I love the idea of saving money with coupons, but here’s the problem: I don’t get any magazines or newspapers that have them, I don’t want to spend time surfing the Internet to find them and print them out, I find it too inconvenient to locate the scissors in my house to clip them, but if I should happen to make it past all those hurdles and actually clip a coupon and stick it in my wallet, inevitably, I forget to pull it out and use at the store! If you can relate, you may also have concluded that coupons are not worth the time or mental energy in the already over-burdened-with-details life we lead.
But don’t give up on coupons just yet – not until you’ve fully considered and given www.cellfire.com a whirl. The prerequisite for use of Cellfire is that you have to live near one of the participating stores – fortunately, that will cover about 85 percent of Americans. I actually fall in the other 15 percent (yea, lucky me), so when I registered using my zip code, Cellfire basically broke out in hysterical laughter at the prospect of anything in life becoming more convenient for me. So I shut it up by looking in the phone book to find a zip code of the place where I do my shopping and I registered again with that zip code. “Oh,” it said. “Ok, we have one store you could work with.”
And I knew that already because I have a Kroger card. Do you have a grocery store card? Well, that’s going to be your second step. First step is click through to www.cellfire.com to see if there’s one of their 17 participating grocery stores near you. If so, go to said store and get one of their savings cards – they are always free and you can use them the day you get them. The card gets you a cheaper price on random things in exchange for the slight challenge of keeping up with another card. It’s not hard to remember to use these cards though, as all well-trained cashiers will chime in as you check out, “Do you have a [name of store]savings card?”
Ok, card in hand? Now register for Cellfire – the easiest registration process I have ever experienced – and Cellfire will tell you, based on the zip code you enter, what offers are available. In less than one minute, I loaded my card (just by inputting the number – a one-time process) with twenty-some coupons. I have to confess that I just selected all the offers and put them on my card, just because I was giving the system a run for its money. However, when it comes to shopping, I am not going to, and please don’t you either, buy something just because I have a coupon for it. For example, I use Scott toilet paper (too much information?) because it’s economical. Even if I have a coupon for Charmin, it’s very likely that Scott still would be less expensive. If I let the coupon influence me into spending 10 cents more on toilet paper so I can pamper my hiney with a brand name, I’m not saving money. So shop smart with those coupons.
Off to the store I go with coupon-laden savings card. I put half a dozen of the items in my cart and when I check out and the cashier swipes my card – which I will want her to do regardless so I can get the savings on those other random products – the coupons will kick in too, automatically. Now that’s the way to make a barcode work for you!
OK, let’s review:
1. Log on to www.cellfire.com and register to find the participating stores near you – use another zip code of a more commercial area if you live in the boonies.
2. Get a savings card from said store.
3. Before you head out to the grocery store to do your weekly shopping, log on to www.cellfire.com and load your card with all the coupon offers you might possibly use.
4. Save money on stuff you need.