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Published: Friday 10 March, 2017

9 smart tips for couponing without the crazy If you never been a regular couponer, it can look a little hectic from the outside. So much to keep track of! So many different ways to save! And are all those deals really deals? But you can save a good chunk of change with coupons, and it easier than you might think to get started. Use coupon apps to help you saveYou can still check websites, but apps make the process easier. Geo targeted check in sites like FourSquare and Shopkick push offers to your phone when you check in. Not only do they give you discounts at the specific store you're visiting, says Fowler, they sometimes offer specific discounts as you move around the store. Don't forget the stores you visit most often. Some, like and , have their own apps that show their weekly deals as well and you can scan them at the register from your phone. These veterans know what's a deal and what's not. It's also worth doing your own search for local experts, because trying to keep track of coupon opportunities yourself can be overwhelming. "Find someone in your area who covers places where you shop and read them regularly," says Cataldo. "A lot of people out there are doing this already, and you can go along for the ride." Get coupons via text alerts"Text coupons are becoming more and more popular. They're much more convenient," says Fowler. Says Cataldo, "I can't tell you how many times I've walked into and gotten a 20 percent off offer." To register, sign up on the retailer's site or send a text to the number provided. This option is best for people with unlimited or high limit texting plans. You don't want to end up with fees from your service provider. Here's how to save at some of the bigger retailers: BuyBuy BabyGet coupons via email alert servicesWeekly newsletters from your favorite stores will Nike Mercurial Vapor XI alert you to upcoming deals. But you can also take advantage of tracking tools that send an email to let you know when a particular price falls. Some examples are Camelcamelcamel, Pinterest Price Drop, Google Alerts, and Travelocity FareWatcher Plus. These are especially good for travel, says Cataldo, since you're often planning ahead and may have some wiggle room to wait for the lowest price. Get paid to shopBeing paid to shop may sound like the dream of a mall obsessed teenager, but thanks to services like Ibotta and Checkout 51, it's now possible sort of. After downloading the app, you play around with it. For example, Ibotta makes you play some simple games to unlock rewards.

Then you go out and shop, take a picture of your receipts, and upload the image into the app. The company will identify any brands or products it's currently offering discounts on and put those savings into an account. Either you get a check or money is deposited into your PayPal account when your balance reaches a certain amount (often $20). And no, there are no fees. Expect discounts on everything from groceries and personal care products to household cleaning stuff, alcohol, paint, restaurants, clothing, UK football boots and entertainment, plus general offers at specific chain stores. Fowler's average savings from a shopping trip: $5. "Ibotta is my favorite because they have the most and highest offers," she says. "Checkout 51 is a close runner up, because it's not store specific, and that's good for people who live in smaller communities." Print out multiple couponsPrintable coupons, which are often linked to from couponing sites, are worth hunting down, says Fowler. "They are constantly rotating," she says, "but you can bank on coupons always being available for really big brand names like General Mills, Gerber, and Kraft." And here's a tip: You can usually print out two per device. If you have a computer and a tablet, for example, you can get four; you can get six if you have three devices; and so on. Many coupons reset every 30 days. Coupons for items you buy often might be worth bookmarking so you can easily find them again. Find coupons on social media feedsWhen it comes to coupons, Twitter can be your best friend if having coupons flood your feed doesn't stress you out, that is.