A couple of weeks ago, I talked about how making the choice to eat at home rather than eating out could save you money. This week, I’m going to talk about one way to save even more money by eating at home couponing.

You’ve probably seen it before – TV shows featuring people spending hours clipping coupons, going to the store, loading up cart after cart of different items, going to the checkout lane and, as the anticipation builds, watching their totals go from $700 to $10

This is an extreme example of couponing, and not everyone has the time to do that. If you find yourself wanting to save money at the grocery store but have little time to spare, you can still use coupons.

There are many apps available on your phone that will essentially pay you to shop. Ibotta is a free app that offers rebates on commonly used items. After downloading the app, you can browse the rebates available, unlock one (which usually requires you to post on a social media site or answer a quick question about the product) and then go shopping. After you buy the item, you simply take a picture of your receipt and upload it to the app. Once it is confirmed that you did purchase the correct item, you will receive credit on your account that you can transfer to PayPal, Venmo or a gift card. To see more information about this app, visit www.ibotta.com.

Cartwheel is a mobile app that works exclusively with Target stores to offer you discounts on hundreds of items. You select the offers you want to use which range from household items to gardening supplies, add them to your Cartwheel and then show your barcode (either printed or on your phone) to the cashier. Once the barcode is scanned, all the discounts will apply to the transaction. For more information, you can visit www.cartwheel.target.com.

One piece of advice for using any mobile app to save money: make sure the apps are not connected to Facebook or other social media sites unless you want your friends to know you saved $1 on toilet paper.

If you’d like to stick to newspaper coupons and have a desire to attempt the extreme couponing technique, you can visit sites like www.TheKrazyCouponLady.com. The Krazy Coupon Lady posts daily in an effort to keep you up to date on all the sales that are found in different stores. It takes some time to navigate the website, but once you figure it out, you will save a lot of money. The website features savings at 68 stores across the country. Many of the stores are exclusive to other states, unfortunately, HEB is not one of them.

Every Saturday the website posts the coupons that will be in Sunday’s paper, divided by store. So if you love shopping at Walgreens, you can find Walgreens listed on the menu, click on it, and it will show you all of the deals that Walgreens has for that week. The site will also give you links to coupons if there are any available online, or the site will tell you what newspaper they were in so you can check your coupon stash.

If the administrators think the deal is really good, they will display an icon that looks like tiny tin cans stacked up on top of each other to indicate that you should stock up on this item if you can.

The Krazy Coupon Lady website also has all of the coupon policies for each store, so you can know if there are any restrictions on the coupons you use.

Whether you want to use a few coupons to save a little bit of money or attempt to extreme coupon to build your own stock-pile of goodies, there are many resources available online to help you. Happy shopping!

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