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Coupons Go High Tech

The days of clipping may soon be over.
Some people love to shop, others love to score a good deal.

We're not talking about finding the best sale, we're talking about finding and using the best coupons.

Not into clipping and keeping track of all those 50-cent off detergent or diapers coupons?

No problem.

We're talking about a change in the way you save and you don't need to be an extremist to get a good deal.

You just need to be a part of this century!

"Over the past two years we've seen them jump over 260-percent," says Sarah Platte with SurfMyAds.com.

Platte is referring to digital coupons.

What does that mean?

It can be everything from going online and printing off coupons, to having them delivered right to your Smartphone.

So how can you be part of this new wave of savings?

It's pretty easy.

Here are a few tips:

1. Give your email to your favorite store. They'll gladly send you email blasts and even coupon codes. Sometimes you'll be notified of special sales that other customers would only know about if they happened to be shopping that day. Beware though...you're likely to get more email than you care to receive. You'll just need to decide if all that extra stuff in your inbox is worth the deals you get from that said store.

2. Go online and search the store where you plan to shop and print off coupons from their website. This especially works for grocery stores and even service industry items like car washes.

3. Apps. There are plenty of them. They can tell you everything from where to get the best deal to what's on sale at a store near your current location. Try the app Yowza if the latter is something you're interested in.

4. Sign up for Smartphone coupons. Companies like Target will send them right to your phone and they can be scanned with a bar code at the register.

Speaking of scanning, you've probably seen those little squares that kind of look like bar codes and wondered what they are.

They're called QR or quick response codes.

You can download a free app and use it to scan the box.

It will take you right to the coupon page of the company that put out the QR code where you'll find savings.

"We're probably at a tipping point where everything is starting to go electronic," says Marketing Professor George John with Carlson School of Management.

John says technology does make it easier for some people to save, but don't be fooled, it's got to be good for the company too, otherwise why do it?

"You get a bunch of technology that makes it easy to comparison shop, and you get a bunch of companies that get information about their customers, and therefore they use that very same technology to send out specific offers to specific people that other people don't see. So, you're seeing a collision between these two forces," says John.

So, if you're more smartphone than scissors, deals can still be yours, but if technology eludes you, you don't have to jump in just yet...your Sunday paper will still be full of those traditional ads.
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