Recently I wrote an article recommending using an on-line coupon system, such as Coupon Sense, to save money at the grocery store. By using systems such as this, shoppers can cut their grocery budget in half! These systems help users organize their coupons and they keep track of the local grocery store sales and tell you when to use the coupons you have at the most cost effective time.
In response to this Hub, I was asked by a member of Savings Angel to check out their on-line coupon system and compare it to Coupon Sense. They’re very similar in concept, he said, but different in execution.
Excited by the idea, I was willing to give it a try!
Trying to Be Objective
Coupon Sense can be a little confusing at first. It took me a few weeks to get the hang of their system and about that long to really start seeing the savings. Part of that was because I needed to build my collection of coupons. Even though it was tough getting started, once I understood how it worked, I really liked it. I’ve been very pleased with the savings I’ve seen as well as the stockpile in my pantry. For me to switch systems, Savings Angel would pretty much have to be miraculous.
Knowing my bias for Coupon Sense, I really did check Savings Angel out with an open mind. Coupon Sense has been the only system I’ve known, so I was curious and optimistic about trying another.
Savings Angel Has a Lot of Good Qualities
- You can try Savings Angel free of charge with a ten-day trial membership. The cost however is $19.95/month.
- Savings Angel offers a great on-line training program to help new users get started. Once you go through the training, you are even rewarded with “wings”! Once you sign up for a full membership an Angel Mentor will call you on the phone to help you make the most of their system.
- Savings Angel teaches users how to organize their coupons so that when shoppers find the right deal, they know exactly where to find the coupon they need. Since I already have my coupons organized the Coupon Sense way, I did not try the Savings Angel filing system. The biggest difference that I noticed was that Coupon Sense uses a letter of the week file system, and Savings Angel files them by date.
- Savings Angel is available in 38 states and works with a number of stores. It was easy to find a group of grocery stores in my area that I could shop from.
- Savings Angel allows you to browse stores by region. While this is only available in nine areas, I was able to find a group of stores in my area. By choosing this option, I could look at all stores they include at once.
- Savings Angel even works with Wal-Mart. This is one store that Coupon Sense does not offer. The reason Coupon Sense doesn’t show the specials at Wal-Mart is because they do not offer weekly ads like the grocery stores do. They also don’t double their coupons, so it’s often better to purchase with the sales prices at the grocery stores with the coupons. It was good, however, to be able to see what the Wal-Mart price was with Savings Angel.
- Savings Angel has options to search for certain items or organize your grocery list by store or price.
- Savings Angel offers a referral program where you can earn money when others sign up. You can also earn money by blogging about Savings Angel and putting so many links to their website on your page. For bloggers who like to save and earn money, this may be a good option.
Coupon Sense Also Has a Lot of Good Qualities
- With Coupons Savings, the start-up cost is $4.00 with a monthly fee of $14.00.
- Coupon Sense also offers a great on-line training program for new users. They also have both live and on-line workshops that users can attend. Coupon Sense will even help users find an instructor that will help them through the process and send them e-mail to help find the best deals of the week.
- Coupon Sense teaches users how to organize their coupons so that when shoppers find the right deal, they know exactly where to find the coupon they need. I use their system with my own coupons and I’m always able to find the ad and coupon easily.
- Coupon Sense is available in 43 states and works with the stores and newspaper in those areas. As I live in Arizona, I only see the stores in my area.
- Coupon Sense includes all the local grocery stores. In my area, deals from stores such as Basha’s, Sprouts, Food City, and Sunflower market can be found on Coupon Sense, but not Savings Angel. Coupon Sense also knows which stores double coupons, which stores quadruples coupons, and which ones will match them up to a dollar.
- Even though Coupon Sense does not include Wal-Mart in their system, they understand that Wal-Mart offers price-matching. Because of this, Coupon Sense users can create a price-match list to take to Wal-Mart so that they can shop there and receive the best grocery price. This list includes the page and the area the sale item is listed on the store ad so that the sales associate can quickly verify the price.
- Coupon Sense offers several options for searching for the best deal. You can organize their data by store or by price. You can search only the stores you want to shop at or you can search only for coupons.
- Coupon Sense offers a referral program that pays $5 for every referral.
A Quick Comparison
- Both websites for Savings Angel and Coupon Sense are easy to navigate and free of advertising.
- Coupon Sense has an easy to use, interactive database where you can see ALL the local stores (except Wal-Mart). I did not find a database like this on Savings Angel.
- Both Savings Angel and Coupon Sense allow users to create and print a shopping list to take to the stores.
- Only Coupon Sense offers savings alerts and allows users to keep track of their savings.
- Both Savings Angel and Coupon Sense have member forums, blogs, a help center, and personal, live help.
- Only Coupon Sense offers live and on-line workshops.
The Bottom Line:
If Coupon Sense is not offered in your area, I would recommend giving Savings Angel a try. I believe you can save money and drastically trim your grocery budget with their system. Savings Angel didn’t perform any miracles for me. I prefer Coupon Sense and I will stay with them. Their database alone is worth it. It’s easy to use and it’s easy to sort and read. I also prefer the way their lists print. Their lists use less printer ink than Savings Angel’s.
If you are not using any on-line coupon system and you are not saving at least 50% at the grocery store, then you need to get started! Check and see if programs such as these are available in your area. Check them both out and start saving money today.
If you tried either of these systems, let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Which one do you prefer and why? Thanks for reading!
Cathylee Melchin from Boston on January 06, 2012:
I agree there are too many free resources out there to help you coupon. My favorite site is Coupondivas.com. I use this site with my weekly flyers and I've saved hundreds!
Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on December 18, 2011:
Lisa - Thank you for this hub and the information you have put together so well. I am just beginning to use coupons, so I appreciate learning about these two programs. Well done. Voted up!
lisabeaman (author) from Phoenix, AZ on September 28, 2011:
KL Romano - You are absolutely right. The objective is to save money. In my other hub on Saving Money with Online Coupons I outlined my expenses and my savings for one month. The resources I purchased (Newspapers and coupon service) were more than made up for in the savings. If those resources weren't paying for themselves, I wouldn't do it. Thanks for reading!
KLRomano from Small town OHIO on September 28, 2011:
I think one thing to consider if you are going to start couponing is, what are you willing to pay? If you are paying for sites like this, buying newspapers & magazines, you better make sure you are saving more than you are spending. I am an avid couponer and I have to agree with some of the other comments, there are a lot of resources for free, with store matchups, how to videos etc. It takes a little more time, but the point to me is to save $$ not spend!!
lisabeaman (author) from Phoenix, AZ on September 21, 2011:
Cathy - thanks for the comment! I have to say that I disagree with you on this. You're right in the fact that there are good free coupon sites, but those who charge are not taking advantage of anyone. It's my choice to subscribe to their services. I really like coupon sense and feel that they do the hard work for me so that I can maximize my savings. It's worth the cost to me. If I had the time to devote to it, I could do the work and research myself. Also... I actually hope that if I did have the money, I would still clip coupons. Now that I know what kind of savings I can get from using them, I hope I never go back to throwing my money away to the grocery store chains. If anyone is taking advantage of anyone, it would be them. Thanks again for the comment. I really do appreciate you taking the time to read and leave your thoughts.
cathy on September 20, 2011:
There are a lot of good free sites. I feel the people who charge for this information are taking advantage of US. If I had the money I certainly would not be spending hours of my time clipping coupons. Sad.
lisabeaman (author) from Phoenix, AZ on July 13, 2011:
Thanks JT! Glad you found it interesting! :)
JT Walters from Florida on July 13, 2011:
This is a very interesting aticle as well.
ann on June 10, 2011:
I tried coupon sence it was ok, but then i found COUPONMOM.COM wish is free and easy and i saw saving instantly. without all the bells and whistles all the other sites have. the tutorial is awsome and easy to use.
lisabeaman (author) from Phoenix, AZ on May 03, 2011:
Thanks Kristin! I'll check them out. I hadn't heard of that one.
Kristin on May 03, 2011:
You can use free websites like southernsavers.com and not have to pay. Her site is amazing, you can create lists and there are tons of tutorials.
lisabeaman (author) from Phoenix, AZ on September 14, 2010:
Thanks Jane! I hope you find one of them in your area and that it will work out for you. I look at coupons as if they are cash now!
Jane@CM on September 14, 2010:
Very good comparative hub. I'm going to look at both as I am a coupon clipper.