According to their website, “SavingStar is the first national, fully digital, grocery eCoupon service, available for free.” I signed up with SavingStar.com a couple months ago to give them a try. It’s not what you would think when you hear “coupon site.” They don’t have coupons that you print off and take to the store with you. Let me explain what I found.
How SavingStar Works
To enroll in SavingStar, you register the number on your grocery store’s loyalty card with the site. You then browse the coupon listings and click on the ones you would like to use. The program will compile a list for you that you can print out and take to the store. Or, they have an app for your smart phone that you can access while you shop. You want to have the list with you when you shop to make sure you get the details correct; because, since there’s no physical coupon, the cashier will not tell you you have the wrong product. When you check out, you must have the cashier scan your loyalty card. The discount will NOT be taken off your total. You will have to pay full price for your items. The store will notify SavingStar of your purchase and then they will credit your account. Once your account reaches $5, you can choose how you would like to get paid. It’s that simple.
On the coupon page, you will see more than a list of coupons. Across the top they will tell you how many coupons are available and what the total savings would be. Along the right hand side is the list of ones that you’ve chosen. Then, at the upper right hand corner, they let you know how much you have in your account, and how much more you need before you can get paid.
Once you purchase an item, they will send you an email when the purchase is accounted:
And once you have reached your $5 requirement, you will have a screen that looks like this. On this screen you choose how you would like to get paid. SavingStar will direct deposit the money to your bank or PayPal.com account, send you a gift card, or donate the money in your name.
They will then email you, letting you know that the transaction has been made.
Impressions of SavingStar.com
I live in a very rural area. My town has a total of two grocery stores—a Food Lion and a Save-A-Lot. Even though SavingStar works with over 24,000 grocery and drug stores throughout the country, Save-A-Lot, my favorite store, does not participate with them. Therefore, I was forced to shop at the more expensive store. Because I was paying more than I was used to in order to use the coupons, I question whether or not I was actually saving money.
As I shared in a “Lower Your Grocery Bill: 3 Secrets,” I’m not a big proponent of coupons. We live on a small homestead and try to grow a lot of our food. Otherwise, I cook from scratch and purchase ingredients in bulk. I rarely buy factory foods. Unfortunately, most coupons are for factory foods. So, in order to try this service, I was forced to purchase things our family would not normally eat.
One example is a bag of sweet potato fries. We love sweet potato fries. But I buy sweet potatoes for 89 cents a pound, cut them up, slather with sea salt and olive oil, and bake. The ones I purchased with my SavingStar coupon cost $3.99 for a 1 pound bag. I had a $1 off, so I paid $2.99—3.3 times more than I would regularly—and the ingredients listed a lot more than just sweet potatoes.
However, if you regularly buy factory foods, personal care products, or magazines, SavingStar is worth a stop in your coupon hunt. The coupons range from 50 cents to $2—with a good many $1 ones. I also have to say that their turn-around time was pretty good. It only took a few days for them to credit my account once I made a purchase or to pay me once I reached my $5 requirement.
What’s your opinion of SavingStar.com? Leave your comments below!