ecoupons is from your grocery store’s homepage. If they offer ecoupons, they will have a link from their website.
- Register at the ecoupon website. When you sign up, you’ll have to enter a name and email address, and there will also be a section that looks something like the example below (from Shortcuts). Select your store name, and then enter the number from your store card. This step is very important, so don’t skip it.
- Load ecoupons onto your card. You should see a list of available coupons (see example to left). There will be a button that says “Add” (or similar). When you click, it will load the ecoupon onto your store card.
- Make sure to note the wording, since it will say whether you need to buy more than one item, or if you need to buy a specific size. There will also be an expiration date; if you don’t redeem the ecoupon before that date, it will be removed from your card. There is usually a way print a list of your loaded ecoupons, which can help your memory when you’re in the grocery store.
Before you use ecoupons, you should realize that they do have some problems. We cover the problems with ecoupons in a followup post.