The free app lets shoppers at nine brands of grocery stores -- Safeway, ShopRite, Vons, Pavilions, Dominick's, Carrs, Genuardi's, Randalls, and Tom Thumb -- use their iPhone to get instant manufacturer coupons and redeem them at checkout. It's simple, according to a short video Pushpins put out, and requires a few simple steps:
- Scan the barcode of any product in the grocery store. It will then show you digital coupons related to what you scanned. If you scanned Frosted Flakes, in addition to the digital coupons, it may also show coupons for related items such as other cereals, cereal bars, or milk.
- Tap redeem on your phone.
- Swipe your savings card at the register and the coupons will come off instantly.
Coupon stacking is allowed, so if you're up for cutting out coupons from a newspaper, you can use them with the digital coupons to save more money.
While scanning each item you put into your shopping cart and hitting a few button to get the coupon may sound like a lot of legwork in the store, Pushpin's CEO, Jason Gurwin, told WaletPop that it takes half a second to scan and is a lot faster than cutting out coupons at home.
"It adds a very, very minimal amount of time" to the in-store shopping experience, Gurwin said.
The average savings for a $100 basket of groceries will be 5% to 10%, which is similar to what people can get by clipping coupons, he said. More than 2,000 grocery stores from nine chains are participating, allowing more than 40 million households access to the app, Gurwin said.
There are plenty of ways that iPhone apps to save money -- including other ways to get paperless coupons -- but this seems like one most likely to be used weekly, if not daily, by anyone at a grocery store. Gurwin said he started offering it on the iPhone because it's the most popular platform for soccer moms, and he had to start somewhere, but he hopes to offer it on Android smartphones somewhere down the road. As a non-iPhone user, I hope that's soon.
Update on November 16: A Safeway spokeswoman told WalletPop that it doesn't have a deal with Pushpins and therefore the app won't work at the stores that Safeway owns: Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Dominick's, Carrs, Genuardi's, Randalls and Tom Thumb. The Pushpin CEO told WalletPop that the app does work at Safeway brand stores.