- Scanning for savings. "Quick response" codes are those square-shaped barcodes found on some packages or store displays. Scanning the codes into an app-loaded smartphone can give you on-the-spot savings.
Some chains, including Stop & Shop, put handheld scanners in the aisles to let customers scan and bag themselves as they shop and get discounts. Others, including Costco and CVS, have kiosks where discount offers are loaded onto your membership or loyalty card; savings are applied at checkout when you pay for the products.
- Social networks. Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare are increasingly the spots where grocers post coupons and specials.
- Coupon websites. They're nothing new, but consider their potential payback. At any time, sites such as Coupons.com and SmartSource.com have up to 100 click-and-print coupons, compared with only about 30 in newspaper circulars. Check manufacturer and grocery chain websites for additional offers.
Your Turn: Share your best coupon sites and apps. >>
Sid Kirchheimer writes about consumer and health issues.