What are digital coupons (or eCoupons)?
Digital coupons are coupons that are loaded directly onto your store customer card, no clipping required. Once you load a coupon onto your card, the coupon value will be deducted at checkout when you purchase the item.
Which grocery store chains currently offer a digital coupon program?
Shortcuts.com offers digital coupons for Baker’s, Carrs, City Market, Dillons, Dominicks’s, Food4Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Genuardi’s, Gerbes, Giant Eagle, Hilander, JayC, King Soopers, Kroger, Owen’s, Pavilions, Pay Less, QFC, Ralphs, Randalls, Safeway, Shop ‘n Save, Smith’s, Tom Thumb, and Vons.
Cellfire.com has digital coupons for Baker’s, Carrs, City Market, Dillons, Dominicks’s, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Genuardi’s, Gerbes, Giant Eagle, Hilander, JayC, King Soopers, Kroger, Owen’s, Pavilions, Pay Less, QFC, Ralphs, Randalls, Safeway, Shop Rite, Scott’s, Smith’s, Tom Thumb, and Vons.
Kroger.com offers digital coupons for Kroger family stores, including Kroger, Ralphs, King Soopers, Fry’s, Smith’s, Dillons, Baker’s, Gerbes, QFC, Jay C, Fred Meyer, City Market, Owens, Hilander, Pay Less, and Food4Less Fremont.
How do I remember which coupons I have saved to my card?
Each company offers a feature that lets you print a list of what coupons you have saved.
Do digital coupons double or triple according to my usual store coupon policy?
No, digital coupons are taken at face value only.
Can I use both a digital coupon and a paper coupon on the same item?
*sigh* I know I’m going to ruffle some feathers here…
Technically, the register will let you do this. But there’s more to this answer than a computer glitch.
Just because the register will let it slide, doesn’t mean you should do it. You should not combine a paper coupon with a digital coupon on the same item.
I recently met with a senior manager from Kroger’s corporate office. Kroger and Safeway are the two leaders in accepting digital coupons and this manager handles Kroger’s online operations, so I figured this manager would know the answer to settle the whole digital/paper debate.
Sure enough, the manager told me that digital coupons are not supposed to be stacked with paper coupons. And a fix for the computer system is coming that will no longer allow this. (I have an affiliate relationship with Cellfire, and my contract with them also states that their digital coupons should not be stacked with paper coupons.)
The reasoning behind not stacking digital and paper coupons is the same reason why you can’t use two paper coupons on the same item. Both are savings from the manufacturer, and both count as a coupon.
For example, you can’t use 2 $1/1 manufacturers’ paper coupons on a single product. Digital coupons are also manufacturers’ coupons, so using a paper and a digital on the same item is essentially the same thing as trying to stack two paper coupons. Both are shady coupon practices, in my opinion, no matter what the cash register allows.
Let’s take a look at the wording on a few coupons-
Huggies diaper coupon from a home mailer I received today- “Limit one coupon per purchase as specified above. Any other use is fraudulent.”
Windex coupon from the May 9th SmartSource insert- “Limit one coupon per purchase…Any other use constitutes fraud.”
Betty Crocker Warm Delights printable coupon from SmartSource.com- “CONSUMER: No other coupons may be used with this coupon.”
This kind of wording is standard on coupons. Even if the grocery stores said it was totally fine to stack paper and digital coupons, the manufactures are clearly not on board with that thinking. Some of the manufacturers go so far as to call it fraud. At the end of the day, is coupon fraud worth savings a few extra bucks on your groceries? It’s something to consider and weigh with your conscience.
So there’s my two cents on stacking paper and digital coupons. Now I’ll go back to sharing more neutral information so as not to offend any more of you…
This post may contain an affiliate link. See my disclosure policy for more details.