Happy Monday! Today’s an exciting day, because I got to chat with Gia Pendergast, aka the Long Island Coupon Queen, about how she incorporates SnipSnap into her master money-saving scheme. Gia is a regular contributing coupon guru on CBS New York’s “The Couch,” where she dishes about the latest ways to save money on everything from groceries to vacations. She also runs a pretty amazing blog, which features the best coupons and freebie offers on the net. Gia’s a married mom of two, who lives the good life completely debt free. (Check out how couponing makes it possible for Gia to carry Gucci.) I got the chance to catch up with Gia to talk mobile coupons while the Northeast braced for Nemo. Here’s what she had to share.
MM: How did you start couponing? How has couponing changed your life?
GP: I started couponing out of necessity. I was tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck and putting all our money toward credit card and house bills without anything left over. Ever. Couponing and shopping smarter has changed our lives immensely. We no longer live paycheck-to-paycheck and we are debt free. We now live by our number one cash rule: If we don’t have the cash for it, we don’t buy it. And, I have to be honest; for the last 6-7 months, there really hasn’t been one time I can remember wanting to buy something and not being able to, which is a great feeling!
MM: How did you learn about SnipSnap? What has your experience with the app been like?
GP: I was searching for coupon apps on my iPhone and came across it. I will never check out at any store now without pulling up SnipSnap and searching for coupons. I have saved hundreds – just on my holiday shopping alone – with SnipSnap.
MM: What is the best/most memorable purchase you’ve made with SnipSnap?
GP: The best purchase I made with SnipSnap was our kitchen set from Target. We recently re-did our entire kitchen and I wanted a table that was different, simple, and inexpensive. (We have a 6-year-old and a 4-year-old, so buying fancy furniture is out of the question.) We just happened to be in Target, picking up a few food items, and we saw a really pretty table and chair set on sale. We weren’t looking for a table quite yet and I hadn’t done my research online first. However, the table was on sale for $99 and each chair was $80. And, if you bought 3 chairs, you got one free! Plus, there was a 10% off coupon and an $8 off $80 coupon in SnipSnap. Plus, I paid the balance on my Target debit card during the same transaction and saved another 5%! All-in-all, I saved over $60 and I was very happy.
MM: How does traditional couponing compare to couponing with SnipSnap?
GP: I still use traditional coupons at most grocery stores but I also use SnipSnap to stack paperless store coupons which saves me even more. When it comes to retail stores, I used to always misplace or forget to use my print Kohl’s or Bath & Body Works coupons. Now, if I forget them, I can almost always find them in SnipSnap.
MM: Do you have any tips or tricks to using SnipSnap that you could share? What is your SnipSnap strategy?
GP: Oh yes! Best tip: In many cases, with SnipSnap store coupons, you can score the same deal more than once. Which is awesome! Those Bath & Body Works coupons you get in the mail? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wish I had more than one of them so I could get 2 FREE products with my $10 purchase more than once. Well, with SnipSnap, I can. All I have to do is give the cashier the coupon on my phone. Then I can ring up a second transaction and use the same coupon again. This, to me, is one of the best features of the app.
MM: What stores do you use SnipSnap at most?
GP: Target, Toys”R”Us, and Kohls. I saved over $65 in Target last week!
MM: Do you use any other mobile couponing apps? If so, which are your favorite and why?
GP: I use Ibotta, SavingStar, Shopkick, and Viggle. I use Ibotta and SavingStar on a weekly basis when I go grocery shopping. I earn cash back on items featured in the app.
MM: How much money have you saved with SnipSnap and what do you plan to do with your savings?
GP: Since I started using the app, I’ve saved close to $1,000. SnipSnap was very handy at Target, Kohls, and Toys”R”Us during the holiday season. I’ve saved the most using the best coupons more than once. If I have a $5 off $25 coupon for Toy”R”Us, I’ll have the cashier break up my transactions into three different orders so I can save $15 instead of $5.
MM: What do you think about the future of couponing? Will we see a complete transition to mobile coupons, or will print coupons always have their place?
GP: Coupons have been around since last century and now, over 100 years later, with much more advanced technology, paper coupons still exist. I think paper and print coupons (especially print manufacturer coupons) will always have their place. But, I also think that, with mobile technology and all of the mobile coupons out there, more people will think twice before paying full price and we will see more and more consumers using mobile apps to save money. I know many people who are completely happy using exclusively mobile coupons to save. Even if you don’t clip print coupons to save more, what you do save with a mobile app is much more than you would without it – and you barely have to put any effort into it. The great thing about SnipSnap is that, even if you don’t coupon in a traditional sense, you’re crazy not to use the app. You can save on retail items, restaurants, furniture and so much more. When I first found out about the SnipSnap, I literally texted everyone I knew so they could download the app and start saving for themselves!