Coupons go high-tech - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Coupons go high-tech

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Traditional coupons are being supplemented by iPhone apps.... Traditional coupons are being supplemented by iPhone apps....

Kris Kirschner/Eyewitness News

What if you could cut your grocery bill in half?

Coupons are a sure way to save, and more people are using them. Last year coupon use rose 27 percent. If clipping is not your style, you might try a more tech-savvy approach.

For most people a trip to the grocery is a chore. For Briana Carter, it's hard core.

"Before I leave the house I check the ads to see what's on sale," she said.

Every trip to the store is a challenge to see how much she can save.

"Then I match up my coupons to the other item to see what's a really good deal," she said.

Along with her list, she packs a fistful of dollars off. But this is only a fraction of her savings.

"This is a free item coupon that I got from a Facebook promotion," she said.

Social networking sites are now sources for savvy bargain hunters and grocery stores are marketing to the tech-savvy consumer.

"The whole philosophy of how we do coupons has changed," said John Elliott, Kroger.

Your mother's method of clipping coupons is turning now to apps on your iPhone and coupons downloaded directly to your grocer's savings card.

"In an economy that's challenging like this, what we can do to save customers money whether it's coupons or any other way becomes even more important," said Elliott.

As the mother of three, saving money was certainly important for Briana. Now she blogs about her frugal success.

Among the sites she recommends: Upromise, which puts your grocery savings directly to a college account, and CellFire, which sends coupons directly to your cell phone.

"If you're a working mom, you're busy. Even men out there, if you've got your cell phone, you can go to the cellfire app," she said.

While she's shopping, Briana pulls up the app and marks the items she plans to buy. In this case, yogurt. She says the combination traditional coupons - in-store sales - and online savings really add up.

"There's a five-dollar off five on the e-coupon at Kroger.com. It'll make it a dollar after the coupon," she said. "I figured out at one point I was saving 20$/hour of couponing."

The coupon she activated on her phone shows up at the register automatically. Her total savings this shopping trip is sixty percent.

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