Frugal Living: Use Your iPhone to Save Money

By ERIN TURNER

There was excitement in our house about a month ago when my husband and I entered the techno age by getting iPhones!

But the excitement wasn’t necessarily coming from us…in fact we were scared to death, overwhelmed, and very hesitant about this huge step for Turner-kind.

No, it was our kids who were thrilled and called us cool and awesome parents now that we were joining their generation of technology. It puzzled Jon and I that even at 12, 10, and 7 years of age, our sons were so saavy about electronic devices! They actually have taught us a lot about how those phones work.

So, there I sat…a newly crowned “Cool Parent” with this little piece of plastic in my hand which I had NO idea what to do with!

When the contract on our ancient cell phones was coming due, my husband asked if I wanted to upgrade to an iPhone. Not being an avid cell phone user, I declined the offer.

But then at coffee with my friends one morning, one of them showed me something which made my jaw drop open and completely rocked my world: She had coupon apps which told her where in Missoula the cheapest price was for whatever item she scanned into her phone. Plus, she told me all about other coupon apps for the iPhone.

Saving money: There's an app for that.

After some thought and a little further research about mobile devices and couponing, I realized I was missing out on some major couponing technology!

So, I withdrew my denial of an upgraded phone much to the surprise of my husband. I explained why my change of heart about cell phone usage, and we moved forward into the space age and got iPhones.

Once I learned how to turn it on (ha!), then I learned how to download a few of the coupon apps my friend had told me about: Scandit, Coupons, and Shop Saavy. I also have downloaded the apps from Walgreens so I can look at the weekly ads and also receive special mobile coupons.

But for me, I think so far the best advantage of the iPhone is the ability to look at my various coupon match-up websites while I am shopping. This has eliminated a lot of work for me. I used to write down all the info on various sales at the various stores on sheets and sheets of paper, which consumed most of my couponing hours each week.

Now, I can just pull up the site and use it as I shop! It’s been amazing and has not only saved me tons of time, but I’ve been able to catch a few more deals than I would have doing it the old-fashioned way.

I am still learning the full potential of this phone and its ability to save me money through couponing. There are so many apps out there I just haven’t had enough time to test them all out.

Mobile devices definitely have a place in couponing! It is a whole new world and the technology is advancing everyday. More and more retailers are realizing the importance of these devices in their business and their ability to reach out to consumers.

As someone who was resistant to this type of technology, I have discovered the benefits of it when it comes to couponing and have embraced it wholeheartedly. So, the Coupon Queen is now “cool and hip” according to her kids but more importantly she’s saving even more cash with her iPhone!

I would love to hear what others use and what apps you have found helpful!

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Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, and sticking to a budget in her previous posts: What I Love About MissoulaFrugal Living: Spring Cleaning on a Budget, and Frugal Living: The Art of the Garage Sale. Be sure to check out the Missoula Save it Club.

   Visit the Coupon Queen’s “Save It”archive.

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.

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